Letter of Solidarity With Congolese Prelate

«We Assure You of Our Prayers for Justice and Peace»

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 9, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Here is a Vatican translation of the letter the delegate-presidents and the secretary-general of the Synod of Bishops sent to Archbishop François-Xavier Maroy Rusengo of Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo, which was read Thursday at the closing of the Sixth General Congregation of the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops.

The archbishop left the synod during its first week after learning that a parish church is his diocese was burnt down, its priests were attacked, and two were abducted and held for ransom.

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Excellency, The Bishops united in the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops under the presidency of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI have learnt that in their Archdiocese of Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of Congo there have been disorders including burnt down parishes, insults inflicted on priests taken hostage with ransoms, generating a situation such that now you are obliged to return among your faithful, preys of torment and danger.

Pertaining to this, on behalf of the Assembly, we express our fraternal solidarity in the hope that reconciliation and the Good News of the Gospel, as we are reminded during these days of Synod reflection, may be welcomed as the path shared by all to accomplish conditions of human life founded on the values of justice, reinforced by peace, which is a gift from God.

We would be obliged to you if you would express our cordial feelings of religious solidarity to all the members of the People of God who live and suffer in this Archdiocese: the priests, the religious, the deacons, the catechists, the laity and all men of good will.

At the same time, we invite the legitimate civil authorities to do everything possible to bring back order in justice to establish and guarantee peace, necessary for a normal life of the dear population.

Trusting in the mercy of God and the intercession of Mary, Queen of Africa and Queen of Peace, we assure you of our prayers for justice and peace to bring your Archdiocese, in the Great Lakes region, and all of Africa, peaceful days and a serene life.

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