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February 14, 2018
Most Reverend Marcel Utembi Tapa, Archbishop of Kisangani
President, Congo Catholic Bishops' Conference (CENCO)
CENCO General Secretariat
Kinshasa-Gombé, Democratic Republic of the Congo
As Chair of the Committee on International Justice and Peace, I write to renew our expression of solidarity and support in advance of CENCO's upcoming Extraordinary General Assembly. I have followed the events in the Congo, especially the two demonstrations that the Catholic Lay Committee held in December and January. I note with sorrow and deep concern the loss of life and injuries that occurred at the hands of those who are supposed to protect life and the rule of law. I add my voice to that of the Holy Father in his call for calm and peace in the country.
I also wish to inform you that the President of our Conference of Bishops, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, has called on all Catholics in the United States to join the Holy Father for a World Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace, particularly in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on February 23, 2018. We are preparing for this day of prayer as I write. It is my hope that our prayers and the work of the Holy Spirit will guide you in your upcoming General Assembly and beyond.
Our Committee remains committed to standing with you and the people of the DRC in your peacebuilding efforts. We are ready to assist you within the limits of our resources, particularly regarding how the United States Government can play a constructive role in the crisis.
May God grant you continued courage, wisdom and humility as you struggle to keep the spirit of dialogue and hope alive in the Congo. You and the people of the Congo remain in our prayers.
Fraternally yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Timothy Broglio
Chair, Committee on International Justice and Peace
cc: Bishop Fridolin Ambongo Besungu, Vice President, CENCO
Abbé Donatien Nsholé, Executive Secretary, CENCO
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