DR Congo Welcomes Red Hat for Kinshasa’s Archbishop

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DR Congo Welcomes Red Hat for Kinshasa's Archbishop
DR Congo Welcomes Red Hat for Kinshasa's Archbishop

News that the Catholic Archbishop of Kinshasa, Fridolin Ambongo Besungu, is set to become a new cardinal in October has been widely welcomed in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Archbishop Besungu is popular in the country because of the political stand he took against
Joseph Kabila’s attempt to cling to the presidency.

Mr Kabila stood down as president in January after 18 years in office following disputed elections won by opposition candidate Félix Tshisekedi.

The 59-year-old cleric openly criticised Mr Kabila’s government for alleged human rights abuses and using live bullets during demonstrations against his rule in which protesters were killed.

He was among 13 cardinals announced on Sunday by Pope Francis, including a Spanish-born Cristóbal López Romero, who is the Archbishop of Rabat in Morocco.

Around 40% of DR Congo’s population is Roman Catholic and the church has a wide network of schools and hospitals.

It is seen by many Congolese as a moral voice in a country where politics has so often been
tarnished by corruption.

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