• Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Thanksgiving Mass for 60 years of diplomatic relations between Burundi and the Vatican


Feb 13, 2023

BUJUMBURA February 13th (ABP) – As part of the celebration of 60 years of diplomatic relations between Burundi and the Holy See, a thanksgiving Mass was organized on Friday, February 10, 2023, at the Regina Mundi Cathedral based in Bujumbura City Council. It was attended by the President of the Republic of Burundi Evariste Ndayishimiye, the bishops, the priests, the Vice President of the Republic of Burundi, the Prime Minister, the members of the government, the First and the Second Vice President of the Senate, members of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), and others.

In his preaching, the Archbishop of Gitega and President of the Conference of Bishops of Burundi, Mgr. Bonaventure Nahimana, based on the word of God found in the Gospel according to Mark, chap 7, invited the assembly of manifest the presence and mercy of God wherever they are, that is, in schools, in health centers, in prisoners through assistance, in the elderly, in orphans, in the disabled and in others being in vulnerable situations. Christians are also asked to promote justice, human rights and to build peace and live in brotherhood.

In his speech, the Head of State praised the contribution of the Catholic Church in the supervision of young people in particular and of the entire Burundian community in general, to ensure the spiritual and socio-economic prosperity of the country. He also did not fail to appreciate the constant evolution of the relations of friendship and cooperation which characterized the Republic of Burundi and the Holy See in the field of health and education for 60 years.

Returning to the tragic events which took the lives of thousands of innocent people following the various crises that Burundi went through, the President of the Republic of Burundi deplored the assassination of Mgr. Michaël Courtney, the Apostolic Nuncio killed on December 29, 2003 in Minago, Rumonge province.

He announced that the government of Burundi is committed to facilitating the procedures for the acquisition of land where the memorial of the illustrious deceased will be erected in order to honor his memory. The Head of State did not forget to specify that the government of Burundi has begun serious investigations into the assassination of that person in authority, through the TRC and counts on the collaboration of the church in the search for the truth and reconciliation.

At the forefront, the President of the Republic of Burundi, Mr. Evariste Ndayishimiye participating in the Eucharistic celebration

The number one of Burundi further pointed out that with the aim of strengthening good relations between Burundi and the Holy See, the State of Burundi offers the Catholic Church the construction of a Basilica in Mugera and has promised to work together to successfully complete that project. The Head of State also recalled that the State of Burundi is impatiently awaiting the visit of Pope Francis to Burundi during this year.

As for the Apostolic Nuncio Mgr. Dieudonné Datonou, he too commended the good relations between Burundi and the Vatican. He specified that they were celebrating 60 years of solidarity in favor of the poorest, and of efforts to build peace. He underlined: “imperfections and difficulties cannot make us forget what has been built together”.

He then delivered the message of Pope Francis addressed to the Burundi Head of State through which he calls on the people of Burundi to live the brotherhood that exists between Burundi and the Catholic Church. Through the same message, the Pope hopes that the collaboration between Burundi and the Catholic Church, in particular with the application of the framework agreement in force since 2014, can allow Christians to participate more in the development of the country, especially in the field of education and health.