AFRICA/DR CONGO - Catholics and Anglicans together for peace in the Great Lakes

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) – The joint campaign of the Association of Episcopal Conferences of Central Africa (ACEAC, which brings together the Catholic Bishops of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Rwanda) and the Association of Anglican bishops of these countries covered by ACEAC is entitled "Peace in the Great Lakes".
This initiative, opened to contributions from any other religious denomination, was presented in Kinshasa by His Exc. Mgr. Fridolin Ambongo, Bishop of Bokungu - Ikela, President of the Commission "Justice and Peace" of ACEAC and coordinator of the campaign "Peace in the Great Lakes".
Referring to the recent defeat of the M23, the main armed group that threatened the security and territorial integrity of North Kivu (eastern DRC), Mgr. Ambongo said that "the pastors of the Anglican and the Catholic Church of the Great Lakes rejoice over the recent developments in the region, particularly in the east of the DRC. We thank those who made this evolution possible".
The Bishop added that to consolidate peace, not only aid from the international community and further diplomatic efforts are required but above all "a process of healing and reconciliation of wounded hearts to bring out a true culture of peace that encourages respect for human rights and duties of each member of the community".
And to achieve this goal, the Catholic and the Anglican Church intend to "give their contribution, within the limits of their respective missions, involving their people, public authorities and all people of good will".
The campaign, which will be officially launched on December 1 in Goma, capital of North Kivu, expects: to witness faith in Jesus Christ the Prince of Peace; to help the population rebuild social cohesion, "shattered by the manipulations of conscience that have cultivated hatred"; to bring out peace alternatives that transcend the peace of the belligerents; work for the promotion in the public life of a strong culture of justice.
The Catholic and the Anglican Church will create an association in partnership with CAFOD (Catholic charitable agency for England and Wales) and CRS (Catholic Relief Service of the United States). (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 12/11/2013)