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Rome Reports

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Pope to DRC bishops: "Church in Africa is a lung that gives oxygen to universal Church"

On his last day in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pope Francis met with the country's bishops. He praised the contribution that the faith in Africa makes to Catholics around the world.

This is how I see the Congolese Church: young, dynamic, joyful and animated by missionary zeal.
Therefore, just like your forests filled with "oxygen," I thank you because you are a lung that gives breath to the universal Church!

But the Pope also lamented that the country is facing so many problems.

Your young, bright and beautiful face is indeed marked by pain and exhaustion and, at times, by fear and discouragement. It is the face of a Church that suffers for its people.

The Pope told them that Jesus is with them in this suffering and that they have been called to live their ministry in a turbulent context. He gave them the example of the prophet Jeremiah, who had an experience of God and brought a message of peace in times of war.

Pope Francis encouraged the bishops to preach the promise of a Congo without violence, knowing that they are not being political. But that it is an evangelical act. He asked them to preach this message together with their priests.

Be close to priests as they come first after bishops.

At the end of the meeting, he encouraged them to create a community with a moral management of goods.

Upon arriving at the airport, Pope Francis met with the President of the Republic, greeted the Honor Guard and left for South Sudan, where he will stay until February 5.