Rwanda: Catholic Faithful React to Archbishop Kambanda's Appointment as Cardinal

27 October 2020

The Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church in Rwanda, Msgr. Antoine Kambanda, was Sunday October 25 elevated to the level of cardinals.

The New Times's Bertrand Byishimo caught up with various Rwandan Catholic church members to get their reactions.

Innocent Bahizi, Regina Pacis

First of all, being a cardinal means you are a candidate to becoming a pope, so it is a great privilege to Rwanda. Second, we have been familiar to priests who were convicted of raping women (during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi), which was tarnishing our image as Catholics in Rwanda, but this nomination has lifted the Church of Rwanda.

Mariane Nyiranzitabakuze,Kicukiro Parish

It is a great honour! If the Pope is having confidence in someone we have had confidence into, it also shows that we have chosen the right person. The worldwide recognition is not such a thing to take for granted. This does not only reflect on the Catholic Church, but the country in general.

Jean Claude Byiringiro,St Michel Parish

I think that this is an achievement, not only for choir members, or Christians, it is the pride of all Rwandans. Let it create confidence in all Rwandans that anywhere possible, we can go. Having a cardinal in Rome means a lot, because we have few Africans there.

Derrick Irambona,Bugesera Parish

To me, it is so inspirational! I may not become a bishop like him, but his ordination has shown me that we, Rwandans, can excel on a global stage. He is a man of integrity and he is wise.

Diane Mukeshimana, Kagugu Parish

It did not happen accidently, he strived for that and remained faithful since his ordination as a priest 30 years ago.

That should teach the youths that we have to remain loyal and faithful to our vocations and careers. It is a big milestone in the history of Rwanda.

Ladouce Alice Nyaruhirira,Regina Pacis

This is happening for the first time in the history of our country, so we are profoundly honoured to receive that big news.

We have few African Cardinals.

We have confidence in him, he is such a faithful man with a spiritual experience.

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