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Rome Reports

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President of Democratic Republic of the Congo invites pope to visit country


“Dear Holy Father”

“It's a pleasure”

“Thank you”

This was the cordial greeting between the pope and the president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Félix Tshisekedi. The president met Pope Francis in October, after the consistory in which the pope made Msgr. Fridolin Ambongo, the archbishop of Kinshasa, a cardinal.

The president and the pope spoke privately for a few minutes. They discussed serious topics, like the outbreaks of Ebola affecting the country, and the reestablishment of social peace following the tumultuous electoral process the Democratic Republic of the Congo has experienced in recent years.

During the exchange of gifts, the president gave Pope Francis this painting from the North Kivu region, which is highly affected by the violence caused by militias fighting for control of its rich natural resources.

The pope gave Tshisekedi an engraving of an angel of peace, as well as his message for this year's World Day of Peace.

Then he affectionately said goodbye to the president and his wife. The African president didn't want to leave without inviting the pope to visit his country, to which Pope Francis responded like this.

“I hope so.”

Ángeles Conde