Vatican City, March 20 - Pope Francis on Monday reiterated a 'mea culpa' by the Catholic Church "for the sins and deficiencies of the Church" during the 1994 Rwanda genocide. Francis said he echoed late pope St John Paul's apology at the Jubilee in 2000 for the sins of the Church's members, "including priests, religious men and women who gave in to hatred and violence, betraying their evangelical mission." The pope was speaking in a statement issued after "cordial" 25-minute talks with Rwandan President Paul Kagame in the Vatican. Francis said he had told Kagame he hoped his apology would help his country heal its wounds. During the 100-day genocide, over 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed by Hutu extremists, many at the hands of priests, clergymen and nuns, according to some accounts by survivors. The Rwandan government says many died in the churches where they had sought refuge.
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