DRC's new Ambassador to the Holy See.
Stanislas Kambashi,SJ - Vatican City.
The new Ambassador met Pope Francis, in the Vatican, for the presentation of Letters of Credence. After he met with the Holy Father, the Congolese diplomat granted an interview to Vatican News.
Déogratias Ndagano Mangokube described the cordial welcome and atmosphere he experienced during the meeting with the Holy Father. He then dwelt on the mission he received upon his appointment as Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the Democratic Republic of Congo to the Holy See.
Enhancing relations with the Holy See
"To build relations and enhance the image of Congo, the first Catholic country in Africa," is the mission received by Ambassador Mangokube from his country. For this to happen, the diplomat intends to listen to his compatriots. "I hope that the Congolese people will share their points of view with me so that together we can see what there is to improve and initiate for the future," he said.
He added that one of his duties is to "ensure follow-up and monitoring of the agreements signed between the Congolese State and the Holy See."
The Catholic Church's contribution to the DRC
The Congolese diplomat further stressed the critical contribution of the Catholic Church to the life of the Congolese. He highlighted several educational and training structures, such as "nursery, primary, secondary and university institutions."
For him, these are excellent services that the Church renders to the State beyond religious affiliation.
"Many Congolese who have studied in Catholic schools are contributing to the public affairs of the State," he said. Ambassador Mangokube considers this complementarity between the State and the Church a "value" to be safeguarded for the good of the vast central African country and its people.
The Pope has not forgotten the DRC
"The Congolese continue to wait for the arrival of the Pope in the DRC," said the Congolese diplomat. The Ambassador confided to Vatican News that he presented an African wax print fabric to Pope Francis, known locally as Kitenge. The colourful Kitenge is common in most of Africa. The Ambassador presented the Pope with a Kitenge that has his image. It was initially designed for the postponed Apostolic Journey, which was to have taken place in July 2022. Ambassador Mangokube said he felt reassured to hear from the Pope that "he has not forgotten the Congo" and that a trip to the country is on his agenda.
An invitation to Congolese nationals in Italy
Ambassador Mangokube reiterated his invitation the Congolese in Italy to develop a close relationship with "their embassy." This will enable them understand the difference between what the embassy to the Holy See does and the role of the other embassy of the DRC to the Republic of Italy.
"In Africa, we are the first Catholic country, and, beyond religion, the actions undertaken by the Catholic Church contribute to the development of the country; this is why Congo has considered it necessary to have a permanent diplomatic representation with the Holy See," he explained.