Today, 2 July 2019, in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, in the presence of His Eminence Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, His Excellency Msgr. Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States, and His Excellency Mr. Jean-Claude Gakosso. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Congolese Abroad, proceeded with the exchange of the instruments of ratification of the Framework Agreement between the Holy See and the Republic of the Congo on the relations between the Catholic Church and the State, signed in Brazzaville on 3 February 2017.
The solemn ceremony was attended by:
for the Holy See: Msgr. Robert Murphy, nunciature advisor at the Secretariat of State; Msgr. Mislav Hodžić, nunciature secretary at the Secretariat of State;
for the Republic of the Congo: Mr. Rigobert Itoua, head of the Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs; Mr. Fédéric Lefa, technical advisor of the Minister of Foreign Affairs; Messrs. Jean Paul Ganongo and Ibara Ngoualea, officials at the Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The following were also present: H.E. Msgr. Daniel Mizonzo, bishop of Nkayi and president of the Congolese Episcopal Conference; H.E. Msgr. Bernard Nsayi, bishop emeritus of Nkayi, and the Rev. Armand Brice Ibombo, secretary general of the same Conference.
The Framework Agreement, which entered into force on the same day in accordance with Article 19 therein, 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 recognized. The two Parties, without prejudice to the independence and autonomy proper to each one, undertake to collaborate for the spiritual and material wellbeing of man and in favour of the common good, with respect for the dignity and rights of the human person.