- Apr 9, 2021
Catholic bishops in the Democratic Republic of Congo “deplore” that the human rights situation in the country has worsened in recent months under President Felix Tsisekedi, especially since initial progress was made when the president came to power three years ago.
On Tuesday evening Pope Francis sent a telegram to Italy’s president conveying his sorrow for the death of country’s ambassador to Democratic Republic of the Congo, who died Monday in an apparent kidnapping attempt.
Italian Ambassador Luca Attanasio was remembered by his parish priest as a “light that breaks through the fog, illuminates and warms,” after he was killed in an attack in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
A leading Catholic aid agency has condemned what it calls “cyclical violence and continuing human rights abuses targeting civilian populations in North Kivu and Ituri Provinces” of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
A Congolese bishop has urged international action to stem massacres in his diocese and accused the country’s government and media of indifference to current sufferings.
Last year, Pope Francis called the Zairean Rite “the only inculturated rite of the Latin Church approved after the Second Vatican Council.”
Conflict in the South Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has caused “pervasive” gender-based violence, according to Catholic aid groups.
Catholic bishops in Congo are calling for a special international criminal court to try people suspected of mass killings and human rights abuses in the African country, where thousands of women and girls have been raped by armed men.