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Re-launch Exchange Platform Between Church and State, Bishops in Congo Tell Prime Minister

The President of Episcopal Conference of Congo (CEC), Bishop Daniel Mizonzo with Prime Minister Anatole Collinet Makosso during the Monday, November 22 audience. Credit: Presidency of the Republic of Congo.

There is a need “to re-launch” the platform of exchange that existed between the Catholic Church and the State in the Republic of Congo, Bishops have told the leadership of the Central African nation.

Addressing Prime Minister Anatole Collinet Makosso during the Monday, November 22 audience on behalf of the members of the Episcopal Conference of Congo (CEC), Archbishop Victor Abagna Mossa said, “The Congolese State and the Catholic Church need to re-launch the framework for exchange, in order to speak the same language on certain problems of the country.”

“We need to work together for the good of all Congolese,” the Spokesperson of CEC further said, and added, “We need to get back together to work within the framework of this platform, which would allow the Church to make proposals to the State.”

In recent times, members of CEC have clashed with the government of the Congo over the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In June, Catholic Bishops in the Congo expressed the need for resuming public worship in a way that does not put the people of God at risk of contracting COVID-19.

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“Churches have a vital role to play in the fight against this pandemic. The government wants the Church to help sensitize the population on the threats posed by this disease,” the President of CEC, Bishop Daniel Mizonzo told journalists June 2 after meeting with the then Prime Minister, Clement Mouamba.

“How can we effectively sensitize the population if places of worship remain closed?” Bishop Mizonzo posed.

He disclosed that the Bishops have drawn up a document containing proposals for an organized reopening of places of worship.

In his November 22 address to the Prime Minister, Archbishop Mossa said, “The Church has a great role to play in raising awareness on the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“We are also doing the work of sensitization against COVID-19, especially for the respect of preventive measures and encouraging vaccination,” the Local Ordinary of Congo’s Owando Archdiocese said.

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He noted that the Catholic Church is not “against the COVID-19 vaccine” and that the Church leadership will help Christians to get the jab.

On his part, Prime Minister Makosso congratulated Archbishop Bienvenu Manamika Bafouakouahou on his appointment as Archbishop of Brazzaville.

He also expressed gratitude to the Archbishop emeritus, Anatole Milandou, for his fruitful ministry in the Archdiocese of Brazzaville.