MONDAY
March 6, 2000
volume 11, no. 46
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NEWS & VIEWS     Acknowledgments
Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

CONGO MASS STRIKE LIFTED, BISHOP ORDERS LOW-KEY CELEBRATIONS

    BUKAVU, Democratic Republic of Congo (CWNews.com/Fides) - From his "exile" in Butemebo, Congo, Archbishop Emmanuel Kataliko has ordered his priests to lift the "Mass strike" in Bukavu archdiocese but make sure that all liturgical celebrations are kept low-key.

    The sacramental embargo began three weeks ago when rebel forces in the region prevented the archbishop from returning to his diocese. "Sunday Masses must be as simple as possible, until the situation returns to normal" the prelate told his people. No Masses were celebrated in the archdiocese for three Sundays running in protest.

    On February 12, the rebel Rassemblement Congolais pour la Democratie (RCD-Goma), which opposes the government of President Laurent Kabila and with the support of occupying troops from Rwanda and Uganda, controls the eastern part of Congo, stopped Archbishop Kataliko from returning to his residence in Bukavu. Since that date the archbishop has lived as the guest of the bishop of Butembo. The RCD said the archbishop is a "persona non grata" because of his positions in favour of the population, "suffering and humiliated because of the fighting and foreign occupation."

    Yesterday, the vicar general of Bukavu, Monsignor Joseph Gwamhhanya, gave instructions as requested by the archbishop, in view of the coming season of Lent. Starting Sunday, March 5, Masses will be celebrated in all churches, but only on Sundays. "There must be no church bells or singing and prayer will be silent," the vicar general ordered. "Everyone is asked to pray for the archbishop's return. Weddings must also be low-key and baptisms will resume only after Easter." The diocese's social centers remain closed and the people are told to keep calm and not react to provocation and incitement to revenge.

          

March 6, 2000
volume 11, no. 46
NEWS & VIEWS

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