More than 1 million faithful attend papal mass in Kinshasa

Kinshasa, Feb 1 (EFE).- More than 1 million people crowded into the N’Dolo airport in Kinshasa to attend a mass carried out by Pope Francis on Wednesday, a day after his arrival in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

People cheered enthusiastically, danced and sang for Francis as he arrived at the airport in the capital of 15 million inhabitants.

The Congolese government declared Wednesday a public holiday to give the population an opportunity to attend the mass.

Francis, 86, celebrated the mass in the Congolese rite, an adaptation of the Roman missal for the dioceses of DR Congo that was approved by the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on April 30, 1988, when the conflict-ridden nation was still known as Zaire.

The inculturation-based rite was approved with an aim of incorporating the Roman liturgy into African culture, characterized by singing and dancing.

The trip to DR Congo, of which half the population of 90 million are Catholics, was initially planned for July 2022 but was postponed due to Francis’ knee problems.

On Friday, the pontiff will travel to South Sudan, where he will stay until Sunday. EFE


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