Catholic Bishop in DR Congo Recommends Countrywide Catechesis on Safeguarding of Creation

Bishop Sébastien Muyengo of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) Uvira Diocese/ Credit: CENCO

The Bishop of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) Uvira Diocese has recommended countrywide catechesis on the safeguarding of creation through Diocesan programs.

Speaking during the conclusion of the four-day workshop on the environment organized by the Episcopal Commission for Natural Resources of the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO), Bishop Sébastien Muyengo said the catechetical programs in all episcopal sees in DRC would be an appropriate response to Pope Francis’ appeal in his Encyclical Letter, Laudato Si’.

Bishop Muyengo called upon Local Ordinaries in the Central African nation to get involved in making the content of Laudato Si’ known.

“I wish to see a whole educational project instituted in the Dioceses of our country in the form of a Catechesis on the safeguarding of creation inspired by the encyclical, Laudato Si’ of Pope Francis,” Bishop Muyengo said Thursday, June 24.

Such a catechesis, he said, should not be “theoretical, but practical through activities such as the planting of trees by children as is the case in some Dioceses.”


The Congolese Bishop went on to highlight some practical ways of the proposed catechesis saying, “There are also works of sanitation to keep our cities and our environment clean. In our villages, we can also initiate work to fence our schools and playgrounds with trees whose seedlings the children will prepare in advance.”

In his address at the opening of the four-day workshop, the Archbishop of Kinshasa, Fridolin Cardinal Ambongo, called upon his brother Bishops to seek ways of protecting the world’s second largest river basin, the Congo Basin.

“It is certainly impossible to avoid the use of products from nature in general and the Congo Basin in particular. However, it is entirely possible to coordinate and rationalize action on nature and especially on the Congo Basin in order to return this universal heritage to its original name of beauty and improve its capacity to offer all humanity its precious services,” Cardinal Ambongo said Monday, June 21.

The Congolese Cardinal added, “Indeed, without a common vision, our politicians spend most of their time defending their own interests and those of their party and sponsors; fighting for a position; being corrupted by string-pullers and fishermen in troubled waters who take the whole province hostage. It is therefore questionable whether they were really elected to represent the people.”

The four-day workshop was organized under the theme, “The Church in DRC facing the challenges of the environment and natural resources for the protection of the Congo Basin and the safeguarding of our common home.”

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Reflecting on theme, Bishop Muyengo said, “The rich natural resources of the Congo Basin are being over-exploited in a context of irresponsibility and indifference, which leads firstly to the fragility of the earth, which is becoming like a dumping ground with toxic waste, deforestation, air and water pollution, which threatens biodiversity and then weakens human life.”

The Local Ordinary of DRC’s Uvira Diocese who doubles as President of the Episcopal Commission for Natural Resources further said, “The laxity of the Congolese State does not favor the management of its mining, forestry, hydraulic, energy, land and agricultural resources, which is not based on any strategic vision.”

“This is why we, the Bishops of CENCO, must get involved in advocacy with regard to a certain number of issues dealt with during these four days, during which evidence was provided to us that, beyond political leanings, differences in beliefs and cultures, the Congolese people, through their intellectual, political, business and entrepreneurial elite, believe in the authority, in the capacity of the Church, of the bishops of CENCO, to reverse the tendency of  laxity, corruption, mismanagement in the management of our natural resources,” the Bishop explained.

The 63-year-old Bishop went on to say, “It would be a real shame if, with all these ideas shared, all these projects planned, all these proposals and recommendations made to various bodies, we were to remain at this point, without things moving forward.”

“The recommendations of the workshop will be integrated into the action plan of the Church-Family of God in the DRC which will be made public in the days ahead,” Bishop Muyengo said.


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.