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At the Nunciature, the Holy Father attacks armed violence in eastern Congo

Kinshasa, February 2nd, 2023 (CPA).- The armed violence perpetrated in the « East » part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, was condemned by Pope Francis, after a meeting organized on Wednesday at the Apostolic Nunciature of Kinshasa, with the victims of these crimes.

It’s a tragic lie: detestation and violence, especially for those who are Christians, are never acceptable« , denounced the Pope in front of four representatives of the victims who came from different provinces in the East of DRC.

 Pope Francis listened to four raw and heart-breaking accounts from victims of physical and mental abuse in the war ravaging eastern DRC. In a dense speech, the Bishop of Rome united in the pain of the tested people, firmly addressing the “entities” at work in this war. « That’s enough, » said François.

“Do not be seduced by people or groups who incite violence in his name. God is the God of peace and not of war. Preaching hate is blasphemy. Those who live by violence, in fact, never live well,” the sovereign pontiff told them.

Welcoming the extraordinary courage of the four witnesses, Pope Francis invited them to forgive the perpetrators of these serious atrocities.

The Pope blessing one of the victims (Photo Vatican News)

Indignant, Pope Francis quoted “Bunia, Beni-Butembo, Goma, Masisi, Rutshuru, Bukavu, Uvira, places that the international media almost never mention.”

Nor does it mean impunity and the cancellation of atrocities, going on as if nothing had happened. What is asked of us, in the name of peace, in the name of the God of peace, is to demilitarize the heart: Remove poison, reject detestation, defuse greediness, erase resentment,” he prays.

A strong appeal to those who get rich with blood stained money

In addition, the Bishop of Rome launched a vibrant appeal to all people, internal and external entities who pull the strings of the war in DRC, by pillaging, beating and destabilizing it.

You are enriching yourself by the illegal exploitation of the assets of this country and the cruel sacrifice of innocent victims. Hear the cry of their blood: silence the guns, end the war. It’s enough! It is enough to get rich on the backs of the weak, with resources and money stained with blood,” he said, before proposing four types of actions based on two “no” and two “ yes” , respectively detestation, violence and resignation, on the one hand, reconciliation and hope, on the other hand.

There will be no peace in the DRC until it is achieved in the eastern part of the country,” the Pope insisted, sending a strong message to the Congolese in the East: “I am close to you. Your tears are my tears; your pain is my pain”.  The cardinals and bishops accompanying the Pope, Cardinal Ambongo and some national prelates took part in this session.


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