Clergy in the Central African Republic say their first cardinal will continue to work to reunite the country after years of civil war and speak up for the continent’s poor.
Cardinal-designate Dieudonne Nzapalainga of Bangui is “already highly active in the peace process here, and his nomination will lead more people to follow his advice,” the Bishop of Bossangoa, Nestor-Desire Nongo-Aziagbia, who is also vice president of the Central Africa Republic bishops’ conference, told Catholic News Service. “He’ll also be in a better position now to mobilise the international community to alleviate the plight of the poor.”
Bishop Nongo-Aziagbia described the new cardinal-designate as “a straightforward person, who shows great determination once he’s convinced about a particular course of action. He knows where’s he’s heading and keeps moving forward, even when he encounters difficulties and obstacles,” the bishop said.
The Bangui archbishop will be one of 17 new cardinals Pope Francis will consecrate at the Vatican on 19th November. At age 49, he also will be the Church’s youngest cardinal.
Picture: Cardinal-designate Dieudonne Nzapalainga of Bangui, Central African Republic, one of 17 new cardinals. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn).