Kinshasa, 12 January, 2023 / 8:50 pm (ACI Africa).
The planned Papal visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) set to begin at the end of this month is an opportunity for Pope Francis to show his “friendship, solidarity, and closeness” with the people of God in the Central African nation, the Apostolic Nuncio in the country has said.
Addressing journalists on Monday, January 9 about preparations for the January 31-February 3 Papal visit, Archbishop Ettore Balestrero highlighted the importance of the Papal trip for the Congolese people.
“The visit of Pope Francis to the Democratic Republic of Congo is justified by the fact that the DRC is the 6th or 7th Catholic country in the world and 1st in Africa. The first bishop in black Africa was Congolese,” Archbishop Balestrero told journalists at the Ministry of Communication and Media in Kinshasa.
He said, “DRC is a country that summarizes the 'magisterium of the Pope' in the face of various challenges, mission, evangelization, immigration, etc.”
“The Pope wants to show through this visit the friendship, solidarity, sympathy and closeness of the universal Church towards the Catholic Church in DRC,” Archbishop Balestrero further said.