Pope Francis met on January 17 with President Felix Tshilombo Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The meeting marked the ratification of a diplomatic accord between the Holy See and the African nation, governing the legal standing of Church institutions in the country. During their meeting, the Pope and the Congolese president spoke about the humanitarian crises in the Democratic Republic of Congo, caused by the continuing bloodshed in the eastern part of the country and the spread of the Ebola virus.