About 40,000 Christians attended a five hour open-air Mass yesterday in front of the Cathedral of Bukavu, East Democratic Republic of Congo, in thanksgiving for the safe return of Archbishop Emmanuel Kataliko, after seven months of exile. 130 priests concelebrated with Archbishop Emmanuel as well as the Bishop of Butembo, Mgr Melkisedek Sikuli, the Apostolic Administrator and Vicar General of Uvira, Mgr Rolando Trevisan and Mgr Milenge and the Vicar General of Kindu. The Anglican Bishop of Kivu was also present. Since Archbishop Emmanuel was sent away, all the religious leaders in the country campaigned for his return and were jubilant to see him return. Representatives of the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD-Goma), that control South Kivu, were represented at the Mass by Governor Katintima Bashengezi and his deputy, Ernest Mundjio. Archbishop Emmanuel came back to the country last week ago after seven months of exile, begun on the 12th of February by order of the RCD-Goma. He spent that time waiting in his home town of Butembo. Pope John Paul II and many international figures had appealed for his return.
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