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Saturday, July 23, 2005

This morning is brought to you by the letter C

Cricket on Channel 4. Coffee (admittedly too much - jitters!). Croissants. Catholic Herald. Happy morning.

Powerful stuff in said Herald:

'As recently as 1997 the large seminary at Buta [in Burundi] was under threat, and the rector Fr Zacharie Bukuru observed that in times of recreation the students were splitting into two groups, Hutu and Tutsi. He brought them together to talk about the dangers of the time, and their common status as children of God which is beyond any ethnic or colour division... This led to much prayer... It was early one morning, six o'clock, when armed bands numbering about 2000 invaded the seminary buildings... in the senior dormitory a group of students were cornered before they knew what was happening. Shots were fired... And the Hutu students were told to move apart, and leave the the Tutsis exposed for massacre. No student moved. There was a stand-off for a few minutes. Then an order to bring out the machetes. It is known that in Rwanda victims faced with death at the hand of a mob like this paid to be shot rather than cut to pieces. If the students were frightened at the sight of the machetes, they still did not separate. So eventually a woman, the leader, gave the order from the killing to begin.... An eyewitness was able to tell how one student had prayer: "Father forgive them for they know not what they do", while another had prayed for Burundi and peace in his land; others died praying fragments of the psalms. [Fr Zacharie] found that many, as he tried to lay out the bodies, had rosaries in their hands.'
From 'Carnage in the seminary' by Canon JP Marmion. You can't read the Catholic Herald online, it seems; worth getting this week's for this article alone.

O ye martyrs of Burundi, pray for us.