Tuesday the 3rd of August

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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Congolese bishops renew offer to mediate election crisis

Catholic bishops in Congo have warned of chaos if government and opposition leaders fail to agree to a timeline for elections, and they reiterated their commitment to help arrange a compromise.

‘Despite all divergences, we believe a political compromise is still possible if the main parties get involved and prove their goodwill around the table,’ the bishops’ conference said in a statement on 2nd December.

‘The hour is truly grave – and this is why, true to our prophetic mission and, summoning the Congolese people and international community as witnesses, we appeal for responsibility to prevent our country sinking into an uncontrollable situation.’

The statement, co-signed by the Archbishop of Kisangani, Marcel Utembi Tapa – who is also the bishops’ conference president – was published as opposition groups prepared for mass demonstrations on 19th December, the date President Joseph Kabila was to have left office.

Picture: Displaced people are seen outside their shelters in the Congolese village of Karukwat. Catholic bishops in Congo have warned of chaos if government and opposition leaders fail to agree to a timeline for elections and reiterated their commitment to help arrange a compromise. (CNS photo/Aaron Ross, Reuters).