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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Church: Pope celebrates mass in Kinshasa

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Hundreds of thousands of believers set off hours before the start. The service at an airport in Kinshasa is considered one of the highlights of the Pope’s trip.

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At a large mass in Kinshasa with more than a million people, Pope Francis prayed for an end to violence on the African continent. He encouraged people to be “missionaries of peace” and “work with all to break the cycle of violence and shatter the plots of hatred.” That’s what he said during his sermon on Wednesday in the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The head of the Catholics had landed there on Tuesday and was received euphorically.

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On Wednesday, hours before the service began, hundreds of thousands of believers flocked to N’Dolo military airport, singing and dancing to get in the mood for the celebration. Many women wore dresses made from fabrics depicting Francis. The authorities announced at the beginning of the service that more than a million people had come to the airport site. This should be one of the highlights of the Pope’s trip to Congo and South Sudan, where Francis is traveling to on Friday.

Both countries are repeatedly shaken by bloody conflicts and attacks. Francis hopes the violence will end. “May it be a propitious moment for you who call yourself a Christian in this country but commit acts of violence; the Lord says to you: ‘Put down your arms and accept mercy,'” preached the 86-year-old.

On Wednesday afternoon, meetings with victims of violence from the east of the country and employees of aid organizations were on the agenda for the pope.

Source: Stern

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