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Meet Archbishop François Xavier Maroy of Bukavu

His Archdiocese runs schools, hospitals and other services for poor and vulnerable people and he works closely with SCIAF to provide medical care and practical support for victims of sexual violence.  

Many priests in the Archdiocese of Bukavu have been killed. Many nuns and many other innocent people as well. There has been much loss. Despite this violence he preaches forgiveness.

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The main order of God is to love each other. Always you should pray for your enemies, there is no need to hate them.

Archbishop François Xavier Maroy

How I came to be a priest?

The idea of becoming a priest came to me at a young age. I have always naturally been interested in helping people and had considered studying to be a doctor but the idea of being a priest remained stronger and that’s the route I chose.

Archbishop

Taking on the role of the Archbishop of Bukavu

I had never imagined being a bishop never mind an archbishop!

As a priest, I had been working closely with my predecessor for years and took on my new role when he sadly passed away. Becoming the Archbishop of Bukavu for me was therefore a continuation of serving God’s wish and his people.

The challenges I face as an Archbishop in DR Congo

The biggest challenge of working in the context of the ongoing conflict in my country is that it puts us at the front line of the battle and the many difficulties my people are facing. This sits heavily with me.

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Years of conflict in DR Congo

My people continue to suffer and have not had a true chance of experiencing independence (from the colonial times). They can’t properly work, they can’t properly feed and provide for themselves and their families and they are still forced to turn to others for help. There is still a huge amount of misery.

Decades of war and insecurity have greatly impacted people’s ability to live and to enable their families to live. This is an extremely difficult context for me and for anyone to be working in.

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Following many assassination attempts, how do you keep doing your job?

It’s true, there are difficulties. But we all need to find ways to conquer these as otherwise we will become fatalistic and nothing will improve. My ultimate mission personally and as an Archbishop is to continue to find the courage, to keep my spirits up and to keep helping.

The violence will sadly continue and we must find ways to live happy lives where we can and to help others to do the same.

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A message of global unity