Rwanda: Pope Francis Dismisses Rwandan Priest Munyeshyaka Who Was Convicted for Genocide

Pope Francis has dismissed from the clerical duties, Wenceslas Munyeshyaka, a Rwandan priest who is a key mastermind of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Munyeshyaka, who has lived in France for nearly three decades, was notified of Pope Francis’s decision by Bishop of Evreux, Christian Nourrichard, on Tuesday, May 2.

He is accused of masterminding the Genocide in different parts of Kigali, but most especially the killings at Saint Famille Catholic Church, where he was a priest in 1994.

In his letter to Munyeshyaka, Nourrichard, says “By Decree dated March 23, 2023, received last week, the Sovereign Pontiff Pope Francis, by his supreme and final decision which is not subject to any appeal, has dismissed in poenam from the clerical state Father Wenceslas Munyeshyaka, incardinated in the Archdiocese of Kigali (Rwanda) and currently residing in the Diocese of Evreux.”

“Father Wenceslas Munyeshyaka is exempt from all obligations arising from sacred ordination, automatically loses all the rights specific to the clerical state, is excluded from the exercise of the sacred ministry and cannot function as lector or acolyte, nor to drink communion nowhere.

“He should avoid places where his previous status is known.”

Bishop Nourrichard noted that the Pope’s decree took immediate effect on May 3.

However, the reason behind Pope Francis’s decision to dismiss Munyeshyaka from the clergy was not communicated in the letter.