2009-10-08 12:59:23

Congolese Bishop Leaves Synod Early

(October 08, 2009) As the assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops takes place in the Vatican, an archbishop from the continent is leaving early to face the very real "enemies of peace" plaguing his diocese. Archbishop Fran├žois-Xavier Maroy Rusengo of Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo, told the assembly Tuesday that while they were gathering in Rome to discuss the situation of the Church in Africa, a parish in his diocese was burnt down, his priests were attacked, and two were abducted and held for ransom. Notably moved with emotion, the archbishop explained that the diocese had to pay the high ransom "to save the lives of our priests that they threatened to massacre." "Through these acts," he noted, "it is the Church, remaining the only support for a terrorized, humiliated, exploited, dominated people, whom they would reduce to silence." Archbishop Rusengo, 53, decided to leave the synod after his address to return to his diocese and comfort those who were the victims of last Friday's attack. "Lord, may your will be done," he concluded. "May your Kingdom of Peace arrive." The synod fathers were quick to express their solidarity with the archbishop. The president-delegate of the general congregation, Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier, archbishop of Durban, South Africa, spoke first to assure Archbishop Rusengo the prayers of all those gathered.

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