Pope Francis Condemns “the unacceptable assault” on Catholic Hospital in DR Congo

General audience with Pope Francis on 26 Oct0ber 2022. Credit: Vatican Media

Pope Francis has condemned “the unacceptable assault” on the Catholic Mission hospital in the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that resulted in the loss of seven lives, including that of a Catholic Nun.

Sr. Dr. Marie-Sylvie Kavuke Vakatsuraki was among the seven people that were killed during the October 20 attack when alleged members of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) raided Maboya village, targeting, among others, the “Centre de Santé de Référence de Maboya”, which is a health facility of Diocesan Office of Medical Works (BDOM) of DRC’s Butembo-Beni Diocese.

I express my firm regret at the unacceptable assault that took place in recent days in Maboya, in the province of North Kivu, where defenseless people were killed, including a religious engaged in health care,” the Holy Father said at the end of his general audience, Wednesday, October 26.

Pope Francis called for prayers for the victims of the attack and their families as well as the Christian community in the Congolese region who he said “have been exhausted by violence for too long.”

The attack on the Catholic hospital was, reportedly, carried out by ADF members under the leadership of a Muslim who abandoned his Christian faith.


The ADF soldiers, an ISIS affiliated rebel group from neighboring Uganda, are said to have made away with “drugs and medical equipment, and set the hospital on fire.” 

ADF members have reportedly heightened attacks in the Eastern DRC in recent months. According to, ADF militants are on a mission to Islamize the DRC. 

In February, a Catholic Priest of the Order of Clerics Regular Minor (Caracciolini or Adorno Fathers - CRM) was “assassinated” by armed men in the Territory of Lubero (North-Kivu), while he was returning to his Parish of St. Michael the Archangel of Butembo-Beni Diocese after the celebration of the World Day of Consecrated Life. 

The lifeless body of Fr. Richard Masivi Kasereka was found in his car in DRC’s Vusesa area, between Kirumba and Mighobwe, in North-Kivu.

Fr. Kasereka was laid to rest on February 5 at St. Joseph Cemetery in Musienene after a Funeral Mass at the Sanctuary of St. Francis of Assisi Kaghuntura in Butembo-Beni Diocese.

More in Africa

On October 4, some 20 Christians were killed in Kainama, North-Kivu, reported, adding that “there have been daily reports of ADF attacks in North-Kivu and Ituri Provinces.”

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.