By Vatican News staff writer
In a telegram addressed to Congolese Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo Besengu, Pope Francis recalled the service of the Archbishop Emeritus of Kinshasa, who died Sunday in a French hospital.
Expressing his sadness for the death of Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, the Pope said he sends his deepest condolences to the Church and the faithful in the Democratic Republic of Congo and to the Cardinal’s family.
Asking the Father of all mercy to welcome him into His peace and light, he described Cardinal Monsengwo as a “man of science, great spiritual man and Pastor intensely devoted to the service of the Church, wherever he was called.”
The Cardinal, he continued, was attentive to the needs of the faithful, filled with courage and determination. “He dedicated his life as a priest and bishop to the inculturation of the faith and to the preferential option for the poor. In this way, he embodied the prophetic mission of the Church. A man of justice, peace and unity, he has been deeply involved in integral human development in the Democratic Republic of Congo.”
Cardinal Monsengwo, Pope Francis continued, “was a great and respected figure in the ecclesial, social and political life of the nation and was always committed to dialogue and reconciliation of his people. His contribution has been significant for the progress of the country. A faithful and close collaborator in recent years, he has not ceased to make his contribution to the life of the universal Church.”
In his telegram, the Pope concluded imparting his Apostolic Blessing upon the Archbishop of Kinshasa, the auxiliary bishops, the priests, the consecrated persons, the family of the deceased Cardinal and his relatives, the diocesan faithful and all those who will take part in the celebration of the funeral.