The Cardinal further says, “The upcoming visit was also discussed during the meeting of the Council of Cardinals.”
“We talked a little, but he personally is a good Jesuit who has a sense of work, a sense of duty; his knee pain does not enter into his current vision in terms of modifying or not modifying his program,” Cardinal Ambongo has been quoted as saying, adding, “Naturally, we take into account his current health in these preparations.”
He adds, “With the government, we are trying to take measures not to add to his fatigue. That is why the current program is still tentative.”
Pope Francis is expected to arrive in the capital of DRC, Kinshasa, on July 2 in his two-African-nation pastoral trip that is to see him proceed to South Sudan in an ecumenical trip alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, Jim Wallace.
In his four-day pastoral visit to DRC, the Holy Father is scheduled to meet the people of God in the cities of Kinshasa and Goma, the latter city being the capital of North Kivu Province in Eastern DRC.
When realized, the July 2-7 pastoral trip to the two African countries will mark Pope Francis’ third visit to sub-Saharan Africa. The journey will be the third Papal trip to DRC, which is home to Africa's largest Catholic population.
In the May 20 report, Cardinal Ambongo also reflects on the issues the Holy Father is likely to address during his visit.
He says, “The pope will exhort Pastors in DRC to look at the misery of our people; that we do not give the impression of living in a world where everything is perfect while the bulk of our population lives in total misery.
The member of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin (OFM Cap) adds in reference to the possible message of the Holy Father on the need for Pastors to serve the needy in DR Congo, “I believe that the Pope will come back to this with the need to give people comfort, to take the people seriously.”
“With the insecurity in the East, he will come back to this to send us to our own responsibility,” the Cardinal who has been at the helm of Kinshasa Archdiocese since November 2018 has been quoted as saying in the May 20 report.