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Mon, 02 Jul 2018 12:26 - Updated Thu, 05 Jul 2018 14:35

Catholic Church deems Mbanza Kongo its inheritance

Mbanza Kongo - The chairman of the Angola and São Tomé Episcopal Conference (CEAST), Dom Filomeno Vieira Dias, last Sunday in Mbanza Kongo, northern Zaire Province, said that the Catholic Church is one of the inheritors and historical guardians of this locality (Mbanza Kongo), which last year was declared by the UNESCO a World Heritage Site.

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Apostolic Nuncio, Dom Peter Rajic, at the celebration of first anniversary of Mbanza Kongo as World Heritage Site

Photo: Pedro Moniz Vidal

Zaire: Dom Filomeno Vieira Dias, CEAST chairman, officiating mass celebrating Mbanza Kongo Heritage

Photo: Pedro Moniz Vidal

On his sermon - during the service of gratitude in the ambit of the first anniversary since Mbanza Kongo was elevated to the category of UNESCO World Heritage Site, on 08 July last year – the Catholic priest reminded that the old capital of the Kongo Kingdom was the meeting point between Christianity and the territory that is now called Angola.       

“These ruins, which today are known as Cultural Heritage of Humanity, are a result of the meeting between Christianity and our people”, said the prelate, who is also the Archbishop of the Luanda Archdiocese.     

He went on to say that the Mbanza Kongo Heritage “with its lights and shadows” has a historical past connected with the Catholic Church.

“It is here where, truly speaking, the first evangelical missions were  established (...)”, he emphasised.

However, the prelate admitted that throughout this period of the country’s history also has notable mistakes or wrongdoings, such as the “Slaves Trafficking Phenomenon”.    

Filomeno Vieira Dias then explained to the faithful that the recognition of Mbanza Kongo has to be understood as a new trajectory for the country, both in material and economic terms, as well as in the spiritual context.   

He advised the dwellers of Mbanza Kongo and its authorities to continue to make convergences and bridge gaps, so as to facilitate development and well-being of the citizens of this region.

The ceremony was attended by the Apostolic Nuncio in Angola, Peter Rajic, who is paying a three-day pastoral visit to Mbanza Kongo.

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