2 February 2010

Rwanda: Bishop's Resignation 'Leaves Gap' in Church

Muhanga — Last week's resignation of Bishop Kizito Bahujimihigo of Kibungo Diocese, has left a gap in the Catholic Church of Rwanda, the Bishop of Kabgayi Diocese, Smargade Mbonyintege, has said.

Mbonyitege made the remarks on Sunday while presiding over a mass to celebrate 50 years of Caritas-Rwanda, at Kabgayi Church. "It is painful to lose such a person like Bahujimihigo-his departure has left a gap in the Catholic Church of Rwanda," Mbonyintege, told his congregation.

A communiqué from the Catholic Church of Rwanda indicates that Bishop Bahujimihigo, 55, resigned from his official duties, on Friday January 29, citing personal reasons.

The communiqué contradicts reports that resignation was due to "serious financial problems" at his diocese. The resignation was granted by Pope Benedict XVI and Archbishop Thaddée Ntihinyurwa will oversee the diocese in the meantime.

Under the Canon code, a bishop is allowed to resign if he is ill or because of "some other grave reason" that makes him "unsuited for the fulfilment of his office duties."

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