from Pax Christi International
Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, former archbishop of Kinshasa and co-president of Pax Christi International (2007 to 2011), has died following a period of illness. He was a force for peace and tireless advocate for democracy in his beloved homeland, DR Congo. He will be sorrowfully missed by the entire Pax Christi movement and his legacy lives on in the important grassroots, nonviolence work we continue to carry out in the Great Lakes region of Africa today.
Cardinal Monsengwo’s history with Pax Christi International reaches back more than 20 years. At our World Assembly in Amman (Jordan) he was elected vice-president, and in 2007 named co-president alongside Marie Dennis. “It was an honour to serve as co-president with Cardinal Monsengwo,” remarked Dennis. “His deep yearning for an end to the violence in his own country helped to shape Pax Christi International’s commitment to nonviolence and reconciliation in Africa.”
His presidency marked the considerable expansion of PCI activities in Africa, including creating regional networks for increased faith-based advocacy and capacity building. These efforts included demobilization of combatants including child soldiers, working to stop illicit cross-border small weapons trade, and seeking solutions to end the unlawful exploitation of natural resources in the DR Congo. “The Pax Christi movement is as relevant as ever, because armed conflicts and violence only create never-ending cycles of resentment and revenge,” said Monsengwo. “Our world is crying out for justice but also pardon, reconciliation, and peace.”…