pcloudy.png
Tuesday September 22nd, 2020 11:23AM

Joyous Congolese dances, songs enliven St. Peter’s Basilica

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Congolese dancing and singing enlivened St. Peter’s Basilica on Sunday, as Pope Francis celebrated a special Mass for Catholics from the violence-wracked African nation and denounced arms suppliers for helping to fuel the conflict.

The whoops of joy and the chorus of rhythmically-swaying Congolese approaching the altar with symbolic gifts at the Mass’ offertory section made for vivid contrast with the solemnity of most religious ceremonies at the Vatican basilica.

Francis decided to celebrate the Mass to mark the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Catholic Congolese Community in Rome.

The Mass was conducted using a special rite approved by the Vatican in 1988 entitled the “Congolese Missal for the dioceses of Zaire,” the former name of Congo. The Vatican noted that Popes Paul VI and John Paul II had encouraged, as the Vatican put it, ‘’opening the liturgy to the cultural values of the people” of Congo.

In his homily, Francis prayed that conflict cease, noting that peace was “gravely threatened in the east of the country.’’ He decried weapon suppliers, lamenting “conflicts fed by those enriching themselves with arms.”

Recently, rebels in eastern Congo have targeted Ebola response workers, compounding difficulties in containing the outbreak.

Francis noted that many in the pews Sunday had left their homes and loved ones to come to Italy in search of a better life. In an apparent reference to hostility by many Italians to arriving refugees and migrants, the pope said: “The church is the house of God. Here, then, always feel at home.”

Francis’ expressed desires to visit Congo as well as South Sudan have so far been thwarted by persistent violence in those countries. He recently said he hoped to visit South Sudan in 2020 if conditions permit a pilgrimage.

At Mass’ end, a Congolese nun, Sister Rita Mboshu Kongo praised Francis for showing “fatherly attention and a great openness for the churches that are on the peripheries” and for his “constant worry” about migrants, the poor and others on society’s margins.

The nun decried what she called “total silence on the global level” to the killings of some 6 million Congolese people in the last 20 years” in conflict and turmoil.

Some of the Congolese faithful in the basilica “don’t know where their relatives are, don’t know if they are alive or dead,” Sister Mboshu Kongo told the pope.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP World News
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
19 dead in Siberia after bus plunges onto frozen river
Russian emergency officials say 19 people were killed when their bus plunged off a bridge onto a frozen river in eastern Siberia
6:33AM ( 18 minutes ago )
Merry Clickmas: Black Friday online sales hit record $7.4B
This year’s Black Friday was the biggest ever for online sales, totaling $7.4 billion
6:30AM ( 22 minutes ago )
Joyous Congolese dances, songs enliven St. Peter’s Basilica
Joyous Congolese dancing and singing have enlivened St. Peter’s Basilica as Pope Francis celebrated a special Mass for Catholics from that violence-wracked African nation
6:29AM ( 22 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Protesters march to up pressure on Hong Kong government
Pro-democracy protesters are renewing pressure on the Hong Kong government with three marches Sunday
1:49AM ( 5 hours ago )
Freed Taliban prisoner recounts SEAL rescue attempts
An Australian teacher held captive with an American colleague by the Taliban for more than three years believes US troops tried and failed six times to free them
1:11AM ( 5 hours ago )
Relic thought to be from Jesus’ manger arrives in Bethlehem
A tiny wooden relic some Christians believe to have been part of Jesus' manger has returned to its permanent home in the biblical city of Bethlehem 1,400 years after it was sent to Rome as a gift to the pope
12:30AM ( 6 hours ago )
AP World News
19 dead in Siberia after bus plunges onto frozen river
Russian emergency officials say 19 people were killed when their bus plunged off a bridge onto a frozen river in eastern Siberia
6:33AM ( 18 minutes ago )
Merry Clickmas: Black Friday online sales hit record $7.4B
This year’s Black Friday was the biggest ever for online sales, totaling $7.4 billion
6:30AM ( 22 minutes ago )
Albania calls for international help to recover from quake
Albania’s prime minister has called on the international community for financial and human resources aid to recover from the 6.4 magnitude earthquake that killed 51 persons and left thousands of damaged homes
6:00AM ( 51 minutes ago )
UK attack now political football as Johnson, Corbyn spar
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and challenger Jeremy Corbyn are sparring over who is responsible for the early release of a convicted extremist who launched a stabbing attack in central London that left two dead
5:45AM ( 1 hour ago )
Focus on early release of terror convict in London stabbings
Focus on early release of terror convict in London stabbings
5:13AM ( 1 hour ago )