Kinshasa — DR Congo Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya died Sunday in Paris, France, just five days after being evacuated for urgent medical care having been in a critical state for a while.
The 81-year-old was made a cardinal by Pope Benoît XVI at the consistory of November 20, 2010, and participated in the 2013 conclave which elected Pope Francis.
Highly respected, Monsengwo was one of eight prelates chosen by the Pope to support him in reforming the Roman Curia and revising the apostolic constitution Pastor Bonus.
In October 2012, he chaired, alongside Pope Benedict XVI, the last Synod on the New Evangelization organised in Rome, a few days before the opening of the Conclave.
In September 2014, Cardinal Monsengwo was appointed "Synodal Father" by Pope Francis, for the third extraordinary general assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family, taking place as a member of the Ordinary Council of the Synod of Bishops.
Very involved in DRC politics, he played a role in the fight for democracy at the time when the country was called Zaire.
He chaired the sovereign national conference in the early 1990s and had since become a key figure in the political class, as he was a great figure in the Catholic Church in the world.
His critical positions against the powers of Joseph Kabila created some enmities within the regime of the former President.