Pope Francis Appoints Apostolic Administrator for DRC’s Popokabaka Diocese

Mons. Cyrille Ikomba Mankelele Mambi, appointed Apostolic Administrator to help in shepherding the Diocese of Popokabaka in DR Congo. Credit: CENCO

After considering the state of health of the Local Ordinary of Popokabaka Diocese in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Pope Francis has appointed Mons. Cyrille Ikomba Mankelele Mambi as an apostolic Administrator to help in shepherding the Diocese.

The appointment of of Mons. Mankelele Mambi to help the 64-year-old Bishop Bernard Marie Fansaka Biniama in administering the Congolese Diocese was made public on Sunday, June 9, and confirmed by the Members of the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) on Wednesday, June 12.

“The Apostolic Nunciature in DR Congo asks your General Secretariat to inform you that His Holiness Pope Francis, having considered the state of health of His Excellency Mgr. Bernard-Marie Fansaka, Bishop of Popokabaka, has kindly appointed as Apostolic Administrator Sede plena et ad nutum Sanctae of the said Diocese, Fr. Cyrille Ikomba Mankelele Mambi,” CENCO members said in the statement.

They added, “The CENCO General Secretariat extends its warmest congratulations to the new Apostolic Administrator and wishes him a fruitful ministry in the Church-Family of God in Popokabaka Diocese.”

Born in October 1969 in Ghana, Mons. Mankelele Mambi was ordained a Priest for Popokabaka Diocese in July 1998 after completing his philosophical and theological studies at the Grand Séminaire Interdiocésain Saint Augustin and Saint Cyprien de Kikwit, respectively.


After 15 years of his priestly ministry, he pursued a course in Journalism at the Institut Facultaire des Sciences de l'Information et de la Communication (IFASIC) in Kinshasa and earned a degree in social communication from the same university.

He obtained a Master's degree in Theology (Ecumenism and Religion) from Domuni Universitas and a Licentiate in Social Communication with Great distinction from the Université Catholique du Congo (UCC).

Mons. Mankelele Mambi also holds a degree in Licentiatus in Scientis Religiosis with Summa cum Laude from Pontificia Studiorum Universitas A S. Thoma Aq in Urbe, Facultas Sacrae Theologiae.

The holder of a Diploma in advanced studies in Information and Communication Sciences from IFASIC has been a doctoral student (PhD1) in Religious Sciences at Domuni Universitas in Belgium since 2021.

Mons. Mankelele Mambi has carried out several pastoral duties in the Diocese including a teacher at Lycée Kilengo/Paroisse Notre Dame de l'Espérance in Mukila, at Institut Tutondele/Paroisse Sainte Catherine de Sienne/Suka Mbundu, at ITAV/Paroisse Saint André/Kasinsi and Prefect at Lycée Tokama/Paroisse Sainte Catherine de Sienne/Suka Mbundu.

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In higher and university education, he has been a trainer and spiritual animator at the Grand séminaire provincial de théologie St Cyprien de Kikwit.  He is a visitor at the Grand séminaire interdiocésain de philosophie St Augustin de Kalonda, the Université Catholique du Grand Bandundu and the Université Protestante au Coeur du Congo de Mbuji Mayi.

Mons. Mankelele Mambi has been a researcher at the Centre de Recherche en Sciences Sociales de Bandundu at the Kasongo-Lunda Station since 2013, where he holds the rank of Attaché de Recherche.

He also served as the President of the Diocesan Commission for Social Communication and of the Pastoral Ministry for Children and Young People, with residence in Kinshasa.

Mons. Mankelele Mambi is expected to assist in administering the diocese that was erected in June 1961 as the Diocese of Kisantu before being elevated to Popokabaka Diocese.

The Diocese that is part of the Metropolitan See of Kinshasa has 906,350 Catholics representing 57.7 percent of the total population in the Episcopal See, according to the 2021 statistics.


Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.