Date of Award
Dissertation - SCU Access Only
Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2018.
Licentiate in Sacred Theology (STL)
Thomas Massaro, S.J.
Congo Brazzaville is one of the most unstable countries in Africa. Since the coming of independence in 1960 from the French colonization, the country has never experienced a long peace. Divided by ethnic hatred and the pursuit of self-inter interest in politics, the Congolese populations suffer from decades of successive wars during which the dignity of human persons is not respected and the population in scattered toward bushes, forests living in miserable conditions, decimated by many kinds of sickness and hunger. They survive painfully and destroy the environment that previously provided protection and food. To protect themselves, political leaders form ethnic militias to fight their challengers. Discouraged by joblessness and a lack of opportunity for their studies, etc., many young join militias without any military background to satisfy their needs using violence.
Generally, two ethnic groups fight for the political power in Republic of Congo. They are the Kongo group and the Mboshi groups. Coming from the north of Congo, the Mboshis control the political power about 40 years under the leadership of Sassou Nguesso. Among the southern regions, the Pool region remains the most unstable place since Pastor Ntoumi, as many other leaders in the past like André Grénard Matsoua, used ii claims of a messianic vocation to portray himself to be the savior, the one sent by God to deliver the Congo from the northerners’ domination.
This research paper proposes that unity and reconciliation in Congo will rely on creative work for conflict resolution and the building of social trust. This is a project that touches all aspects of national life. Years of many kind of wars have destroyed the national consciousness and patriotism. The impacts of ethnic conflicts have nourished hatred and the loss of traditional beliefs among the Congolese people who share the same ancestors, the Bantous. The solution for peace comes with participation of all and the contribution of the Congolese Church is important to form people of high moral conscience. Bishops and Pastors must conceive pastoral programs with evangelization, traditional education in communities, parishes, pilgrimages, retreats, human formations to form people of moral conscience.
Regarding the methodology, I use the Catholic social pastoral circle, with its three steps: see, judge, act. For the third step, I am proposing to develop the cosmotheandric virtue promoted by Raimon Panikkar in combination with the Bantou’s traditions and Pope Francis’ conception of ecology. For me, the divine, the human and the earthy are the three irreducible dimensions which constitute the real and are closely connected. So, everything we do has an impact on the rest of the reality.
Dimeni, Cyrano Emde, "Promoting a Cosmotheandric Ethic of Virtue in Congo Brazzaville: Resolving Social Conflict Amidst Crises of Ecology and Migration" (2018). Jesuit School of Theology Dissertations. 20.