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March 29, 2010

Comments

sam

Hi there!!!!
I didn`t know anything about the Catholic priests part in Rwanda, so thanks for this blog. I will look into this issue further...doubtless replicated in other parts of the world.

Maybe you will like to see my blog where I have just posted about Catholic priests and child abuse :) !!!!!!! eyehearer.blogspot.com

Best Wishes to you....

Dom

I thought the racial distinctions were instituted by the Belgians, who gave employment preferences to one group over the other. The historical accounts I've read up to this date (I'm not an expert, of course) mention nothing about the Catholic Church.

And I'm confused by the "history of institutional racism that endures". The Catholic Church is guilty of many things, especially it's hypocricy on sexual matters, but racism never seemed like one of them.

tolkein

The article is tripe.
That Catholics were involved, in a country colonised by Belgium, is true, and some were priests or nuns is also true. I expect some collected stamps or played chess, but that doesn't mean the chair of Stanley Gibbons or the president of FIDE is complicit or has to apologise. For the article to stand up a claim against the Catholic Church it has to show that the Church organisation in Rwanda organised or was complicit in the organisation of the genocide. The facts show otherwise. It was a genocidal ethnic war between Tutsis and Hutus, where the candidates for blame (Mitterand?, the Leaders of the Hutus and Tutsis?) are already identified. Jared Diamond, in Catastrophes, has a good chapter on this - and, funnily enough, among lots of candidates for blame, doesn't include the Church. This anti-Catholic stuff is truly looking like a mania, where any old story is used to blame the Church.

Mick H

The point seems clear enough to me. Some priests in Ireland - and elsewhere - were engaged in the abuse of children in their care. This abuse was not the Church's official policy, but nevertheless the Pope has managed to come up with some kind of apology. Some priests in Rwanda were complicit in the slaughter of the Tutsi. The author gives a few names. Again, it wasn't official Church policy, but that's what happened. The Pope has made no apology.

As for the history, yes, the Church's role was new to me, but the author of the piece, Martin Kimani, is described as currently writing a book about Catholicism and genocide in Rwanda, so I tend to assume he knows what he's talking about.

tolkein

The point about Ireland and the other sex abuse scandals is that the Church failed in its duty of care. There will always be bad priests and nuns. The Church, except for embarrassment is not at fault because of these bad people, except where the embarrassment gets in the way of dealing with them, which seems to have happened in Ireland. In Rwanda, the state authorities, army and leading Hutu and Tutsi parties carried out a genocide. They bore the responsibility, not the Church. Saying that everybody knew that this was going to happen, including the Church, and therefore they are complicit in not stopping it is nonsense. How many people really thought there was going to be a genocide in Rwanda before it happened? Even when it was going on the West stood by, so I think he has to make a case before his claims can be taken seriously. Just because someone writes a book about something does not mean they are right about what they write. David Irving was an 'expert' on Hitler but his books are tripe. Nothing this man wrote convinces me his book is not, also, tripe.

Mick H

The author gave a particular example, of the church congregation betrayed by the priest who declared the church no longer to be consecrated property, and then ordered a bulldozer to push the walls down. Seems rather more serious an example of a failure of the church's "duty of care" than the sex abuse scandals.

tolkein

Mick

Just because a bad person who happened to be a priest did something bad, as in the example, does not mean the Church was complicit. The Head of Haringey Social Services, a horrible woman in my opinion, was responsible for the supervision of the Baby P family. I don't regard her as complicit in Baby P's murder. Much as I detest Ed Balls, I don't hold him complicit for what happened in Haringey, despite his ministerial responsibilities for the protection of children. Nor, on the facts, do I regard the Church, as an organisation, complicit in the Rwanda genocide.

To repeat, this is looking like a mania.

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