Pope Francis Appoints “special envoy” to DR Congo’s June Eucharistic Congress

Pope Francis has appointed Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, the Pro-Prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization, as his special envoy to the third National Eucharistic Congress in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) scheduled for June this year.

The National Eucharistic Congress had been postponed from June 2020 to a later date due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The appointment of Cardinal Tagle as the Holy Father’s special envoy to DRC’s Eucharistic Congress to be celebrated in Lubumbashi from June 4-11 was made public by the Holy See Press office on Thursday, April 13.

The Pro-Prefect of the Dicastery that has merged the former Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization is also the President of Caritas Internationalis.

The 65-year-old Filipino Cardinal also serves as the President of the Catholic Biblical Federation (CBF), which is the “Catholic world fellowship of administratively distinct international and local organizations committed to biblical pastoral ministry.” The federation is divided into regions and sub-regions, including Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Oceania, North America, and Latin America.


He was unanimously elected during the October 2014 ordinary meeting of the Executive Committee of CBF and had his election confirmed by Pope Francis in March 2015, taking over from Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia.

Members of the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) had expressed their desire to see Pope Francis grace the spiritual event.

“We wish to see the Holy Father Pope Francis take part in these meetings,” Bishop Melchisédech Sikuli Paluku was quoted as saying in a September 2019 report, adding, “We hope that Pope Francis will visit Congo on this occasion; it would be a good thing for us.”

The June 2023 Congress is the third one in the Central African nation after the first one that was held in Kisantu, in the Western part of the country in 1933 followed by the second one that was held in the country’s capital, Kinshasa, in 1980.

In the September 2019 report, Bishop Sikuli of Butembo-Beni Diocese is said to have sensitized the faithful about the Congress, saying that it is “an opportunity to show our faith in the Eucharist, which is the sign of the presence of the dead and risen Jesus, who is in our midst.”

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“This great ecclesial event of high spiritual significance will be for the Church-Family of God in the DRC a strong time of prayer and spiritual renewal,” Bishop Sikuli said.

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.