Church in DR Congo Organizes Eucharistic Congress, Anticipates Pope’s Participation

National Eucharistic Congress in DR Congo

Catholic Church leaders in DR Congo are overseeing plans toward their national Eucharistic Congress next June and are hoping that the Holy Father will be able to grace the occasion.

“The Eucharistic Congress is an opportunity to show our faith in the Eucharist, which is the sign of the presence of the dead and risen Jesus, who is in our midst” Bishop Melchisédech Sikuli Paluku said September 20 as he sensitized the faithful about the Congress.

“This great ecclesial event of high spiritual significance will be for the Church-Family of God in the DRC a strong time of prayer and spiritual renewal,” the Bishop of Butembu-Beni added.

According to the Prelate, the Congress scheduled for next year will also be “a public, solemn and community manifestation of the faith to which all the sons and daughters of the Catholic Church as well as men and women of goodwill are invited.”

As the church prepares for the Congress, the bishops are also hopeful that Pope Francis will be able to grace the June 2020 event.


“We wish to see the Holy Father Pope Francis take part in these meetings," Bishop Sikuli has been quoted as saying, recalling how in 2017, the Holy Father cancelled his scheduled apostolic visit to the Central African nation when the country “was experiencing an uncertain socio-political situation.”

“We hope that Pope Francis will visit Congo on this occasion, it would be a good thing for us," he stressed.

In an interview with UN radio, the then Papal representative in DR Congo Archbishop Luis Mariano Montemayor announced that  the visit would not happen until after elections for fear that the visit would be used for political mileage.

“The Pope wanted to come, the Nuncio had said and explained, “The Holy See has made clear to the Congolese authorities that his visit is conditioned on the organization of the elections which are established by its constitution.”

“Before that (election), there is a danger of manipulation and exploitation of the Holy Father’s visit, either to support the continuation of an illegitimate government or for those who hope to expel the regime according to the popular movements,” he added.

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The Congress, which is being organized by the Episcopal Conference of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is scheduled for June 7 -14, 2020 in Lubumbashi, South East of the country under the theme “Eucharist and Family”.

The Congress will be the third for the Church in DR Congo. The first one was held in Kisantu in 1933 and the second one in Kinshasa in 1980.