VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Congolese Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, retired archbishop of Kinshasa, a biblical scholar and an activist for justice and peace, died July 11 near Paris where he had been rushed five days earlier for medical care.
The cardinal, one of the original members of Pope Francis’ international Council of Cardinals, was 81.
With the Vatican’s blessing, in the 1990s as Zaire was transitioning to becoming the Democratic Republic of Congo, he took an active role in mediating his country’s political crisis and trying to guide the nation to a new democratic constitution.
In 1991, he was elected president of the Sovereign National Conference; from 1992 to 1994, he served as president of the High Council of the Republic; and in 1994-1995, he served as speaker of the country’s transitional parliament.
The cardinal also had served as president of the Congolese bishops’ conference and as co-president of Pax Christi International, the Catholic peace organization.
Born in Mongobele, he attended the minor seminary of the Inongo Diocese before entering the major seminary at Kabwe. Sent to Rome in 1960, he studied theology at the Pontifical Urban University and was ordained in Rome Dec. 21, 1963. From 1964 to 1970, he studied at Rome’s Pontifical Biblical Institute, earning a doctorate in biblical sciences.
He was named auxiliary bishop of Inongo in 1980, auxiliary bishop of Kisangani in 1980 and archbishop of Kisangani in 1988. Pope Benedict XVI named him archbishop of Kinshasa in 2007 and a cardinal in 2010.
His death leaves the College of Cardinals with 221 members, 124 of whom are under the age of 80 and eligible to vote in a conclave to elect a new pope.
In a time to build, CatholicPhilly.com connects people and communities
As society emerges from the loss and separation of the pandemic, CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you join in 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.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
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 credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103