Diocese of Bukavu: Daughters of Resurrection. Diocese of Bukavu: Daughters of Resurrection.  (Copyright: Aid to the Church in Need)

DRC: Church authorities and the Government meet to start preparing for Pope Francis’ visit.

The National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have held their first joint meeting as they embark on preparations for Pope Francis' visit to the country, July 2 to 5,

Cisa - Kinshasa, DRC.

The meeting brought together DRC’s Prime Minister Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde, Archbishop Ettore Balestrero, the Apostolic Nuncio to DRC, representatives of CENCO and senior government officials. The focus of the meeting held Thursday was to begin preparations for the papal visit.

Government and Church working together

According to the Minister of Communications and Media, who doubles up as the spokesperson of the Government, the meeting involved among other matters, the setting up of various preparatory committees.

“You remember that recently the Prime Minister, together with the Apostolic Nuncio and the entire hierarchy of CENCO, announced this great event, namely the arrival of the Pope. Since then, several activities have taken place both at the level of the Church and that of the Government,” said Mr Patrick Muyaya, the spokesperson.

He added, “Today, we have agreed to work more closely to see how we can organise a worthy visit that the Pope deserves,” he said.

The Prime Minister has instructed the various sectors of communication, logistics, finances and others to immediately outline guidelines for committees to start working.

“At the level of communication, at the level of logistics, of stewardship, at the level of finances … the committees will present reports regularly. There will be meetings like this until the Pope arrives. This is to make sure that things are done as they should be done,” emphasised Mr Muyaya.

The Pope is coming for everyone

The Apostolic Nuncio said the visit is not only for Catholic Christians alone but is meant for all Congolese, regardless of their beliefs. The Pope’s visit is intended to promote the reconciliation of all.

“The Pope comes not only for Catholics. He comes for everyone. He wants to see everyone. This is why we are committed to preparing the event well. The Church must do the more specific preparatory work concerning the essential aspects of the Pope’s visit ... The Pope comes to lead us to Jesus and to invite everyone to reconciliation,” said Archbishop Balestrero.

01 April 2022, 22:55