Much as I am a non-believer (and son of a Bishop) I find Pope Francis a different kind of Pope: he is a courageous man, and seems hell bent (pardon the pan) on fixing much of what is wrong and rotten with the Catholic Church, especially pedophilia.

This Pope is also credited with trying to cleanse one of the most corrupt and rotten institutions in the world, the Vatican Bank, which is drowning in illegal Mafia money, all in the face, it is believed, of serious threats against the Pope’s life.

Who can ever forget his famous words “WHO AM I TO JUDGE” when asked about gays and their right to freely be who they are?

Let’s not forget that scores of Catholic priests are homosexuals in the closet. How else do you explain the rampant abuse of kids among their ranks?

So now Francis has met with President Kagame at the Vatican, and 23 years later after the genocide against Tutsi pleaded for forgiveness for “the sins and failings of the Church and its members.”

Words should matter, and people, even the Pope should be held to account. The Pope’s nimble words are nsulting and annoying. The so-called sins and failings of Catholic priests are nothing but felonious reprehensible conduct and should not be swept under the rug. The perpetrators should face justice and suffer consequences, not hide behind the ornate walls of The Vatican.

I know the Pope, like my late father, are men of the cloth and have a tendency to speak softly and dress up their words. But to say that these killers “succumbed to hatred and violence” is comical and a bunch of malarkey.

The priests and their followers who butchered Rwandans in churches and at altars all across Rwanda are nothing but murderers and common criminals — never mind that they were dressed in their white robes, swinging machetes.

Pope Francis is damn right: the face of the church was “disfigured”, just as it was during the Jewish Holocaust. Will his apology lead to “purification of memory” and “renewed trust”? Not until it snows in Kigali.

The genocide against Tutsi should never be trivialized nor forgiven. Lives were lost and millions (others) changed forever.

I can only find solace in Pope Francis’ words when priests and nuns alleged to have participated in the genocide against Tutsi are no longer given asylum at The Vatican and in parishes all over Europe. And if I were in the Pope’s shoes, I would personally go to Rwanda and “cleanse” the churches where my kith and kin fell, in broad daylight at the hands of priests and nuns.

But, like Francis, who am I to judge, but a simple Rwandan seeking justice for those who needlessly died because of the circumstances of their birth.


About Willis Shalita

I am a writer who is very impassioned about Rwanda and its remarkable journey from the barbaric carnage of Genocide against Tutsi. I am an avid photographer. I believe the African story should be told through African lenses. Our time has come. If not now, when?
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