Pope Francis has appointed Cardinal Antoine Kambanda among the members of the Congregation for Catholic Education.
Founded in 1588, the group is the pontifical congregation responsible for all ecclesiastical and non-ecclesiastical academic institutes in the Roman Catholic Church.
Kambanda was officially created a cardinal in November 2020, three years after he was installed as the Archbishop of Kigali.
Before his appointment to Kigali, he was at the head of Kibungo diocese (Eastern Province) since 2010.
Commenting on his appointment, the 63-year old hailed his nomination and said that since the beginning, education has been the mission of the Catholic Church.
“In Africa, when missionaries started a church, they made sure they also build a school, which is a testimony that education has been the mission of the Catholic Church,” he said.
Highlighting his contribution, Cardinal Kambanda noted that despite the modern technological advancement, moral values should also be placed at the heart of the catholic education system.
“The modern education is mainly attributed to the trending technological advances, but moral values are also fundamental, hence the catholic education should also focus on the issue, because science without conscience won’t take us anywhere,” he added.
In his background, Kambanda was faced with several roles in the education system.
After his ordination as a priest in 1990, he became a professor and prefect at the minor seminary of Ndera for three years.
In 1999, after obtaining his doctorate at Alphonsian Academy in Rome, he became a professor of moral theology at Nyakibanda Major Seminary and spiritual director at the major Seminary of Rutongo.
Cardinal Kambanda was later appointed rector of the major philosophical seminary of Kabgayi in 2005 and became the rector of the Nyakibanda seminary in the next year.