Saint Dominic Church of Kinshasa Desecrated

Saint Dominic Church of Kinshasa Desecrated

On Sunday, February 19, 2017, around 5 am, some twenty ill-intentioned young men stormed the church of Saint Dominic Parish of Limete, Kinshasa, of our Dominican brothers of the Vice Province of Saint Pius V in the DR Congo. Without any respect for the sacred or fear of God, these "outlaws" profaned the church, ransacking everything. They overthrew the altar and the Tabernacle, with the holy Presence of consecrated hosts to the ground. They broke the benches and smashed the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They left the church upside down, an indescribable chaos that one of our brothers of St. Dominic priory of Kinshasa compared to the scene of the first book of Maccabees (1 Mc 1: 21-23).

The Dominican brothers are not the only victims of these acts of violence and barbarism. The community of the Oblate Fathers of Limete also suffered the same fate. As Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, Archbishop of Kinshasa, said in his message of Sunday, February 19, 2017,

"the security situation in DR Congo in general, and in Kinshasa in particular, is worrying in recent times. There is a renewed fear, anger, even uncertainty. We came to know with indignation on Saturday, February 18, 2017, the burning of part of the Major Seminary of Malole by uncivilized persons, who spread terror among the Carmelite sisters near the seminary in Kananga, in the province of Kasai Central.” The Archbishop of Kinshasa added that there are also discourteous remarks about the authorities of the Catholic Church (cf. the passage of young people on Tuesday 7, Friday 10 and Saturday 11 February 2017 at the Archdiocese of Kinshasa creating an atmosphere of panic)”.

According to Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, "these events suggest that the Catholic Church is intentionally targeted to ruin its mission of peace and reconciliation, at a time when the CENCO (National Episcopal Conference of the Congo) is continuing its mission at the Inter-diocesan Center ". He recalled that the CENCO, "plays only a mediating role. It is up to politicians to acknowledge with humility, before the nation and the international community, their political will and the depravity of their choices that lead to the impasse or blocking of institutions. They will take responsibility for history."

The Archbishop of Kinshasa invites all to show wisdom, restraint and democratic spirit in order to overcome the political crisis the country is currently experiencing. With all the bishops, he continues, "we denounce these acts of violence that could plunge our country into indescribable chaos. We urge the authorities of our country to stop this tension and ensure the protection of property and people, especially the heritage of the Catholic Church, which is strongly targeted. "

While waiting for the purification of the church, the brothers continue their ministry in the parish premises. They live the reality of Jesus' teaching in the Gospel of this 7th Sunday of Ordinary Time A, "Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you" (Mt 5:44).

fr Gabriel Samba, op.


(22 February 2017)