The pope welcomes the French translation of a book on the Congolese missal

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Pope Francis writes the preface to the French translation of the book “Pope Francis and the Roman Missal for the Dioceses of Zaire”, written by Sister Rita Mboshu Kongo and published by the Vatican publishing house.

By Lisa Zengarini

Pope Francis has written the preface to a French translation of a book by a Congolese nun on the Missal for the Zairian use of the Roman Rite, which was presented to the Vatican on Monday.

The Missal for use in former Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo – DRC) was introduced after the Second Vatican Council to adapt the Roman liturgy to the Congolese language and culture, as required by the Constitution”Sacrosanctum Conciliumon the Holy Liturgy (1963).

The author

Titled “Pope Francis and the Roman Missal for the Dioceses of Zaire,” the book was written by Sister Rita Mboshu Kongo and edited by the Vatican Publishing House (LEV).

The publication comes against the backdrop of Pope Francis’ apostolic trip to the African country in early July, which had to be postponed due to his persistent knee pain.

The only “inculturated” Roman missal since Vatican II

In his preface, Pope Francis salutes the book, emphasizing “the invaluable contribution of the liturgy, ‘source and summit of the activity of the Church’, in the transmission of the faith” that the Congolese people have inherited from their ancestors.

He further notices that the Roman Missal for the Dioceses of Zaire is the only “inculturated” Roman missal born of the liturgical reform of the Second Vatican Council.

“The Congolese rite of the Eucharistic celebration is certainly the fruit of missionary preaching under the African sun and which was gathered at dawn. In its triple fidelity to the faith and to the apostolic tradition, to the intimate character of the Catholic liturgy itself, and finally to the religious genius and to the African and Congolese cultural heritage, the Roman Missal for the Dioceses of Zaire is the only “inculturated” Roman Missal, born of the liturgical reform of Vatican II.

Noting that the Missal for the use of Zaire is the “fruit of long years of research, experience in the field and fruitful collaboration between the Holy See and the Church in the Congo”, Pope Francis stresses that it ” has perfectly achieved the objectives assigned to it.”

“The “Roman Missal for the Dioceses of Zaire” allows the Congolese to pray in their language, with their body and their soul, and to use symbols that are familiar to them.

A model for other churches

The Pope therefore proposes the Congolese rite of the celebration of the Eucharist as “a model for other Churches which seek an appropriate liturgical expression for the inculturation of the Gospel”.

“The immense importance of a culture marked by faith cannot be ignored. Faced with the onslaught of contemporary secularism, an evangelized culture, despite all its limitations, has many more resources than the simple sum of believers. An evangelized popular culture contains values ​​of faith and solidarity capable of encouraging the development of a more just and believing society, and possesses a particular wisdom which must be gratefully recognized.

Concluding his preface, Pope Francis invites the Congolese Church to engage in the same way in the translation and adaptation of the rites of the sacraments and sacramentals, as requested by Pope Saint John Paul II during the ad limina Apostolorum visit to Rome by the Congolese bishops in 1988.

The Pope celebrates Mass for the Congolese community in Rome on July 3

Following the announcement of the postponement of his trip to the African countries of the DRC and South Sudan, Pope Francis said he would celebrate Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica for the Congolese community in Rome on July 3, day when he was to celebrate Mass in the Congolese language. capital Kinshasa.

A Christian Nation

90% of the Congolese are Christians, or some 81 million people, with Catholics representing 33% of the country’s population.

The origins of Christianity in the country date back to the late 15th century, when King Kongo Nzinga Nkuwu was converted by Portuguese missionaries. The last pope to visit the DRC, then called Zaire, was John Paul II in 1985.

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