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‘Reconciliation and healing of wounds’ remain Church’s priority in Rwanda, says Pope

Catholic World News - April 03, 2014

Two decades after an estimated 800,000 people perished in the Rwandan genocide, Pope Francis the nation’s bishops that “reconciliation and the healing of wounds certainly remain the priority of the Church in Rwanda.”

In an April 3 address delivered to the bishops during their ad limina visit, the Pope said that it was necessary for the bishops to remain united in love, “beyond prejudices and ethnic divisions,” in order for a profound conversion of hearts to take place in the nation.

Pope Francis also called for the strengthening of Church-state ties and called upon the bishops “not to be afraid to highlight the irreplaceable contribution of the Church to the common good” in such areas as health and education. The Pontiff added that families are “very threatened by the process of secularization.”

After speaking about the role of the laity in evangelization, the importance of the formation of seminarians, and the need for bishops to be close to their priests, Pope Francis referred to the approved Marian apparitions at Kibeho, in which “the Mother of Jesus wanted to manifest herself in your country to children, reminding them of the efficacy of fasting and prayer, in particular the prayer of the Rosary.”

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