Bishop Sikuli Paluku of the Catholic diocese of Butembo-Beni in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has condemned the rebel raid of a Mass on Easter morning as a profanation and a sacrilege.
“Very bad news on Easter Day,” Bishop Paluku told Catholic radio Monday regarding Sunday’s armed incursion of Mai-Mai rebels into the Queen of Angels parish church. “It means that this group which comes to disrupt the Mass, did not come at random. It means that they prepared their strike, and the fact that they went right up to the altar and carried away the missal is already a profanation.”
“We strongly condemn this incursion, this disruption of worship on the holiest, most fundamental day of our Christian faith,” the bishop declared. “No one is obliged to believe, but even if you don’t believe in something, you must at least leave that freedom to others.”
“Religious freedom is constitutional and requires respect for the faithful to practice their worship without being disturbed,” he said.
The bishop went on to insist that the act not only constituted theft but also sacrilege.
“To come back to this parish, to seek to see priests, to ask for liturgical objects, it is serious, it is more than a sacrilege. Let them convert,” he concluded.
As Breitbart News reported, an armed group of the Mai-Mai militia burst into the parish church on Sunday at the end of Mass, demanding the priest’s liturgical vestments and stealing the Sunday missal.
Having been alerted, soldiers from the DRC army eventually arrived and in the ensuing firefight one of the rebels was shot and killed by the soldiers.
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