The Most Rev. Zacharie Masimango Katanda has been installed as Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church of the Congo at a service held at the Cathedral of SS Peter & Paul in Kinshasa on 10 Sept 2016
The Most Rev. Zacharie Masimango Katanda has been installed as Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church of the Congo. At the 10 Sept 2016 service held at the Cathedral of SS Peter & Paul in Kinshasa, the new archbishop took office before a congregation that flowed into the surrounding streets that included senior government and civic leaders along with the Archbishops of Southern Africa and Uganda, the former Archbishop of Tanzania the Most Rev. Donald Mtetemela who gave the sermon at the service, along with the Bishop of Basingstoke representing the Archbishop of Canterbury. Elected archbishop in July following the retirement of Archbishop Henri Isingoma, Archbishop Katanda had served as Bishop of Kindu since 1996. During the ceremony the Rt. Rev. David Williams read a letter to the congregation on behalf of the Most Rev. Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, who offered his prayers and best wishes to the church and the new archbishop. “[T]his new phase of your ministry, which will, I am sure, hold many challenges for you in the years ahead. The Church has a pivotal role to play in the processes of reconciliation and peace in Congo, and continues to build its prophetic ministry amongst displaced communities, and in supporting the rehabilitation of those who have experienced trauma as a result of civil conflict in Eastern Congo,” Archbishop Welby wrote, adding: “As you take up your new role as Archbishop and Primate of the Province, I know that you can count on the support and prayers of your fellow bishops, those more widely in the Anglican Communion and those in dioceses with which the Anglican Church in Congo is linked, particularly the Diocese of Winchester, which has had a long and fruitful partnership with the Church in Congo.” Archbishop Mtetemela told the congregation: “The world needs faithful leaders who can stand in the gap and intercede before God for their communities, society and nation; leaders who are diligent and faithful; leaders of integrity and humility.,” urging the new archbishop to “Look to Jesus, the author of our faith, and not to your own strength,” adding “don’t look to heroes in the world but to Jesus who promised the power of the Holy Spirit. A church leader and the church at large cannot function and be productive without the Holy Spirit.” Composed of nine dioceses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of Congo–Brazzaville, the province has been wracked by civil war and political unrest for almost two decades. While the service was underway at the cathedral police and demonstrators belonging to the “Rassemblement” movement led by Etienne Tshisekedi in opposition to President Joseph Kabila, clashed. Chanting the slogan “Kabila must go”, “Kabila move out”, they called for him to leave office on 20 Dec 2016 when his term ends. However President Kabila has refused to call new elections sparking fears he will remain in power.