Card. Antoine Kambanda © Vatican News

Rwanda: Monsignor Antoine Kambanda, First Cardinal in Country’s History

An ‘Opportunity to Work Much More for the Lord’

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“To be a Cardinal gives me the opportunity to work much more for the Lord,” said the Archbishop of Kigali, Monsignor Antoine Kambanda, who is part of the 13 new Cardinals that Pope Francis will create during the Ordinary Consistory, scheduled for November 28. “If the Pope has appointed me Cardinal, it’s also thanks to the faith, the work, and the pastoral of the whole community,” added the Archbishop.

Monsignor Kambanda will be Rwanda’s first Cardinal, a fact he confirmed in an interview with “Vatican News” on October 25, 2020.

“I thank the Lord because He is the author of history, of history in general and of one’s personal history,” continued Monsignor Kambanda. He said it was “a great surprise” for him. “I never dreamt of being a Cardinal. It’s the Lord who has willed it.” “I love the Church; I like to work for the Church and that will give me the occasion to work much more for her,” added the future Cardinal.

Recalling the situation in his country, Monsignor Kambanda said that Rwanda has “journeyed for 26 years after the genocide.” “And we have worked a lot for reconciliation,” he continued. “In any case, at present, we have attained a level of reconciliation and unity.”

The future Cardinal also mentioned Pope Francis’ Encyclical Fratelli Tutti, revealing that it was “well-received in Rwanda.” “We meditated on it and reflected further on it. The Encyclical is going to reinforce and facilitate our pastoral work in reconciliation,” he explained.

“As Pastors, we need to guide the people in peace and fraternity. In this framework, the Encyclical Fratelli Tutti, will clarify and aid us very much in our pastoral of reconciliation and fraternity in the region,” he continued.

In his interview, Monsignor Kambanda wanted to thank “the Lord for this grace that functions in the Church, facing at present several challenges.” “Therefore, we must work a lot to transmit and to have the message of salvation understood,” he said. “It’s at once a joy, a great charge, and a challenge,” he concluded.

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Marina Droujinina

Journalist (Moscow & Brussels). Theology (Brussels, IET).

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