2014-10-20 16:50:00

US Catholic Bishops write to their Government concerning Congo DR

Catholic  Bishops in the United States of America have told their Government that they are committed to helping the US promote peace and prosperity in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This is contained in a letter of 16 October 2014 that Bishop Richard Pates has  addressed to Ambassador Russell Feingold, the  United States Special Envoy to the African Great Lakes Region and the Democratic Republic of the Congo at the US State Department.

Bishop Richard Pates of the Diocese of Des Moines, Iowa, who chairs the Committee on International Justice and Peace for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has also shared a pastoral letter from the Bishops of Congo DR, in which they have denounced the possible removal of a term limit for Congo DR’s  President, Joseph Kabila. The Conglese Bishops have labelled the unconstitutional move, “a step backward on the road to building our democracy and (one that) would seriously undermine the harmonious future of the nation.”

Bishop Richard in his letter to US Ambassador Feingold further quotes the Bishops of Congo DR when they say that the proposal to review the Congo DR’s constitution with the view to permit President Joseph Kabila seek a third term of office, if accepted, is being used  “as a means to monopolise political power and a nation’s natural wealth.” He adds, “This political manouvre excludes political opposition and destroys the peaceful democratic process, ” the Bishops of Congo DR are quoted as saying in their pastoral letter.

The U.S. Bishops through Bishop Pates’ letter have urged Ambassador Feingold to take the words and actions of Congo DR’s Bishops into consideration in future U.S. policy dealing with that country.

Bishop Pates’ committee on International Justice and Peace for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops assists the US Bishops, both collectively and individually, in advancing the social mission of the Church on international justice and peace through policy development, advocacy, education, outreach and acts of ecclesial solidarity. The committee advises the Bishops on international public policy issues as well, especially integral human development, human rights, religious freedom and peace.

The Full text of both letters is available online: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/global-issues/africa/democratic-republic-of-the-congo/upload/Letter-and-Documents-to-Amb-Feingold-from-Bishop-Pates-on-DRC-2014-10-16.pdf
(source USCCB)

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