Amid Judicial Enquiry against Him, Cardinal Ambongo Meets DR Congo’s President to “shed light on various points”

Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo with President, Félix Tshisekedi. Credit: Presidency of the Republic of DRC

Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), who is facing a judicial enquiry into allegations of “seditious behavior” that were leveled against him has said that his Thursday, May 16 meeting with the country’s President, Félix Tshisekedi, aimed at clarifying “various points”. 

Addressing journalists after the May 16 meeting that reportedly lasted two hours, Cardinal Ambongo said he requested the audience to “shed light on various points”, and that with the encounter, “everything” has become “clear”. 

On April 27, the Attorney General of the DRC’s Court of Cassation, Firmin Mvonde Manbu, issued a letter ordering the attorney general of Kinshasa’s Matete district court to open an investigation into Cardinal Ambongo’s  alleged “seditious behavior.”

In the letter, Mr. Manbu accused the Congolese Cardinal of issuing “a constant stream of seditious remarks made during press briefings, interviews, and other sermons”, which, according to the Attorney General, served to “discourage the soldiers of the republic’s armed forces” and encourage “the mistreatment of local populations by rebels and other invaders.”

He said that Cardinal Ambongo “deliberately violates people’s consciences and seems to find pleasure in these false rumors and other incitements of the population to revolt against established institutions and acts against human lives.” 


Mr. Manbu further claimed that the Congolese Cardinal declined an April 25 invitation to his office.

The judicial enquiry followed Cardinal Ambongo’s 2024 Easter Message in which he decried the persistent security challenge in DRC, and described the Central African nation as “seriously ill” and in coma.

The Local Ordinary of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kinshasa, who doubles as the President of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) criticized the security agencies in DRC for not being proactive in defending the people and their properties. 

“Beyond the speech we are making here, completely useless speeches, the reality is that the others continue to advance and occupy the East of our country. This is obvious for the simple reason that Congo has no strength to defend the integrity of its country,” Cardinal Ambongo said. 

During the May 16 press conference, Cardinal Ambongo described as a “misunderstanding” the allegations against him, particularly regarding the claim that the government had armed the Rwandan rebels of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). 

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“All the uproar we heard on social media recently, I wanted to meet the head of state. He gave me this opportunity to meet him today. It was a moment of clarification,” he said, and added, “Where men talk, things are clear. It is with a feeling of great satisfaction and gratitude towards the head of state that I leave this (President Tshisekedi’s) office.”

There is “no longer a problem”, the Cardinal further said, and continued, “For me, normally, there is no longer a problem. There was more misunderstanding than a real problem. It was necessary for us to meet to clarify all these subjects that may have created unease. And now that we talked, everything becomes clear.”

The Congolese member of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin (OFM Cap) said that the point of convergence between President Tshisekedi and the Catholic Church is “the well-being of the Congolese people.” 

The Congolese President, the Cardinal said, is fighting on the international stage for the DRC to regain “its serenity and respectability.” 

“We are condemned to work together, hand in hand, for the good of our country, which today is in peril because of the voracity of neighboring countries,” said the Catholic Church leader, who was elevated to Cardinal during the October 2019 Consistory and reappointed to Pope Francis’ Council of Cardinals (C9) after the expiry of the initial October 2020 mandate.


Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.