LAMBETH PALACE has begun an investigation into the case of a
Rwandan bishop who now serves as a priest in the diocese of
Worcester, after he was accused of involvement in the 1994 Rwandan
Bishop Jonathan Ruhumuliza, who was Coadjutor Bishop of Kigali
during the massacres, is now assistant curate in three parishes in
Worcestershire (Elmley Lovett, Ombersley, and Hartlebury).
On Sunday, The Observer published allegations by Human
Rights Watch and the London-based advocacy group Africa Rights that
Bishop Ruhumuliza was a "propagandist" and "spokesman" for the Hutu
regime as it killed thousands of ethnic Tutsis.
The Observer also said that the Home Office delayed
granting Bishop Ruhumuliza a work permit for two years, because of
concerns about his alleged part in the genocide.
In a statement, a spokesman for the diocese of Worcester said:
"Extensive checks were undertaken through Lambeth Palace before
Bishop Jonathan Ruhumuliza began ministry in the diocese of
Worcester in 2005. No evidence was found of complicity in the
Rwandan genocide. Bishop Jonathan has always been willing to face
any charges, but none have ever been brought."
The statement also said that Bishop Ruhumuliza had been
recommended by the Archbishop of Rwanda, the Most Revd Emmanuel
Kolini, in 2005.
But the then Bishop of Worcester, Dr Peter Selby, who appointed
him, told The Observer that he had never heard of the
allegations of Bishop Ruhumuliza's complicity in the genocide. "If
there is a level of complicity in the genocide of the kind that the
human-rights document states," he said, "then I find it completely
astonishing and unacceptable that that's not dealt with by due
After the appointment, Dr Selby said that he was made aware of
the allegations, but was given satisfactory assurances.
The statement by the diocese of Worcester suggests that Lambeth
Palace will investigate the claims. A spokesman from the palace
confirmed that the allegations were being looked into.
The president of an association of genocide survivors, Jean
Pierre Dusingizemungu, criticised the Church for not asking enough
questions about Bishop Ruhumuliza. "We do not see why Churches
refuse to face history and reality," he said. "Instead of hiring
and promoting these people, they should check on their role during
The Church Times repeatedly attempted to contact Bishop
Ruhumuliza, but he did not respond.