By Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp
Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, and has appointed Coadjutor-Archbishop Fridolin Ambongo Besungu, OFMCap. as Archbishop of Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo). The Holy See’s Press Office made the announcement in its communiqué on the Feast of All Saints.
Archbishop Ambongo Besungu
The Archbishop was born in 1960 in Boto, in the Diocese of Molegbe. He pronounced vows as a Franciscan in the Order of Friars Minor in 1981, was ordained a priest in 1988, and holds a degree in Moral Theology from the Alphonsianum. Archbishop Besungu has served as a parish priest, professor at the Catholic University of Kinshasa, as a major superior for his Order in the DRC, and as President of the Assembly of Major Superiors (ASUMA). He then became Bishop of the Diocese of Bokungu-Ikela in 2005. In addition, he has served as Apostolic Administrator of Kole and Mbandaka-Bikoro, and as President of the Bishops’ “Justice and Peace” Commission. In 2016 he became Vice-President of the National Episcopal Conference (CENCO) and Coadjutor-Archbishop of Kinshasa.
Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya
Cardinal Pasinya was appointed Archbishop of Kinshasa in December 2007 and was elevated to the College of Cardinals in 2010. At various times during his episcopacy, he has served as a member of the Congregation for Catholic Education, the Pontifical Council for Culture, the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. Benedict XVI chose Cardinal Pasinya to preach the spiritual exercises during Lent to the Roman Curia in 2012. He has served on the Council of Cardinal Advisers (also known as the C-9) since its inception in April 2013.