Rwandan President Warns Against Glorifying Poverty in Catholic Practices
Rwandan President Paul Kagame has issued a warning to Catholic believers, cautioning them against engaging in practices that he views as promoting poverty and which his government spokesperson characterized as “cult-like” behavior.
Kagame’s remarks referred to a Catholic pilgrimage that occurred in June, as reported by the New Times newspaper. During a youth conference in Kigali, Kagame stated, “If I ever hear about this again, that people travelled to go and worship poverty, I will bring trucks and round them up and imprison them, and only release them when the poverty mentality has left them.” He added, “No one must worship poverty. Do not ever do that again.”
The government clarified Kagame’s statement, indicating that he was not specifically referring to the renowned Catholic site in Kibeho, where the Virgin Mary is believed to have appeared. Spokesperson Yolande Makolo stated that the president was likely addressing “an informal pilgrimage-type event that takes place in Rutsiro district.”
Makolo also emphasized that the President’s intention was to encourage young Rwandans to be ambitious and work hard. The event in question involves a three-day pilgrimage concluding at a hill called Our Lady of the Poor, as reported by Rwanda’s New Times.