• Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Burundi and the Holy See are committed to promoting diplomatic relations


Feb 13, 2023

BUJUMBURA February 13th (ABP) – On the occasion of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Burundi and the Holy See, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation in collaboration with the Apostolic Nuncio to Burundi, organized, on Friday February 10, 2023 in Bujumbura, a public conference under the theme “60 years of shared values and visions” in order to open new dialogue which is one of institutional collaboration to build a better society.

In their presentations, the two speakers, including Ambassador Laurent Kavakure and Mr. Emmanuel Ntakarutimana, returned to some features that marked the history of Burundi and the Catholic Church.

Ambassador Kavakure spoke of the Catholic Church as an old institution allied to the colonial power, underlining the arrival of missionaries in Burundi.

He talked about the Treaty of Kiganda where the missionaries played the role of mediation so that King Mwezi Gisabo agreed to sign the treaty on June 6, 1903.

                                                                                View of the participants

Mr. Kavakure also mentioned the 1972 genocide against the Hutus where the Catholic Church was an accomplice as well victim. From this, he said that many priests and the religious are victims of that genocide, while also speaking of massive and serious violations of human rights. He also said that it was the Catholic Church that prepared independence and it contributed in the construction of schools and hospitals as well as in the promotion of human rights and public freedom.

According to Mr. Ntakarutimana, the church was confused with power, pointing out that the diocesan bursar operated like companies with too much power to withstand competition. He also indicated that the Catholic Church had its banking system, before adding that the administration and the church have agreed to share roles while clarifying that the two institutions collaborate in all sectors of life in the country.

Mr. Ntakarutimana stressed in that way that the Catholic Church is very interested in the management and healing of memories by collaborating with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), where he raised the issue of reconciliation between the Burundians, while emphasizing the need to put it into practice.

As for the Apostolic Nuncio Dieudonné Datonou, he indicated that Burundi has many wonders to celebrate to build an even more positive history. He also returned to the matter of living in the truth mentioned by TRC Chairman Ndayicariye and pointed out that the truth alone is not enough, but that it will take sacrifices from some to put it into practice.

Note that a basilica will be built in Mugera, a holy place to strengthen that friendship between Burundi and Holy See.