“Every call comes from God and he passes through his Church to communicate it,” the Archbishop of Bangui says, adding that “many of us hear this call from God as religious, where we listen, welcome and dialogue with respect for others.”
A member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Cardinal Nzapalainga attracted international attention when Pope Francis appointed him a Cardinal in November 2016. At the age of 49 at the time, he was the youngest member of the College of Cardinals.
Weeks after his appointment to the College of Cardinals, the Archbishop of Bangui visited Rome’s Mosque in a gesture intended to promote interreligious dialogue between Christians and Muslims.
The 53-year-old Prelate, who has been at the helm of the Archdiocese of Bangui since July 2012, has been described as “one of the saints of Bangui” for his efforts to put an end to the Muslim and Christian violent conflict in CAR, Ozarrksfirst.com reported.
In 2015, Cardinal Nzapalainga alongside Imam Oumar Kobine Layama and Pastor Nicolas Guérékoyaméné-Gbangou received an international award for their role in preventing sectarian war in their country.
Another African Prelate joining PCID that was initially established as the Secretariat for Non-Christians by Pope Paul VI on the Pentecost Sunday 1964 is 76-year-old Archbishop Paul Desfarges of the Archdiocese of Algiers.
A member of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), Archbishop Desfarges serves in the predominantly Muslim nation of Algeria and has been at the helm of the Regional Episcopal Conference of North Africa (CERNA) since 2015.
The French native has been ministering in Africa since 1976 when he was commissioned to the Algerian town of Constantine.
In 2018, Archbishop Desfarges led other members of CERNA to propose that interreligious dialogue be used as a way of promoting equity in the Maghreb countries, CISA reported.
“Developments in our societies in North Africa are increasingly debating the recognition of religious pluralism and freedom of conscience,” the members of CERNA were quoted as saying.