UN war crimes court sentences Rwandan priest to life

UN war crimes court sentences Rwandan priest to life

5 hours ago

ARUSHA, Tanzania (AFP) — A UN war crimes court increased a Roman Catholic priest’s sentence to life imprisonment Wednesday after upholding his conviction for his part in the genocide of 800,000 fellow Rwandans.
In April 1994, when pro-government Hutu militiamen were rounding up ethnic Tutsis for slaughter across Rwanda, some 1,500 of Father Athanase Seromba’s parishioners took shelter in his church in the western town of Nyange.
Rather than seeking to protect his flock, the ethnic Huti priest had the church levelled by bulldozers and ordered extremist gunmen to shoot any Tutsis who tried to flee the carnage, the court heard. There were no survivors.

Let us pray for his soul and for all those who have died so brutally…:gopray:

After watching the film Hotel Rwanda at home this weekend, which I give a positive recommend to view, this follow-up news-to-me about Father Athanase Seromba made me think. The bulk of the Rwanda Catholic faithful were also doing what he did. Rwanda is over half Catholic. Catholics in Africa using logistical calculation to slaughter each other is hard to imagine.

I read that Father Athanase Seromba hid out for 8 years following the genocide under an alias name in Europe, then put on trial and got 15 years prison time, and then he appealed. Had he not appealed he would have been a free man ten years from now. Instead he has a life term. I suppose given his rank he took more of a punishment than the ordinary citizen doing the same things.

It is also known that other clergy gave their lives protecting the Tutsi’s from slaughter. They don’t get in the papers much.

IF an African was made Pope, perhaps it would help that region… of course, whomever it is that becomes Pope, it will be the will of God.

Yes it is possible, and that would help all of us see each other. Before watching that film I had no idea how many Catholics were in Africa. Really comes to my consciousness now, that we are in Africa. Seems that Catholic family world regions are out of touch, and central Africa is in a boat by itself.

According to the Liber Pontificalis we’ve already had three popes from Africa:

Pope St Victor I (ca186-198), Pope St Miltiades (311-314), and Pope St Gelasius (492-496).

Things were different 1500+ years ago. North African popes I assume.

Didn’t know the pope resigned til just now. So I see why yesterday BroomWagon had referenced the next pope.

Hi all, sorry for resurrecting this old thread. I recently learned about this news story, and I’m looking for sources besides news accounts.

Can anyone direct me to any statement from the Catholic Church on this incident?

Many Tutsi’s who were slaughtered in the Genocide were also Catholics.

Immaculée Ilibagiza, was a young Catholic Girl who hid with seven other Tutsi’s in a 3 X 4 bathroom for 91 days. She could hear the slaughter going on right outside the wall of the house where the girls hid in fear. She prayed to the Blessed Mother everyday, for her and the other girls safety. In the end, she said she forgave the Hutu’s who killed her family. Her book Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust " is an inspiration to read.

Anyway, in Rwanda as in other places in African, the formation for seminarians who were ordained was questionable. Many went into the priesthood in order to flee from poverty. This may have been the cause of other scandals in various parts of Africa by both priests and nuns…

I don’t have the source for the information at hand so I’ll just leave it at that.


Someone brought my attention to this link:


Thanks all.

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