Congolese Minister: Pope’s visit “historic and symbolic”

The communications minister for the DRC notes that “millions of Congolese lined the streets” to welcome the Pope, and praises his speech calling for peace.

By Joseph Tulloch

Patrick Muyaya Katembwe, Communications Minister for the Democratic Republic of Congo, has welcomed Pope Francis’ visit to the country in an interview with Vatican News.

He said the trip was “historic and symbolic”, and that the speech the Pope gave shortly after his arrival was “exactly what the Congolese people were expecting".

DRC “very happy” to receive Pope

In a short message in English, Mr Katembwe said that the DRC was “very happy to receive the Pope here.”

In reference to the Pontiff’s words on the subject of peace, delivered on the first day of his visit, he said that “the speech he delivered yesterday was exactly what the Congolese people were expecting from him.”

“We hope that all those people he mentioned in his speech will work more to stop the war in DRC and to bring back security in the East especially,” he added.

Pope’s remarks “very clear”

In further comments, made in French, Mr Katembwe called the Pope’s visit “historic and symbolic”, and noted that “millions of Congolese lined the streets to welcome him”.

“We’re very happy to have heard his speech yesterday,” Mr Katembwe “because he was very clear, and he said things in a very hard way, and we hope that those who listened to it, the ones who understood his message, will act for the return of peace to the DRC."

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01 February 2023, 10:41