DR Congo: Former Pax Christi International President seen as leader in the dissident movement in the DRC


30/1/18 - An article in La Croix International outlines how the church has taken on a dissident role in the DR Congo. As the only remaining effective national institution, the Catholic Church has emerged as a bulwark against the government’s autocratic drift. Central to the article is an exploration of the role of Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, former president of Pax Christi International.

The article reads, "As archbishop of Kinshasa since 2007, Cardinal Monsengwo Pasinya became known for his frontline role in the final years of Mobutu’s reign during the 1990s. After initially presiding over the National Sovereign Conference, he later presided over the transition parliament as well as the High Council for the Republic from 1992 to 1996. His detractors say that he would have been happy to succeed Mobutu. In 2011, he condemned the election of Joseph Kabila as a 'masquerade' in which he said the 'published results do not conform with truth or justice.' The following year, when French president François Hollande was hesitating whether to take part in the Francophonie Summit in Kinshasa, Cardinal Monsengwo Pasinya was one of the rare personalities who called on him not to do so because of the controversial election of Joseph Kabila. In Rome, he was highly appreciated by Pope Benedict XVI, who made him a cardinal in 2010. In 2013, Pope Francis appointed him to his council of cardinals known as the G8.

“He is a man of great wisdom. He never gets angry and he speaks to you with a penetrating voice", noted Bishop Marc Stenger of Pax Christi France, who knows him through the Pax Christi International movement. "You can feel his extraordinary experience in governing people", Bishop Stenger added...

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Cardinal Monsengwo, DRC, DR Congo