, 29 June, 2020 / 10:00 PM
Pope Francis on Monday, June 29 appointed four new Bishops in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), three of them to serve as Auxiliary Bishops in the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Kinshasa.
The Holy Father appointed Msgr. Jean-Crispin Kimbeni Ki Kanda, Fr. Vincent Tshomba Shamba Kotsho, and Fr. Charles Ndaka Salabisala as Auxiliary Bishops for the 6,897,000-member Archdiocese of Kinshasa in DRC.
In the June 29 announcement of resignations and appointments involving the Church in Africa published by the Holy See Press Office, Pope Francis also appointed Fr. Bernard Marie Fansaka Biniama as the new Bishop of Popokabaka Diocese in central DRC.
Msgr. Jean-Crispin, Fr. Vincent and Fr. Charles will join Fridolin Cardinal Ambongo in shepherding the people of God in Kinshasa Archdiocese, which is home to 1,202 priests, 143 deacons and 3,038 religious brothers and sisters.
Msgr. Jean-Crispin is a Clergy of the Archdiocese of Kinshasa where he was ordained a priest in 1999. Until his appointment, he has been serving as an official in the Vatican-based Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and as Parish Administrator of Santa Maria Assunta in Cielo, Borgo Pineto in Italy’s Diocese of Civita Castellana.
He holds a master’s degree in bioethics obtained in 2011 from the Camillianum International Institute, Rome, which is affiliated to the Pontifical Lateran University. He also holds a doctorate in Health Pastoral Theology obtained from the same institution in 2019.
The 51-year-old Cleric also holds a licentiate in philosophy and a professional teaching qualification obtained from the Catholic University of the Congo in 2001.
Fr. Vincent who is also Clergy of Kinshasa Archdiocese has been serving as Parish Priest of “Saint Albert le Grand.” He was ordained a Priest in 1990.
In his 30 years of priesthood, the Congolese Bishop-elect has served in various capacities in the Archdiocese of Kinshasa such as Parish Priest, Parish Vicar, Diocesan Chaplain of Justice and Peace, and member of the Presbyterial council.
Fr. Charles is a Clergy of DRC’s Popokabaka Diocese. Until his appointed, he has been the Rector of St. Cyprian Major Theological Inter-Diocesan Seminary in Kikwit.
Ordained a Priest in 2001, the 47-year-old Cleric pursued his higher studies in Spain. He has a doctorate in Dogmatic Theology and a master’s degree in psychology from the University of Navarra-Pamplona.
Fr. Bernard Marie Fansaka Biniama who has been appointed as the Bishop of Popokabaka Diocese in central DRC is expected to succeed Bishop Louis Nzala Kianza who resigned at the age of 74.
“The Holy Father has accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Popokabaka, Democratic Republic of the Congo, presented by Bishop Louis Nzala Kianza,” the Holy See Press office announced June 29.
Until his appointment, Fr. Bernard has been serving as formator at St. Augustin Inter-Diocesan Seminary of philosophy in Kalonda in the Kasai-Occidental province of DRC.
A priest of DRC’s Kenge Diocese, the 61-year-old Bishop-elect was ordained a priest in February 1988.
He holds a licentiate in Biblical Theology from Université Catholique du Congo (UCC), previously called the Faculté Catholique de Kinshasa. He also obtained a doctorate in Biblical Theology from the Université Catholique de Yaoundé in Cameroon.
The Bishop-elect founded the Centre des Études Ethnologiques et Sociologiques de Bandundu (CEESBA), in Bandundu-Ville in 2003.
The Congolese Bishop-elect has served as moderator of the Diocesan Clergy in Kenge and Provincial Secretary of the Political and Social Commission of the Episcopal Assembly of the Ecclesiastical Province of Kinshasa.
When ordained Bishop, he will be overseeing the 59-year-old Diocese with an estimated 685,000 Catholic population under the patronage of the Holy Family of Nazareth. Popokabaka Diocese has 19 parishes served by 53 diocesan Priests and 14 religious Priests; 30 religious men and 81 religious women as well as 29 seminarians, according to 2015 statistics.
ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa