AFRICA/DR CONGO - Mysterious death of a religious

Monday, 5 March 2018

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - The circumstances of the death of Fr. Florent Mbulanthie Tulantshiedi, of the Joséphistes Congregation, who worked in the parish of Christ the Savior of Ilebo, are still unclear. His body was found on 2 March on a boat on the banks of the Kasai river, near the village of Biyenge, in the Kasai District, in the center-west of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
According to a teacher of the local Catholic school, the priest's body had neck wounds, it seems he was strangled. A police officer said that the last time the priest was seen was a few days ago, in a caffeteria near the river. According to his superior, Fr. Georges Minga, the morning after his death, some aspirants who were followed by Fr. Florent, warned him of the disappearance. Fr. Minga therefore warned the security forces. Then on 2 March the discovery of the body. According to Fr. Minga, his face was unrecognizable and the religious was recognized by the clothes he was wearing, the rosary and watch.
Fr. Florent was 46 years old. He was ordained priest in 2007 and for some years he was involved in the formation of candidates for the priesthood. The funeral of the religious was held in Ilebo on 3 March, apparently the autopsy was not carried out. (L. M.) (Agenzia Fides, 5/3/2018)