AFRICA/DR CONGO - A Carmelite: "The Congolese Church plays a fundamental role in the pacification process of the Country"

Saturday, 5 September 2020 wars   peace   coronavirus   corruption   ebola   healthcare  

Lubumbashi (Agenzia Fides) - "Congo is experiencing a profound social crisis, poverty and precariousness: at the origin of these problems, there is the interest of a minority in having all the wealth of the Country. Not even the coronavirus pandemic has managed to pacify the warring parties because there are interests for which human life seems to be worth little". This is what Father Christian Muta, a Congolese priest of the Order of Discalced Carmelites who works in "Les Buissonnets" convent of Lubumbashi reports to Agenzia Fides, speaking of the difficult situation in the African country.
More than three months after the heartfelt appeal launched by the Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres first, and then by Pope Francis, for a "universal ceasefire", the missionary notes: "Here, the echo of Francis’ message - the Carmelite remarked - received a very weak and absolutely insufficient response in convincing the majority of belligerents to lay down their arms".
Even the celebrations for the 60th anniversary of independence from Belgium, which the Democratic Republic of Congo celebrated on 30 June last, took place in a climate of tension: "Political instability, endemic poverty, despite the great resources, the presence of coronavirus and the news of a new Ebola outbreak in western regions make the current moment very critical", notes Father Muta. Among all these factors, the war has the greatest weight: "Clashes have been bleeding the north-east of the Country for decades - he reports - and generate half a million internal refugees as well as hundreds of thousands of external ones".
"The Church, in this context, plays a very important role - says Father Christian - the Bishops in fact invite the faithful to pray for reconciliation and are active in the dioceses, contesting attempts of corruption and pointing out that the parliamentary majority does not care about the good of people". "The community of the baptized - he concludes - communicates prophetic courage to the people and is faithfully alongside those most in need, announcing the Gospel that frees and calls to conversion and profound peace". (ES) (Agenzia Fides, 5/9/2020)