President assesses social situation with CEAST bishops

Luanda – The Angolan Head of State, João Lourenço, Tuesday, in Luanda, evaluated with the bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Angola and São Tomé (CEAST) the cooperation with the Catholic Church and the social situation in Angola.

In an audience granted to a delegation of CEAST bishops, led by its president and archbishop of Luanda, Dom Filomeno Vieira Dias, the Head of State also spoke about the country’s economic situation.

At the end of the meeting, CEAST spokesman, Dom Belarmino Chissengueti, told the press that he was aware of the social difficulties, aggravated by the drop in the price of the main export product, oil, which will require a lot of austerity and the understanding of all.

He reported that measures were taken to ensure social order and safeguard national reconciliation, in the face of a political and social context that he considered “very delicate, (…) and of penury”, which has lasted for more than six years.

The religious official said they had received guarantees that the results on the capital repatriation process will be announced shortly.

According to Dom Belmiro Chissengueti, the meeting also highlighted the need for the regulation of the Framework Agreement between Angola and the Holy See, in force since 21 November.

He clarified that the regulation will make it possible to determine the practical implementation of acts such as religious registration with civil effect, the validation of diplomas from ecclesiastical educational institutions and the tax exemption under donations.

Dom Belmiro Chissengueti believes that the construction works of the Muxima basilica are taking place, despite the short-term limitations and that it can contribute to the promotion of religious tourism and job creation.

The bishops of CEAST were gathered, until this Sunday, in the village of Muxima, municipality of Quiçama, to analyze issues related to the protection of the family, the fight against corruption and the repatriation of capital illegally taken abroad.

In the final communiqué of the first Annual Assembly, CEAST encouraged the Government to involve, if necessary, the military and militarized forces, traditional authorities and environmental defense movements, in the fight against fires, deforestation, wood traffic, illegal mining of minerals and other behaviors harmful to nature and the economy.

Source: Angola Press News Agency