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Signing of Framework Agreement between the Holy See and the Republic of the Congo, 04.02.2017

On Friday 3 February 2017, in Brazzaville, at the Palace of the People of the Republic of the Congo, in the presence of the President of the Republic, Denis Sassou-N’guesso, a Framework Agreement was signed by the Holy See and the Republic of the Congo on the relations between the Catholic Church and the state.

Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin signed on behalf of the Holy See, and Clément Mouamba, prime minister, on behalf of the Republic of the Congo.

The solemn act was attended by:

On the part of the Holy See: Archbishop Francisco Escalante Molina, apostolic nuncio in Congo; Archbishop Anatole Milandou of Brazzaville; Bishop Daniel Mizonzo of Nkai, president of the Episcopal Conference; Bishop Louis Portella-Mbuyu of Kinkala; Bishop Miguel Angel Olaverri, S.D.B., of Pointe-Noire; Bishop Yves Marie Monot of Ouesso; Bishop Jean Gardin of Impfondo; Bishop Victor Abagna Mossa of Owando; Bishop Urbain Ngassongo of Gambona; Bishop Bienvenu Manamika of Dolisie; Msgr. Gianfranco Gallone, official of the Section for Relations with States of the Secretariat of State; Rev. Patrick Han Saw Zay, secretary of the Apostolic Nunciature;

On the part of the Republic of the Congo: Firmin Ayessa, minister of State and director of the Cabinet of the President of the Republic; Raymond Zéphirin Mboulou, minister of the Interior, Decentralisation and Local Development; Jean Claude Gakosso, minister for Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Congolese abroad; Jean Baptiste Ondaye, secretary general of the Presidency of the Republic; Benjamin Boumakani, secretary general of the government; Martin Adouki, advisor to the President of the Republic and head of the Diplomatic Department; Cyprien Sylvestre Mamina, secretary general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Gisèle Ngondo, director of the Cabinet of the minister of Foreign Affairs; Jean Jacques Luc Nianga, adjunct secretary general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Albert Nkoua, adjunct secretary general and head of department for Africa, Europe, America, Asia and Oceania; and Sidney Audrey Adoua Mbongo, director of legal affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Framework Agreement, consisting of a preamble and eighteen articles, guarantees to the Church the possibility of carrying out her mission in the Congo. In particular, the legal personality of the Church and her Institutions is recognised. The two Parties, while safeguarding the independence and autonomy proper to them, undertake to work together for the moral, spiritual and material wellbeing of the human person and for the promotion of the common good. The Framework Agreement shall enter into force upon the exchange of the Instruments of Ratification.