World The tomb of the only cardinal from the Congo desecrated in Brazzaville

RELIGION Cardinal Emile Biayenda was killed in 1977, at the age of 50

Unidentified people have desecrated the grave of Emile Biayenda, the only cardinal from the Congo assassinated in 1977, the Archdiocese of Brazzaville announced in a statement received by AFP on Sunday. “On the night of December 23 to 24, there was desecration of the tomb of our venerated pastor, Cardinal Emile Biayenda,” says the archdiocese.

“By a miracle from Heaven and thanks to the genius of our elders who put a fairly solid security device on the tomb, the cardinal’s body was neither disturbed nor approached”, according to this press release signed by Father Michel Bordan Bebert Kimbouani Tsoki, chancellor of the archbishopric of Brazzaville.

The cardinal’s tomb is located within the grounds of the Sacré-Coeur Cathedral in central Brazzaville. Images circulating on social networks show that the gate that protects the tomb has been damaged. A religious source also indicated that the desecration was the third in 2021. “We do not know the motivations of these people,” she added on condition of anonymity. “The judicial police have been seized and are carrying out their investigations as they should in such circumstances,” said the archdiocese in its statement.

Cardinal Emile Biayenda was killed in 1977, at the age of 50, a few days after the assassination of Congo’s third president, Marien Ngouabi (1968-1977). The circumstances and motives for the cardinal’s assassination have never been elucidated and his assassins have never been identified. No cardinal of Congolese nationality has been appointed since.

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