On Friday 13 September 2019, in the Hall of Treaties of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the ceremony took place for the signing of the Framework Agreement between the Holy See and the Republic of Angola. For the Holy See, in the presence of His Eminence Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, the Agreement was signed by Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States, and for Angola, by His Excellency Mr. Manuel Domingos Augusto, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The solemn act was witnessed by:
for the Holy See: Archbishop Filomeno do Nascimento Vieira Dias of Luanda, president of the Episcopal Conference of Angola and São Tomé; Archbishop José Manuel Imbamba of Saurimo, vice-president of the same Conference; Msgr. Robert Murphy, Msgr. Vincenzo Turturro and Msgr. Mislav Hodžić, nunciature counsellors at the Secretariat of State; Msgr. Ivan Santus, nunciature secretary at the Secretariat of State;
for Angola: Her Excellency Ms. Maria da Piedade de Jesus, Minister of Culture; Her Excellency Maria de Fátima Republicano de Lima Viegas, Secretary for Social Affairs of the President of the Republic; Her Excellency Vicência Ferreira Morais de Brito, director of the Europe Section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; His Excellency António Ramos da Cruz, director for Legal Affairs and Litigation; His Excellency Paulino Domingos Baptista, ambassador of the Republic of Angola to the Holy See; Mr. Francisco de Castro Maria, national director for Religious Affairs; Ms. Emilia Fernandes da Piedade, adjunct director of the Cabinet of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ms. Neusa da Conceição Tenete António, secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The Framework Agreement, drafted in Italian and Portuguese and composed of a preamble and 26 articles, sets out the legal framework of the relations between the Catholic Church and the Angolan state. In particular, the public legal personality of the Church and her institutions is recognized, as well as the free exercise of her apostolic mission and her specific contribution in the various areas of social life. The two Parties, while safeguarding the independence and autonomy proper to them, undertake to collaborate for the spiritual and material wellbeing of the human person, and for the promotion of the common good. The Agreement will come into effect with the exchange of the Instruments of Ratification.