NEWS for Tuesday, May 30, 2000
RWANDAN BISHOP FACING POSSIBLE DEATH SENTENCE THANKS POPE
Bishop Misago Says Charges "Without Foundation"
VATICAN CITY, MAY 26 (ZENIT.org).
"Cell in the Kilgali Prison
Bishop Augustine Misago, accused of
complicity in genocide and facing a possible death penalty, has written
the Holy Father reasserting his innocence of the crime he is accused of.
When the call for the death penalty was made two weeks ago, the Holy
Father immediately sent a message of consolation to the imprisoned
The Pope wrote: "Given the painful news I have received of your
detention in prison, which has lasted for thirteen months, but far more
so, the petition presented for capital punishment, I feel the duty to
renew to you once again, dear pastor of the beloved diocese of
Gikongoro, my closeness as well as that of the entire Church."
In reply, Bishop Augustine Misago wrote:
"He who has the honor to address you in writing is one of your sons,
Bishop Augustine Misago, of the diocese of Gikongoro in Rwanda, detained
in prison in Kilgali since May 14, 1999.
"I have received your moving message of May 10, 2000, a paternal message
of consolation and support. It has arrived at the right moment, that is,
at the crucial moment in which the Attorney has just requested the death
penalty: a measure I consider totally unjust and without foundation.
"Therefore, Holy Father, I wish to thank you from the depth of my heart
for your gestures of solidarity and compassion. I have learned that you
are celebrating your 80th birthday. This circumstance inspires me to
send you my best wishes and assure you, once again, of my constant
prayer for you.
"Bishop of Gikongoro
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