DRC: Archbishop Demands for Release of Kidnapped Priests

KINSHASA SEPTEMBER 29, 2017(CISA)- Archbishop Marcel, Utembi Tapa President of the Congolese National Bishops’ Conference (CENCO), has condemned the kidnapping of priests in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“We have denounced the attacks against the Church and above all the kidnapping of the servants of God”, the Archbishop of the Catholic archdiocese of Kisangani said.

“We continue to launch appeals to release the priests kidnapped so that they can resume their pastoral activity,” he added.

Speaking to the press in Brussels, the Archbishop hinted that the abduction is likely to have been led by people who did not agree with the stand taken by the Catholic Church during the mediation process of the San Silvestro agreement.

The mediation process was launched by the Church to discuss the conduct of the presidential elections that was to be held in December 2016 but was postponed due to financial crisis.

“The kidnappers are clearly enemies of the Catholic Church, those who do not want things to change and those who find that their interest is threatened by certain Church standpoints,” he said.

According to Fides, priests Don Pierre Akilimali and Don Charles Kipasa were kidnapped at the Notre-Dame des Anges parish of Bunyuka in Beni-Butembo diocese in North Eastern Province of Kivu.

Their whereabouts have remained unknown since their disappearance in July.