Attacks on clergy and parish buildings have raised questions as to whether the Catholic Church has come too close to politics in the conflict-torn Democratic Republic of Congo.
An African priest said that global demand for metallic ores used in cellphones is thwarting efforts to end war and violence in Congo.
As civilians are increasingly targeted in South Sudan's civil war, a bishop urged prominent community leaders to unequivocally condemn revenge killings, violence against civilians, and hate speech that ignites tribal sentiments.
Catholic bishops in Congo have abandoned attempts to arrange a government-opposition power-sharing agreement, amid rising violence.
The Kenyan government declared the country's drought a national disaster, three days after Catholic bishops requested such an action.
The bishops appealed for food relief Feb. 7, in an effort to get help from other countries. Reliefweb, a specialized digital service of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said in the last year, Kenya's food insecurity had nearly doubled, so that now 1.25 million people are affected. The drought has also affected livestock and wildlife in 23 of Kenya's 47 counties.
Drought in Eastern Africa: In Thatha, about 93 miles northeast of Nairobi, a severe drought has left many families without food, water and pasture for their livestock. "The rains are our greatest disappointment," Agnes Mwikali, a 40-year-old mother said. "Every season, we plant our seeds and watch the crops germinate, only for the rains to leave before they mature."
Congo's bishops are urgently seeking to rescue a government-opposition peace accord, reached in the final minutes of 2016.
"Our latest meeting should have covered the question of governance - but contacts between the political actors are, unfortunately, not yet realized," the bishops' conference said Jan. 24. "We have retired to consider what next, after concluding there was no real will to tackle the problems quickly."
Peace talks in Congo: Catholic leaders in Congo said they hope for lasting peace, after the bishops' conference helped mediate a government-opposition accord. "We're all saluting this great step, the fruit of a dialogue arranged by the church," said Msgr. Leonard Santedi Kinkupu, rector of Kinshasa's Catholic University and former of secretary-general of the bishops' conference.
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"As I see it, when the exhortation talks about conscience, it places a powerful tool in [the] hands of married, divorced, and remarried Catholics."