Rwandan Genocide Helps Prompt Franciscan Symposium

ROME, DEC. 7, 2003 ( The 10th anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda and other inter-ethnic conflicts have led the Order of Friars Minor to organize a symposium on such confrontations.

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The “Symposium on Inter-ethnic Dialogue and Reconciliation” will be held in the order’s General Curia in Rome, from April 16-18.

The event will offer “a time of reflection, debate and prayer at the service of reconciliation and peace at all levels,” the Franciscan organizers explained in a statement.

“Rwanda’s genocide appears today as a paradigm of every conflict that lacerates our humanity and questions us from the depth of our human and Christian conscience,” the statement said.

“What are the remote and profound roots of so many fratricidal conflicts?” it asked. “What are their internal mechanisms? What is the logic that inspires them? How do they influence our Churches and fraternities?”

The symposium is designed to address these questions. On the last day of the event, the anniversary of the death of Franciscan Friar George Gashugi, victim of ethnic hatred in Rwanda, a ceremony will recall all the victims of ethnic conflicts.

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