AFRICA/DR CONGO - Cardinal Monsengwo denounces: Acts of vandalism against the Church

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - "There is a resurgence of fear, anger, uncertainty", says Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, Archbishop of Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, in a message sent to Agenzia Fides in which he denounces the attacks against the Church in the last few days.
"We have learned with indignation, Saturday, February 18, of the fire of part of the Major Seminary of Malole by uncivilized people who later spread terror at the nearby Carmelite sisters in Kananga (see Fides 20/02/2017)", writes the Cardinal, who also recalls the demonstrations that occurred on three occasions (7, 10 and 11 February) in front of the Archbishopric of Kinshasa, by groups of young people who "created an atmosphere of panic".
These incidents were followed by the desecration of the parish of San Domenico Limete by a "group of about twenty spiteful young people" who "knocked over the tabernacle, looted the altar, broke benches, and tried to set fire to the church. The community of the Oblate Fathers was not spared".
Card. Monsengwo connects these facts with the attempt of the Congolese Episcopal Conference (CENCO) to mediate in the implementation of the agreements of San Silvestro (see Fides 03/01/2017) and to find a Prime Minister to lead a government of national unity as required by the agreements.
"CENCO has only a mediating role", recalls the Cardinal. "Politicians need to acknowledge with humility that their political ambitions leads to the impasse and institutional block. They will assume the responsibility before history".
After calling on the authorities to protect the assets of the Church from any further acts of vandalism, the Cardinal concludes by recalling Etienne Tshisekedi, the historic opposition leader who died recently (see Fides 02/02/2017), and fought to the end to give the DRC "peace in justice". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 21/02/2017)