“Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo is in a critical condition. He could be evacuated for appropriate care abroad,” Fr. Georges Njila says in a statement, and implores, “Lord, come to the aid of your servant. Grant him healing.”
Cardinal Monsengwo who retired in November 2018 is known for his public criticism of the DRC government.
In February, the Laity Coordination Committee (CLC) in DRC recognized Cardinal Monsengwo Pasinya for his “concrete and exceptional acts,” giving him the Bakanja-Kimbangu Grand Citizen Merit Award.
Addressing members of the Press after receiving the award, Cardinal Monsengwo paid homage to Isidore Bakanja and Simon Kimbangu saying, “The title of this award by which you honour Dr. Mukwege and myself is striking. Bakanja-Kimbangu brings into peaceful coexistence a blessed Catholic and a founder of traditional African religions.”
The Congolese Cardinal who was at the helm of Kinshasa Archdiocese from February 2008 until his retirement 10years later added, “If religious affiliation separates these two historical figures, the same values and intellectual convictions bring them together, the most fundamental of which is the dignity of the human person as a human creature.”
He went on to acknowledge with appreciation efforts being made by the members of CLC, sometimes at the risk of their lives, to be in all circumstances and at the heart of our society as “witnesses of Christ and to inscribe the divine law in the DRC.”
Ordained a Priest in 1963 and then a Bishop in February 1980, the Cardinal served in various capacities including, Auxiliary Bishop of Inongo, Auxiliary Bishop of Kisangani, Archbishop of Kisangani, and Archbishop of Kinshasa.
The Congolese Prelate who served as a member of the Vatican’s Council of Cardinals, whose members have the responsibility of advising Pope Francis was elevated to Cardinal on 20 November 2010.
Cardinal Monsengwo was appointed to the Vatican’s Council of Cardinals at its establishment in April 2013 and served as a member until his resignation in October 2018, a month before he retired as the Local Ordinary of the Archdiocese of Kinshasa.
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.