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Church-mediated Congo talks at impasse; cardinal appeals for calm

December 26, 2016

The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s leading prelate appealed for calm and for respect for the constitution after talks between supporters and opponents of President Joseph Kabila reached an impasse.

Kabila, the nation’s ruler since 2001, has stayed in office beyond his constitutional mandate and has declined to call new elections. The nation’s episcopal conference is acting as a mediator to end the crisis.

In his Christmas homily, Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, a member of the Pope’s nine-member Council of Cardinal Advisers, preached on the Gospel of Christmas before turning to the nation’s political situation.

“The peace of Christmas excludes assassinations, killings, violence,” Cardinal Monsengwo preached. “It involves justice, love, truth … one who respects the constitution has nothing to fear from justice. Those whose rights are violated sense they are protected by the same constitution.”


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