Angolan State Starts Recognizing Catholic Marriages

Luanda — The marriages performed by the Catholic Church are henceforth recognized by the Angolan State, under the Framework Agreement signed between the Holy See and the Republic of Angola.

The Framework Agreement between the Holy See and the Republic of Angola was signed on 13 September 2019 and entered into force on 21 November of the same year.

Speaking on Tuesday, during the formal delivery of the juridical/ administrative instruments regulating the aforementioned Framework Agreement, the Minister of State and Head of the Civil Office of the President of the Republic, Adão de Almeida, cvonfirmed the legal validity, as of now, of Catholic marriages in the Angolan legal system, as well as the functioning of its educational institutions.

Adão de Almeida, who coordinated the Inter-ministerial Commission for the Implementation of the Framework Agreement with the Catholic Church, informed that the understanding extends to the tax regime applicable to the church, as well as the exemption and facilitation of visas for the congregation's missionaries.

He mentioned that the secular nature of the State must impose the existence of a relationship of cooperation and partnership, which emphasizes the role of the church in different domains, such as education and training of staff, as well as in the moralization of society.

"Angola will continue to count on the strategic partnership of the Catholic Church, to deal with the present problems and challenges and together build an even better future", he stressed.

Meanwhile, the spokesman of the Episcopal Conference of Angola and São Tomé and Príncipe (CEAST), Monsignor Belmiro Chissengueti, explained that the Catholic marriage of civil validity will be recognized by the State as long as the process is initiated in a civil registry office. The prelate added that, once the marriage has taken place, the act must be transcribed to the civil registry.

He clarified that the agreement establishes tax exemption due to the fact that the Catholic Church carries out non-profit actions.

The president of CEAST, Dom Manuel Imbamba, expressed the willingness of the church to work for the spiritual well-being of society, for peace and social justice.

The Archbishop of Saurimo reaffirmed the congregation's commitment to cooperating with the Angolan State in promoting dialogue and building a society that guarantees the fulfillment of the people.

The Apostolic Nuncio, Giovanni Gaspari, declared that the approved documents mark the expression of a new form of relationship, collaboration and friendship, in which the parties undertake to fulfill their responsibilities.

On her turn, the minister of Education, Luísa Grilo, said that cooperation with the Catholic Church could help to take education to the most remote locations.

The ceremony was witnessed by the Minister of State for the Social Area, Carolina Cerqueira, ministers, secretaries of State, Catholic bishops, among other entities.

Under the Framework Agreement, Angola and the Holy See undertake to cooperate for the spiritual and material well-being of the citizens and for the common good, while respecting the dignity and rights of the human person.

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