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

Congolese official denies ordering police to stop cathedral Mass

A provincial governor denied allegations by Catholic Church authorities that he ordered police to prevent the celebration of Mass.

Alphonse Ngoyi Kasanji, who heads the government in Kasai Oriental, challenged the clergy accusing him to provide evidence of their claims.

United Nations Radio reported on 30th January that Catholic clergy in the provincial capital of Mbuji-Mayi sent a letter on 23rd January to Kasanji, holding him responsible for police attacks on parishioners and some priests at St Jean Baptiste Bonzola Cathedral.

The attacks came as parishioners and clergy had planned a march on 21st January to demand that Congolese President Joseph Kabila hold fresh elections in line with a church-brokered accords.

In their letter, the clergy accused the governor of ordering the police to desecrate the churches and prevent the liturgy from taking place.

Picture: Protesters and clergymen march during a 21st January protest organised by Catholic activists in Kinshasa, Congo. (CNS photo/Kenny Katombe, Reuters).