A Catholic priest has voiced concern that there is a “terrifying silence,” including within the Catholic Church, on abortion in Africa, and is calling for the promotion of the encyclical Humanae Vitae on procreation to help counter the “culture of death.”
In a recent interview with EWTN Vaticano, Father Apollinaire Cibaka Cikongo, rector of the University of Mbujimayi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), pointed to troubling estimates from the U.N. regarding the prevalence of abortion in the region.
In the capital of DRC alone, Kinshasa, abortion is common despite the country’s legal restrictions on the lethal procedure. According to the most recent statistics, in 2016, an estimated 146,713 abortions were performed, meaning about 56 out of 1000 women aged 15-49 had abortions.
“There is a social debate about these issues, but there is a prevailing culture that takes advantage of the general silence,” said Cikongo.
“There is a silence even within the Church,” he continued, noting that he has not “heard the Church say anything” about the numbers of babies aborted in the area.
“There is sometimes a terrifying silence,” he added.
He framed the killing of innocent life through abortion as being performed in the area “in good faith,” as the abortionists “say that these children are not wanted, they are the result of rape, so terminating their lives is not a problem.”
He pointed out that even Catholic religious and lay staff are complicit in the promotion of abortion.
“I have witnessed situations where in a hospital pharmacy, there is a religious sister there with posters promoting contraception and abortion programmes,” Cikongo shared.