DR Congo’s Immense Wealth “does not sufficiently benefit” Natives: Catholic Archbishop

Archbishop Fulgence Muteba Mugalu of Lubumbashi Archdiocese in DRC. Credit: CENCO

The natives of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) do not “sufficiently benefit” from the country’s immense wealth, the Catholic Archbishop of Lubumbashi in the Central African nation has said.

Archbishop Fulgence Muteba Mugalu who was speaking during the conclusion of DRC’s third National Eucharistic Congress that his Metropolitan See hosted cautioned the Congolese people against despair amid challenging situations of their lives.

“The Congolese people, a tiny fraction of whom are taking part in this closing Eucharist of our third national congress, live on a territory endowed with immense natural wealth which, unfortunately, does not sufficiently benefit them,” Archbishop Muteba said during the Sunday, June 11 closing Mass that was held at the TP Mazembe Stadium in Lubumbashi.

The Congolese Archbishop continued, “Whether we're talking about copper and cobalt in Katanga, diamonds in the Kasai, timber in the Equatorial or customs revenues from the 9 countries around us, the dividends of this immense wealth are being monopolized by the rare gluttony of a ruling elite and unscrupulous multinationals while the Congolese people who own it, languish in poverty.”

He went on to decry the lavish lifestyle of a section of politicians in the Central African nation amid the misery of ordinary people, which the Catholic Archbishop said continues to worsen amid a "general indifference of the managers of public affairs.”


Archbishop Muteba acknowledged with appreciation the resilience of the Congolese people, urging them to “not despair”.

Making reference to the people of God in DRC, which is home to Africa's largest Catholic population the Catholic Archbishop said, “Thanks to their Christian faith, they firmly believe in a better tomorrow. They are aware that their destiny is in their own hands.”

Held under the theme, “Eucharist and Family”, the national Eucharistic Congress that opened on June 4 was organized after two earlier ones, the first held in Kisantu, in the Western part of the country in 1933, and the second that took place in the country’s capital, Kinshasa, in 1980.

In his closing remarks during the June 11 Holy Mass that the Papal special envoy to DRC’s third Eucharistic Congress, Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, presided over, Archbishop Muteba underscored the value of unity among the people of God in DRC.

“Our presence in this TP Mazembe stadium bears witness to our attachment to the unity of this great country blessed by God, which unfortunately continues to sink into disorder and misery,” he said.

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The 60-year-old Catholic Archbishop who started his Episcopal Ministry in July 2005 as Bishop of DRC’s Kilwa-Kasenga Diocese continued, “Our people cherish unity and national cohesion.”

“The Catholic Church, to which the majority of these people belong, is the most eloquent symbol and the clearest sign of this country's unshakeable unity,” Archbishop Muteba said, and recognized the “decisive turning point” of DRC’s third Eucharistic Congress.

He added, “Anyone who tries to divide the country for political reasons will find the Congolese people in their path.”

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.