| 18 April 2024, Thursday |

Congo: Pope Francis celebrates Mass in Kinshasa

A million worshipers gathered on Wednesday, to attend the mass that Pope Francis celebrated in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital city of Kinshasa.
Francis was warmly welcomed by the crowd as his made his way past waving flags in the popemobile.

Earlier, tens of thousands of people made their way to Kinshasa’s N’Dolo airport ahead of the open-air Mass and held a vigil ahead of the ceremony. This is the pope’s fifth visit to the continent.
Francis arrived in Kinshasa on Tuesday on the trip originally scheduled for July 2022, but he was forced to postpone it until now because of intense knee pain.

Following the pope’s arrival in Kinshasa, the leader of the Catholic Church spoke out against the “poison of greed” that he said was driving conflict in Africa, and said that the world’s wealthy needed to understand that people were more valuable than minerals beneath the earth.

“I came to pray and to prepare for tomorrow’s prayers, so that God will give me grace to resolve my problems,” Patrick Mukaba, a local lawyer told Reuters news agency.

Later on Wednesday, the pope will meet victims of violence from the eastern Congo and will meet with organizations involved with aid work.
While DRC has among the world’s richest mineral deposits it is considered one of the poorest countries in the world.

Its wealth of gold, diamonds and other precious metals has contributed to decades of conflict, human rights abuses, and illegal exploitation of mineral wealth.

According to the UN, an estimated 5.7 million people are internally displaced due to conflict, while 26 million people face severe hunger.

Thursday will be the last day of the pope’s visit in Congo, after which he travels to South Sudan.

  • DW