The Archbishop of Kigali, Cardinal Antoine Kambanda who was recently elected Cardinal and 12 others elected along with him will be inaugurated on November 28, 2020.
They will be among the closest advisors to the Catholic Church supreme leader in the world. This is the rare opportunity to convey views to the Pope and those views are likely to be implemented without delay.
The Archbishop of Kigali, Cardinal Antoine Kambanda, said that throughout his assignment as cardinal he will concentrate on family issues because the family is the foundation of Christianity.
These days, families face severe health and social problems. Family conflicts continue to cause couples to kill each other, break up while their children continue to bear the consequences of the family conflicts
Today some street children point out that the root cause of going to the streets is family conflict.
In the Rwandan society there is also a serious problem of premature pregnancies, which are often caused by older men with families while they should be the ones to protect children from abusers.
Sometimes these teenagers, after giving birth parents abandon them or comfort them at times and later chase them to live a miserable life.
Children born to these adolescents also suffer from poor health conditions
These and other issues also affect evangelism, especially as it begins in the family.
In an interview with IGIHE, Cardinal Antoine Kambanda said that once he is installed as Cardinal, his message to the pope will be based on family care because family is the principal church.
“The family concern is a special task to me. It is the domicile of Christianity; it is the main church.” Cardinal Kambanda said.
His grace Cardinal Kambanda said he was fortunate enough to be the representative of Rwanda to the 2015 Episcopal Synod, which made him aware of the problems the world has in the churches.
He said some of his concerns were with the Rwandan community and those with special needs, but that the meeting gave him the opportunity to gain faith around the world and see that the power of the gospel was still there.
For him, this is a good time to share his thoughts with the pope, highlighting the importance the family has in evangelism.
“Evangelism and Christianity start in the family, that’s where the child gets to know God, that’s where he gets to know the first prayer and that’s where he grows the foundation of Christianity and faith that will take him through his whole life, so caring for the family in evangelism is the first thing I feel in the Church that should inspire them. ”
The laypeople have a major role to play in the integrity of the family
Cardinal Kambanda says that lay people (Christians) have a great responsibility to take care of the family, especially to teach young children to know God and the gospel.
“The lay people are the family, and I’m talking about the message from the home, the laity are in their special responsibility to take care of the family evangelism,” he said.
He said the COVID 19 Lockdown has taught a great lesson to the heads of the families as it has made them more aware that they are the primary shepherds of their families.
“Staying at home in COVID-19 showed us that while people could not go to mass praying at home, the head of the family who led the celebration of the word of God […] was the one who explained to the children the gospel of the day, he taught them to pray, and every child can say a prayer […] the teaching is right there, that’s where the church is built. So, the laypeople are the foundation of the Church, caring for the family is their message and we are all built on it.” Cardinal Kambanda noted
He returned to the responsibilities of the devotees, saying that they should make good use of the gifts they were given and contribute to the building of the family and the Church.
“Dedication to God is a gift in history that the Holy Spirit awakens in man and joins others in the gift of caring for the sick, teaching the young, caring for the disabled, teaching and preaching the gospel abroad. What we ask of our devotees is to implement and honor the gifts they have been given so that their expected role in the building of the Church is revealed.”
In order to become a Cardinal, it is in the will of the Pope because there is no election, it is done in his analysis, he chooses advisors. Cardinals are elected by the Pope, which means that every Cardinal is a candidate.
Cardinal Kambanda and 12 others are expected to be inaugurated on November 28, 2020.