In a press conference in Kinshasa on Tuesday (February 6th), the Metropolitan Archbishop of Kinshasa, Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo announced the appointment by Pope Francis of Monsignor Fridolin Ambongo Besungu as “Coadjutor” Archbishop of Kinshasa.
An Archbishop or Coadjutor Bishop assists the diocesan bishop in the same way as an auxiliary bishop. But, he also enjoys the right of succession: during the vacancy of the episcopal seat, when the pope accepts the resignation of the diocesan bishop or following the death of the latter, he becomes archbishop or bishop.
The news emanating from the Apostolic Nunciature in the DRC was announced by the Secretary General of CENCO who congratulated the promoted Archbishop and wished him a fruitful ministry in the Church-Family of God which is in Kinshasa.
The current Vice-President of CENCO who took an active part in the discussions leading to the signing of the agreement of December 31 to bring the political class to an inclusive agreement, was born on January 24, 1960 in Boto.
President of the Justice and Peace Commission in DR Congo, Bishop Fridolin Ambongo also headed the Episcopal Commission for Natural Resources. He is one of the most influential voices in the Congolese episcopate and stands out for his outspokenness.
“In 2015, he had asked the French authorities to put pressure on Joseph Kabila’s entourage to prevent him from amending the constitution to run again in 2016,” reports La Croix.
A member of the Order of the Capuchins on November 12, 1980, this specialist in moral theology of the Alfonsiana Academy was professor at the Catholic Faculties of Kinshasa, now Catholic University of Congo (UCC), superior and vice-provincial of the Congolese Capuchin province, president of the Assembly of Major Superiors of the Democratic Republic of Congo (ASUMA), a structure of the Catholic Church that brings together the major superiors of institutes of consecrated life, present in the DRC. He has also been president of the Capuchin regional associations of Africa and the Capuchin’s “Cry of the poor” committee in Rome.
Archbishop of Kinshasa welcomes his coadjutor.
Ordained a priest at the age of 28 in the Capuchins, Bishop Ambongo was since 2004 Bishop of Bokungu-Ikela, in the north of the country. He was appointed archbishop of Mbandaka- Bikoro in 2016. He remains apostolic administrator of this diocese until the appointment of his successor.
According to Fr Donatien Nshole, he will help Cardinal Monsengwo Pasinya, Metropolitan Archbishop, in his pastoral mission in Kinshasa.
For the Secretary General of CENCO, Bishop Fridolin Ambongo, Coadjutor Archbishop of Kinshasa is in a good position to replace Laurent Monsengwo in case the Holy Father accepted the resignation that the Archbishop of Kinshasa, 75 years old, had already given him. Within the Catholic Church, the bishop who reaches age 75, files a resignation letter and takes his emeritus as soon as his successor is installed.
Pope Francis has not yet accepted the resignation of Cardinal Monsengwo, a member of C9, the college of nine cardinals who help the successor of St. Peter in the universal government of the Roman Catholic Church.
Source: Radio Okapi