AFRICA/DR CONGO - Not only Catholics but also other Christian voices criticize power

Wednesday, 17 January 2018 bishops   dialogue   democracy  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - The attempt to contrast the Catholic Church with other Christian communities in the close confrontation between the Episcopal Conference of the Democratic Republic of Congo and President Joseph Kabila has failed.
This was seen yesterday, 16 January, on the anniversary of the death of the father of current President, Laurent Désiré Kabila, who was killed in unclear circumstances on January 16, 2001. The ceremony in memory of the assassinated President was held in the cathedral du Centenaire de l’Eglise du Christ au Congo (ECC), a Protestant denomination.
Pastor François-David Ekofo addressed very harsh words to the current leadership of the Country, which recall the warnings expressed by His Eminence Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, Archbishop of Kinshasa, at the center of a campaign of defamation by the regime (see Fides 13/1/2018).
"We must leave our children a State that really exists", said Reverend Ekopho in his sermon. "I say this because one has the impression that the State does not really exist", he continued in front of all the leadership of the DRC, the only person missing was President Kabila.
"We must give our children a united Country", he insisted. It is not tolerable to import food for the Congolese when Congo is rich in oil, diamonds, coltan, among the most sought-after products in the world".
The stern stance of such a high representative of another Christian confession undermines the hope of the presidential field to attempt to set the other Christian confessions against the Catholic Church, whose highest representative in the DRC, Cardinal Monsengwo Pasinya, has been accused by the government of having committed, with his recent declarations, "subversion attempts" against national interests. The report of the Council of Ministers of January 15 states that "the security situation is relatively calm throughout the country, with, however, some subversive attempts initiated in particular by a member of the Catholic hierarchy in the city of Kinshasa". An evident attack on Cardinal Monsengwo Pasinya, even if he has not been formally named. The Cardinal had strongly condemned the repression of the peaceful march launched by Congolese Catholics to demand the application of that part of the New Year's Eve agreements which included freedom of the press and the release of political prisoners (see Fides 5/1/2018), and he had explicitly said that "mediocre" politicians must go away". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 17/1/2018)