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Pope Francis Visits Two African Nations: Democratic Republic of the Congo & South Sudan February 1st, 2023
Pope Francis’ much anticipated visit — his fifth to the African continent since becoming pope in 2013 and the first papal visit to Congo since Pope John Paul II visited in 1985 — comes following a postponement in July 2022 due to the pope’s ongoing issues with his knee. The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate has a significant presence in the Congo.
As Francis arrived on Jan. 31, tens of thousands of onlookers cheered, danced and waved banners and flags bearing images of the pontiff as they lined the main road from the airport to the city center, along the pope’s route through town.
After three days in Congo, Francis will travel to war-torn South Sudan for a historic visit with leaders of the Church of England and Church of Scotland for what Francis has described as a “pilgrimage of peace.”
Read the full story at National Catholic Reporter online.
Related stories around the web:
‘Hands off Africa,’ Pope Francis tells rich world – REUTERS
Pope Francis is in Democratic Republic of Congo, its first papal visit since 1985 – NPR
VIDEO – Pope Francis during Mass in D.R. of Congo: “The Lord says to you: Lay down your arms” – ROME REPORTS
VIDEO – Highlights – RDC, First day Pope Francis in RDC, 31 January 2023, Pope Francis – VATICAN NEWS
On 30th June 2010, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its independence from Belgium. The DRC has been described as the ‘heart of Africa’ and is home to enormous natural wealth and resources. However, for the last two decades, Congo has been caught up in armed conflict described as one the world’s deadliest. The fighting in the eastern DRC is fueled in large part by conflict minerals which include coltan (columbite-tantalite), cassiterite (tin ore) and wolframite (tungsten). These metals are used in consumer electronics such as cell phones and laptop computers. The Congo conflict has left millions of people dead. Thousands of women have been victimized by rape and countless children have been kidnapped to serve as child soldiers.
Marking the 50th Independence anniversary during the annual meeting of the Catholic Bishops, Bishop Nicolas Djomo, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Congo, said that the independence anniversary is an opportune time to offer prayers of thanks to God for a sense of belonging to a united nation and to ask God’s forgiveness for omissions and opportunities lost. He went on further to say that the anniversary is a time to renew a commitment to promoting the common good and national solidarity.
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