KINSHASA, Congo (CNS) — Congo’s bishops asked President Joseph Kabila to contribute to the stability of the country by declaring that he will not be a candidate for the next presidential election.
In a statement Nov. 24 after a three-day meeting in the capital, the bishops reminded Kabila that he was the “guarantor of the constitution.” Although Congo’s constitution does not allow Kabila to run for a third term, many people fear he will try to do so.
The bishops also emphasized it was important not to delay elections any longer.
After a flare in political violence late last year, the bishops helped the government and opposition sign a Dec. 31 agreement that said Kabila would remain in office, but elections would be held before the end of 2017. Congo’s Independent National Electoral Commission recently announced elections would be held in December 2018.
The bishops urged the electoral commission to reassure the public of its independence and to operate with transparency.
In a Nov. 2 telephone interview from Kinshasa, Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, New Mexico, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, said widespread corruption is depleting government coffers.
“Questions being asked here are will Kabila relinquish power, and will the transfer of power be peaceful,” Bishop Cantu added.
In their November statement, Congo’s bishops reminded citizens that change could not happen without them. The bishops urged people to remain vigilant, actively participate in the electoral process and, if they objected to something, to protest peacefully.
Help us keep you informed -- CatholicPhilly.com can't do it without youDuring CatholicPhilly.com's fall donation campaign, you have a way to help us deliver the kind of news you need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live. Every household's costs keep rising, and we're no different. We make sure your dollars in any amount go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month. Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can -- a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Or by credit card here: