A Catholic Bishop faces charges of being involved in the Rwandan genocide in 1994. He was arrested last week. He is accused of committing and participating in a genocide and other crimes against humanity. This follows accusations that Tutsis who sought refugee in church later disappeared during the 100 days of slaughter. More than 150,000 people were killed in the Diocese of Gikongoro alone. The Bishop is the most senior church official arrested and charged for the crimes. Several priests and nuns are in custody awaiting trial for their role in the genocide. The Catholic Church officials are accused of participating in the genocide and also trying to cover it afterwards. They face charges that they still shelter the people who committed crimes. The accused have sought shelter in Catholic Institutions in Central and East Africa as well as in Europe. In 1998, two Catholic priests were sentenced to death for their role in the killings of 2,000 Tutsi who sought shelter in their church. The Church building was bulldozed while the victims were inside.
In 1996, the Pope said the Catholic Church never took part in the genocide. On August 2 1994, 29 Catholic priests wrote a collective letter to the Pope in which they denied any Hutu responsibility for the genocide.
The genocide followed the killing of the Rwanda Hutu President, Habyarimana, in April 1994. Between April and July 1994 more than ½ million people were massacred. These were mostly Tutsis but politically moderate Hutus were attacked. In July, a Tutsi led Rebel Movement, Rwandan Patriotic Front defeated the old regime by taking over the capital, Kigali. In the same month, the Hutu militias and remnants of the old regime and about a million Hutu refugees fled the country to Zaire.
The headquarters of the Catholic Church in Rome issued a tough statement on the arrest. The spokesman for the Pope said in a statement that: “The arrest is an act of extreme gravity that not only wounds the church in Rwanda but the entire Catholic Church. Relations between the Republic of Rwanda and the Holy see are profoundly troubled by this”.
Meanwhile the Bishops and a Vatican diplomat in Burundi have refused to meet with Rwanda’s President after the Bishop’s arrest. The Rwandan President Pasteur Bizimungu was making an official visit to Burundi last week.
Presidential Pasteurs Bizimungu, a Hutu, and Tutsi survivors have accused Bishop Misago and other Catholic priests of refusing shelter to Tutsi victims to escape the genocide. Bizimungu now says that even if the Bishop is found not guilty, Rwanda would still ask the Vatican to remove him because people have lost faith in him.
Inikah yang dimaksud dengan slogan KRISTEN ADALAH AGAMA KASIH DAN DAMAI, DAN HANYA MENGAJARKAN KASIH DAN DAMAI KE SELURUH DUNIA…?
Lantas mengapa semua orang Kristen mahir sekali untuk mengutuki kaum Muslim sebagai umat agama yang suka berperang??