Why Pope Francis is visiting the Democratic Republic of Congo this week


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Pope Francis has begun his visit to the peoples of the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan. He will be on the African continent from Jan. 31 through Feb. 5 for his 40th apostolic visit abroad.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is the first stop on his visit to the African continent, where he will remain until Friday, Feb. 3. Pope Francis has said he is on a “mission of peace” to these African nations.

The D.R.C. is rich in mineral wealth, and though it won independence in 1960, it has continued to be embroiled in political, tribal and even interreligious conflicts. It is also the largest Catholic community in Africa—45 million Catholics, about 50 percent of the D.RC.’s total population.

On the show this week, Ricardo da Silva, S.J., interviews Toussaint Kafarhire Murhula, S.J., a priest, political analyst, and the director of Centre Arrupe, a center for research and formation in Lubumbashi, on the country’s southeastern tip, ahead of the first visit a pope has made there in 38 years.

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Links from the show:

Congolese Jesuit on Pope Francis’ Africa visit: ‘Women are expecting some changes to happen’

VIDEO Why Pope Francis will visit South Sudan

VIDEO Pope Francis is on a mission of peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Pope Francis taps Chicago-born bishop to lead Vatican department that evaluates new bishops

Pope Francis preaches peace to one million Congolese people at Zaire rite Mass

Pope Francis tells foreign exploiters in Congo: ‘Hands off Africa!’

What to expect during Pope Francis’ visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan

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