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Sunday, September 24, 2023

Pope sacks Rwandan priest for having a child

Pope Francis has sacked a Rwandan-born man, who has been serving as a clergyman in northern France for almost three decades, from priesthood.

A communiqué circulating online signed by the bishop of Évreux says that Wenceslas Munyeshyaka, 64, “automatically loses clerical rights” and “is excluded” from serving “anywhere else” as a priest.

The Office of the Diocese of Évreux has confirmed to the BBC the authenticity of the communiqué, which says it is based on a papal decree dated in March.

Mr Munyeshyaka, who fled to France after the Rwandan genocide in 1994, hasn’t commented on the decision.

He was suspended by his diocese in December 2021 after it emerged that he has legally acknowledged being a father of a 10-year-old boy.

Mr Munyeshyaka was ordained a priest in Rwanda in 1992, where he is accused of playing a role in the killing of hundreds of Tutsis who had fled to his church in the capital, Kigali, during the genocide.

Courts in France have cleared him of the genocide charges.


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