In October, 2012, Father Joseph Lukelu, in charge of the parish of Our Lady of Wisdom at the University of Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but presently on a sabbatical year, gave the following speech to the Pilgrims of St. Michael gathered in Rougemont, Quebec, for their monthly meeting:
As you know, the problem of poverty in Africa is complex and cannot be explained in one hour. It comprises several factors but I will cover only some factors that are in my opinion the principal causes of poverty in Africa. A poor people is a people that is dying of hunger. We have just listened to a conference of Louis Even specifically about this question of famine. If there were in this world more justice and more brotherly love, more sharing and more solidarity, there would not be in today’s world people dying of starvation.
I believe that Louis Even bore in himself this conviction and the same conviction is today conveyed by each of the pilgrims that you are, that we are. It was always noted and observed as an amazing and paradoxical phenomenon, of seeing some African countries, especially sub-Saharan, above ground and below ground rich, I would even say VERY rich; but there are people living in an indescribable misery, in completely inhuman conditions.
I believe that each time Marcel Lefebvre ends his visits in Africa and that he returns here, he must be upset when he sees, on the one hand, the misery that affects the Africans, and on the other hand, the waste that we see in this so called developed society of the West. It is also disgusting to see the quantities, the tons of food that are thrown in the sea when they could have helped many starving people in the world.
What can explain such contradiction? I could observe in Africa the high growth of the population, but also the misery of the people lacking financial means, lacking infrastructures and along side this, as you know, we find young girls 13-14 years of age who already have one or two children. There are many births in difficult conditions, and there are so many mouths to feed and yet so much land to cultivate, but, because of lack of means, these African people are dying of starvation while the land is left fallow.
A second point that I want to mention – after population growth – the international relations that are centered on the neo-liberal model. And the third point is the drastic reduction of social budgets. And the fourth element has to do with the politics of structural adjustments. But all these rules, all these dispositions, all the orientations and decisions are not taken by the African countries but by a very small clique of financiers. They are the ones who fix the prices of our main extracted resources, they are the ones who invite us to indebt ourselves and they are the ones who say when we can erase the debt, and they erase our debts after fifty years of independence. And when they lend us one dollar, our government leaders sign to reimburse them 3, 4 even 5 dollars. And 50 years later they erase our debts saying: “We are inviting you to indebt yourselves again to help you develop yourselves”.
Tell me in which sub-Saharan African country you will truly see emerging development. And yet, we have oil, we have gold, we have diamonds. For instance in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a truly fertile land where there is no need for fertilizer, corn grows without having to cultivate it; it is sufficient for a mother to walk with her basket and there are grains of corn that fall because her basket has holes in it and the corn grows by itself… But we are poor…
Where is the aid? And how to understand this aid? And yet every year we are propositioned to receive aid. It is a paradox, the contradictions that we live in our African countries. Besides that, we must also note the brutal increase of prices on vital products, in this way increasing the crisis and leading to the destabilization of societies already very fragile and often victim of depressive, corrupt systems and of war. In our country, the Democratic Republic of Congo, tell my why for 15 years, the war has not stopped? We cannot conceive developments under cannon fire and bombs! Instead of corn, rice and soy flour, we find in our villages, in our most remote villages, guns in the hands of 10, 12, 13 year olds. Do we need a gun or do we need a bag of rice and of corn?
Who makes these weapons? Do you know of any African country that makes guns? And why put guns into the hands of our children? So that we may kill each other? And war has started once again. Who are the instigators? They are the multinationals. Why? Because, as you may know, there is a product, a mineral, called coltan; it is thanks to coltan if we have GPS, that we have laptops, cell phones, all kinds of gadgets, thanks to it Bill Gates is getting richer, Nokia is getting richer, Samsung is getting richer, but the main component comes from Congo, in the north-east region. While our precious minerals are mined, all the value-added refinements are done in developed countries. Why the war? It is to create chaos...
Once again I denounce the injustice of the international mafia, organized and structured to make a population suffer because of its natural resources. They fix the price; they exploit to save their financial interests. And this is a mafia that organizes itself with the political leaders of the country. A scandalous fact, at the airport in Goma, an American airplane lands, registered in the USA, with American pilots on board, with $300 billion in funds destined to buy minerals. And who sells these minerals? It is the war lords. They come to enrich the war lords, yet on these $300 billion, they will make $2 billion.
And these war lords, who manipulate these billions, do you think they will look to negotiate for peace? Do you think they will look to stop the war? NO! The goods of the earth, as taught by the Church, and as Louis Even said in his conference, should profit every human being and they should be at the service of each and every man for his happiness and lead him to his eternal destiny.
Joy begins here. I should feel happy, completely fulfilled as a Congolese because God has blessed us with the goods of the earth, but, I am not… I am not because of the unrealistic and speculative economic system of the capitalist bankers. I am not because of the economic and commercial financial institutions such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that bear a GREAT responsibility in deliberately keeping us poor in poverty when we are a VERY, VERY rich country!
After 50 years of independence, the debt was erased only last year, after 50 years. And what does the International Monetary System do after that? They say to our governments, “Listen, we will rate you and to rate you here this is the adjusted structural plan that you must follow to keep your public expenses down concerning education, health and social assistance.” It is always the poor who are annihilated, whom we make disappear and since it is impossible for the State to pay its debts to the International Monetary Fund, what happens? They pocket the money that used to pay down the debt and enrich themselves more and more, while we the poor we become poorer and poorer. This is the rule of the International Financial Mafia. This is how we are treated by all these freemasons of finance.
And us, we are the apostles of the good news of Social Credit, we are sent by Louis Even to denounce this Mafia – I thank you for it. I recently listened to his conference given in 1957. Already at that time he was an extraordinary visionary. I am captivated and speechless, he explained the documents of the Magisterium since Pope Pius XI, Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, I would even say today up to John Paul II, and up to Benedict XVI. Looking ahead, I even proclaim him PROPHET OF DISTRIBUTIVE JUSTICE. I proclaim Louis Even as PROHET OF DISTRIBUTIVE JUSTICE, he understood completely and he made himself a prophet and envoy of the universal Church and wages the battle that God wanted since the beginning of creation, since creation and since the beginning. What a spiritual vision! He denounced this financial system of exploitation, of institutionalized injustice. And he engaged himself at the vanguard of this war so that the goods of the earth profit and bring happiness to all mankind.
Happiness. This is the battle of Social Credit that in my eyes is of divine inspiration. Let us not worry; we are bearers of this gospel of distributive justice. For Louis Even, we must work with faith and determination in the rehabilitation of the rights of the person so that each person does not live in want. How I would like to see this dream realized!! Each sitting in their home in Africa should say to himself: “I ate well, I slept well”. This should no longer be a dream but should become a reality. This is why since last night I told myself: “For me this man is the Prophet of distributive Justice”, to distribute – to share the goods of the earth. The goods that God created are for each person and not solely for the profit of a few people.
Sometimes we believe social questions are resolved by increasing salaries, but this never resolves anything. And in France, the French are in the streets every month! This signifies that somewhere there is an institutionalized lie, organized by the bankers, by the financial institutions. But the day that we understand the solution is not asking for an increase in our salaries but to take apart the system that holds us in slavery, then the world will change. It is to say to the politicians in authority that the goods of the earth are a divine and fundamental law. “I have a right to them! I do not have to ask for them!” If the lawmaker does not recognize it, they commit a sin of injustice concerning the inequitable distribution of the goods of the earth.
It is not enough for us to preach Charity but we must act. The time is for action… It is not enough for us to pray but we must act. Why? Because we are Pilgrims, our feet should walk the earth and the pavement, in every amphitheater, the earth of each country as bearers of the message. But a Christian does not have the right to resign himself to poverty and disorder, and we all understand this.
Pope Pius XII said this “The economic wealth of a nation does not properly consist in the abundance of goods judged by a sheer material computation of their worth, but it consists in what such an abundance does really and effectively mean and provide as a sufficient material basis for a fair personal development of its members. If such a just distribution of goods were not to be effected or just imperfectly ensured, the true end of the national economy would not be achieved.” (June 1, 1941 radio-adress.) As long as the goods are not distributed in an equitable manner the people will always be poor...
Here is, brothers and sisters, what I wanted to tell you today about the poverty in Africa and in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We have well understood that without this worldwide and international solidarity, we will never arrive at making the dream of our dear prophet Louis Even real.
I would like to give a pious homage to this work, and also pay homage to all the Pilgrims in this work and also pride, that is for me an encouragement, of seeing young people give their lives for this work. And my prayer is this: “May the Lord touch the hearts of the youth so that when we return here in the next few years we will find many.
May the souls of Louis Even, of your co-founder, Mrs. Gilberte Cote-Mercier, and of all those who have been buried in this earth as seed for this battle for distributive justice, rest in the Peace of Christ. Amen
Father Joseph Lukelu
|Group picture of the participants at our week of study of May 2013 in Rougemont.|