In his Easter message, Cardinal Ambongo decried insecurity. He emphatically stressed that DR Congo was “seriously ill, almost in a comatose state”. While his country is sick, some African countries are almost in the mortuary over bad leadership that is plaguing the entire continent.

The Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Fridolin Cardinal Ambongo, has decried the persistent security challenge in the country and described the Central African nation as “seriously ill” and in a coma.

In his homily during the Easter Vigil Mass at Our Lady of Congo Cathedral of his Metropolitan See, Cardinal Ambongo faulted the country’s authorities for ignoring the plight of the citizens.

“We know very well that our country is today a country in agony, seriously ill and when a seriously ill person is in a state of coma, it is dangerous to predict his future and today the Congo is in this situation of the seriously ill person who is almost in a comatose state,” he said on March 30.

The Congolese Cardinal added, “We have always drawn attention to the risk of balkanization. Today we are there; our country is being carved up in front of us and we act as if it was not our country.”

He criticized the security agencies in DRC for not being proactive in defending the people and their properties, saying, “Beyond the speech we are making here, completely useless speeches, the reality is that the others continue to advance and occupy the East of our country. This is obvious for the simple reason that Congo has no strength to defend the integrity of its country.”

“We are so big, but we are, as they say, an elephant with feet of clay. We are making speeches here as if we were strong. The truth is that the Congo does not have an army and that is very serious for a nation like ours,” Cardinal Ambongo said.

The Catholic Archbishop of Kinshasa, who doubles as the President of the Symposium of Episcopal Conference of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) decried the seeming indifference of the international community and DRC’s neighbouring countries with expansionist visions.

He also blamed the people of God in Congo for the challenges in the Central African nation. He said, “We see that our country is today placed in a comatose state; we see that those who come from outside can afford to play with the Congolese nation because the main cause of our misfortune, the primary cause of lack of peace in our country, is not the people from outside, it is not the foreigners, it is not bad Rwanda it is, first of all, us the Congolese.”

“Our irresponsibility has meant that today we are taking actions that do not allow the emergence of peace in our country,” he further said.

Cardinal Ambongo warned that if the people of God in DRC “fold our arms and wait for our Congolese nation to disappear as it began in the East … tomorrow, we will only have our eyes to cry when the Congo will be divided into several nations and the process is already underway in the East.”

“Let us pray for our leaders, the leaders of this country who are completely, I would say, out of touch with the suffering of their people,” the Congolese member of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin (OFM Cap) implored.

He continued referring to DRC’s political leaders, “When we see their behaviour, when we see their language, we wonder if these are the real leaders of these unfortunate people. These people are suffering people. All the time, they have parties, they are happy because they have everything they need to live and the people are there, confined to their corner where they perhaps only have the Bible at their disposal, a Bible which has fallen into the hands of charlatans who continue to lead the people into illusions, into preaching which does not help the people to open their eyes.

The Catholic Church leader, who was elevated to Cardinal during the October 2019 Consistory and reappointed to Pope Francis’ Council of Cardinals (C9) after the expiry of the initial October 2020 mandate said he finds it unfortunate that politicians engage in petty quarrels over a “big cake”, ignoring the violent conflicts in the country.

“It’s been three months that our country is practically paralyzed for the simple reason that the entire political class has invited itself around the big cake that we are fighting over, while the country is at war, while the enemy is advancing,” he lamented, and added, “This behaviour is completely incoherent if we consider the delicate, dangerous situation of our country.”

“A country that is attacked, a country that knows it is at war, the first thing to do is to sit around a table to form what we call the common front. However, today, there is no common front,” he further lamented.

The Archbishop of Kinshasa, who started his Episcopal Ministry in March 2005 as Bishop of DRC’s Bokungu-Ikela Diocese also decried the gap that he said exists between the ordinary Congolese people and the political leaders.

The gap, Cardinal Ambongo said, will continue to create discontent, and that the situation is likely to persist if the authorities do not change their mode of governance.