Attacks on Priests and Nuns reported in Democratic Republic of Congo
Agenzia Fides is reporting the disturbing news from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that “From Kinshasa to North-Kivu, churches, convents and Catholic schools are vandalized, looted and attacked by armed bandits, rebels or other uncivilized persons.”
An NGO agency, CEPADHO, based in the eastern DRC, has reported to Agenzia Fides that “unknown persons carried out a raid in the parish of Paida in the town of Beni in the province of North Kivu. Three priests, including the treasurer, were tortured. The bandits stole money, computers and other goods. The victims are safe by a miracle.”
CEPADHO believes that these attacks are connected with the Catholic Bishops commitment to a political mediation “that led to the signing of the31 December agreements, which provide for the creation of a government of national unity which will organise the presidential and parliamentarian elections within the year. “
However, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the DRC withdraw from mediation talks between the government and opposition on March 27, 2017, due to rising violence.
The Catholic Herald reported a Press Conference on March 28, at which Archbishop Marcel Utembi Tapa of Kisangani, stated:
“This lack of sincere political will did not allow for an agreement. We are therefore bringing the political impasse in these discussions to national and international attention — as well as the lack of political goodwill and the incapacity of the political and social actors to find a compromise.”
The CEPADHO statement stressed that “the political impasse is not the bishops and the Catholic Church’s fault, but of the Congolese political class that is blocking the implementation of the December 31 agreement”.
The Society of African Missions has 10 missionaries working in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
You may read the Agenzia Fides report here:
And the Catholic Herald Report here: