October 17, 2014
WASHINGTON—The U.S. bishops renew their commitment “to work with the United States Government to promote the peace and prosperity of all the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” said the chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in an October 16 letter to Ambassador Russ Feingold, special envoy to the African Great Lakes Region and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, shared a letter from the bishops of the DRC, in which they called the possible removal of a term limit on their country’s president “a step backward on the road to building our democracy and would seriously undermine the harmonious future of the nation.” Bishop Pates noted to Ambassador Feingold that constitutions have been changed in other nations “as a means to monopolize political power and a nation’s natural wealth.” He added, “This political maneuver excludes political opposition and destroys the peaceful democratic process.”
Bishop Pates urged Ambassador Feingold to take the DRC bishops’ words and actions into consideration in future U.S. policy dealing with that country.
Full text of both letters is available online: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/global-issues/africa/democratic-republic-of-the-congo/upload/Letter-and-Documents-to-Amb-Feingold-from-Bishop-Pates-on-DRC-2014-10-16.pdf