Burundi ruling party rebukes Catholic Church
The ruling party in Burundi, the CNDD-FDD has accused the Roman Catholic Church of fueling the current crisis by playing a role in the country’s politics.
In a press statement issued over the weekend, Mr. Gelase Ndabirabe, the spokesman of CNDD-FDD lashed at the leadership of the church for deviating from their main mission of preaching the word of God and for injecting itself into politics.
Citing reports from some civil society organizations, particularly the Rally of Associations of persons living with HIV / AIDS (CAPES +), and opposition parties, Daniel-Gelase Ndabirabe, strongly attacked the catholic church for taking sides and conniving with the anti-government forces to undermine Burundi’s institutions.
Mr. Ndabirabe implicated the Catholic Church in not only the current political turmoil but historical bloodsheds as well.
“For instance in the crisis of 1972/73, many priests were killed while the Roman Catholic were blessing and clapping,” he said in the statement.
The ruling party and the Catholic Church have been at loggerheads since current crisis began in April 2015 over the latter’s opposition to President Pierre Nkurunziza’s controversial third term, and the fact that the church has been publically pushing for dialogue between all players.
The church also opined that last year’s electoral process in Burundi was neither free nor fair fraud as it withdrew its support and priests in the run up to the poll.
For the ruling party, this is a proof that the leadership of the Roman Catholic in Burundi are taking a wrong way, and invites them to stick to their sole mission of preaching the Word of God and leave politics to politicians.
“The behavior of the Roman Catholic Church in 2015 specifically since April 26, 2015 is nothing but a reproduction of habitual gestures of some of its priests and prelates in the history of our country,” Mr Ndabirabe charged.
CNDD-FDD also goes on to observe that the church teachings to its Burundian flock are incendiary and divisive.
“The will of dividing Christians has been expressed either openly or covertly by some staff of the Catholic Church,” the ruling party spokesman said adding that Burundians have been questioning the church’s mission in the East African nation.
President Pierre Nkurunziza’s governing party strong indictment of the Catholic Church comes as a response to the Council of Catholic Bishops of Burundi criticism to the government in Bujumbura earlier this year.
The council of bishops denounced the deteriorating situation in Burundi resulting from the collapse of consensual democratic values based on a multiparty system.
The bishops accused the government of dismantling major opposition parties, and intimidating and oppressing their members, thereby creating the prevailing political turmoil in the country.
Also, the Roman Catholic Church Bishops condemned the lack of dialogue between the stakeholders in the conflict, and said this fact is to blame for persistent killings and arbitrary arrests.