AFRICA/DEMOCRATIC CONGO - “Reconciliation and good government”: local Catholic Church adopts education plan to restore authentic peace all over the country

Thursday, 15 March 2007

Kinshasa (Fides Service)- The local Catholic Church is launching second stage of its programme of education to peace which successfully prepared the people to play their rightful role in the recent elections last year (see Fides 16 November 2006). The second stage is titled “Promoting Reconciliation and Good Government”.
The Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference held a seminar to plan the programme. The Seminar held 5-10 March at the Theresianum Centre in Kinshasa was attended by 120 including commission members, 47 delegates from the JP commissions of the country’s 47 dioceses, representatives of the local Union of Religious Superiors.
In the final statement the participants said since this church activity to promote civic and electoral education is a form of apostolate, it must be supervised by the local Bishop and be inserted in the regular pastoral plan of the respective diocese.
The new 5 year programme to promote “Reconciliation and good government” is a continuation of the first which aimed to increase awareness of the importance of voting. The new programme was presented on 15 February and addresses four main issues: reconciliation and forgiveness; good government with the participation of the people; adult education to eradicate illiteracy; education of children and young people.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is at last on the path to democracy after 40 years of the regime of President Mobutu (deposed 10 years ago) and civil war. Last year’s elections won by President Joseph Kabila marked the end of a period of transition foreseen by the peace agreement to prepare the country for elections. However civil war left hearts filled with hatred and desperation and local Church’s programme of education to peace is indispensable and effective. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 15/3/2007 righe 31 parole 353)