Twenty-two years ago, Rwanda experienced a tragedy that the African country is still healing from. The 1994 Rwandan genocide saw the ethnic cleansing of more than 800,000 Tutsis at the hands of the Hutu radicals. Global aid, which also included support from the Catholic Church, stepped in to give shelter and resources to the displaced. But it looks like the church remains at the center of controversy with Rwanda’s government, specifically for their reported role in ushering the duration of the genocide.
Authorities have called for an apology from the Vatican, Newsweek reports, which became public knowledge a few days after the Conference of Catholic Bishops publicized their separate statement, seeking atonement for “all the wrongs the church committed” between April to July ’94. “We regret that church members violated [their] oath of allegiance to God’s commandments,” the passage continues.
Part of the crimes committed by Rwandan priests during that time included aiding and abetting, Newsweek states, adding that while sheltered in churches throughout the region, Tutsis were also murdered.
The country’s government still calls for an acknowledgement from the Vatican, and referred to the statement as an example of “how far the Catholic Church still remains from a full and honest reckoning with its moral and legal responsibilities.”