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Tomb of Congolese Cardinal desecrated before Christmas

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La cathédrale Sacré-Cœur de Brazzaville.

Agnès Pinard Legry - published on 12/27/21

The tomb of Bishop Emile Biayenda, the only cardinal from Congo, was desecrated during the night of December 23. The Archdiocese of Brazzaville assures that the cardinal's body was not touched.

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Individuals have desecrated the tomb of Bishop Emile Biayenda, the only cardinal from Congo appointed by the Holy See, during the night of December 23, announced the Archdiocese of Brazzaville. “By a miracle of heaven, and thanks to the genius of our elders who put a fairly solid security device on the tomb, the body of the cardinal was not disturbed or approached,” said the statement signed by Father Michel Bordan Bebert Kimbouani Tsoki, chancellor of the Archdiocese of Brazzaville.

The cardinal’s tomb is located in Sacred Heart Cathedral in downtown Brazzaville. Local authorities have been contacted and have opened an investigation. As to the extent of the vandalism, images circulating on social networks show that the gate protecting the grave has been damaged.

I give myself to you, I dedicate myself to you forever, until my death.

Cardinal Emile Biayenda was assassinated in 1977, at the age of 50. His death, in circumstances that remain unclear to this day, occurred only a few days after the assassination of the third Congolese president, Marien Ngouabi. Just before his ordination to the priesthood, Biayenda wrote:

My miseries, my incapacities, can be useful, Lord, if I know how to expect everything from you […] Jesus you are my friend. I belong to you with all that I am and possess […] What I ask of you is this grace of always feeling poor and nothing in order to lean on you and never risk anything without you […] I give myself to you, I consecrate myself to you forever, until my death.

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