AFRICA/DR CONGO - Cardinal Monsengwo, symbol of a committed African Church

Monday, 5 November 2018


Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - "Cardinal Monsengwo has been until today the voice of an African Church that refuses to lose hope that the African people will not be sacrificed by politics; an African Church that does not remain silent and is not an accomplice of all those apostles of evil that continually afflict our continent; an African Church that refuses that death has the last word on the African continent". This is the reflection of Father Donald Zagore, Ivorian theologian of the Society for African Missions (SMA), sent to Agenzia Fides a few days after the retirement, due to limit of age, of the Archbishop of Kinshasa, Mgr. Laurent Monsengwo symbol of a committed African Church. The words of Fr. Zagore coincide with the escalation of violence that is bleeding the country, including violation of human rights, rape as weapons of war and the humanitarian emergency that involves more than 80 thousand children from Angola.
"Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo, in his struggle for justice and the equality of peoples, reminded everyone of the essence of the fundamental struggle and the primary vocation of the Church, which must be the voice of those who have no voice. The Church must be an instrument for justice and truth in the continent, fundamental principles and guarantees of coexistence in a reconciled and unique African society, where "the force of law and not the law of force" reigns.
The Archbishop reminded everyone that the Christian faith, has a "political dimension" that obliges every man and woman of faith to a political commitment in solidarity with the poor, the marginalized and the voiceless. It is a political commitment totally antithetical to the current policy which consists essentially in gaining power, exercising it and fighting to preserve it, notes Zagore. "This is nothing but a perspective that continuously feeds the germs of conflict because there is always more than one person who wants to be a leader", continues Fr. Donald.
The mission of the Church through its political commitment, the missionary points out, "it is not to conquer any power. The political commitment that our Christian faith requires is simply a commitment to a new order in a society in which peace and justice reign, achieved by men and women of integrity and great morality. Mgr. Monsengwo’s sentence is prophetic and will always remain in the memories: 'Que les médiocres dégagent!'
And he concludes: "The resignation of Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo is certainly the end of an era, but also the beginning of a new era in which the African Church is nourished by the Cardinal's legacy and remains free from her fears and ready to offer herself in sacrifice to make justice and equality tangible realities for the poor and the marginalized in Africa". (DZ/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 5/11/2018)