Pope Francis pleaded for forgiveness over Rwandan genocide

Pope Francis pleaded for forgiveness over Rwandan genocide

Pope Francis has begged for God’s mercy “for the sins and backwardness of the Church and its members… who agreed to hatred and violence” in the Rwandan genocide.

He was on a speech during a meeting with Rwandan head of state Paul Kagame at the Vatican.

The plea for forgiveness followed a request by Rwanda in November for the Vatican to beg over the role some Catholic priests and religious figures played in the 1994 massacres.

In a speech reported by Vatican Radio , the Pope also “expressed the desire that this humble recognition of the backwardness of that period, which, unfortunately, erase the face of the Church, may contribute to a ‘purification of memory’ and may promote, in hope and renewed trust, a future of peace”.

During the 100-day genocide, over 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were assassinated by Hutu extremists. Several massacres were carried out in churches where people had sought sanctuary.

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