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Tue, 12 Nov 2019 11:45 - Updated Tue, 12 Nov 2019 16:56

Angolan president discusses cooperation with Pope Francis

Vatican - Angolan head of State João Lourenço is due to meet with Pope Francis Tuesday as part of his two-day official visit to the Vatican State.

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This was confirmed by Angolan minister of Foreign Affairs Manuel Augusto to the press, stressing that the meeting is a result of the secular and historic ties between Angola and the Catholic Church.

The audience with Pope is an opportunity for the Angolan Head of State to invite the Head of Catholic Church to visit Angola, he stated.

In Roma, Italy, Manuel Augusto said that it will be a pleasure for João Lourenço to officially invite the Pope to come to Angola, but the parties have yet to set a date.

Over the last 27 years, Angola benefitted from visits by the heads of Catholic Church, including from Pope João Paulo II in 1992 and Pope Bento XVI in 2009.

Relations between Pope Francis and Angola date back to the time the former was Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Three weeks before being elected Pope, Jorge Mário Bergoglio was instrumental in the enthronement process of the replica of Our Lady of Muxima image in the International Sanctuary of Luján, 67 kilometers from Buenos Aires.

According to minister Manuel Augusto, two days after being elected Pope, the former Archbishop sent a text massage  referring to the issue.

“It is a connection that honours us and we have pleasure to explore  both States’ interests”, said the Angolan minister of Foreign Affairs, who stressed the importance of social work the Catholic Church performs in the fields of education and health.

Angola and the Holy See maintains diplomatic relations since the appointment of António Manuel Nvunda as the first ambassador of the then Kingdom of Kongo to Roma in 1608 (17th century). 

However, the diplomatic relations between the two States were established only on 08 July 1997.

On 13 September of the current year, both States have signed an framework agreement. Under the deal, Angola recognises the Catholic Church legal personality and ownership of its property.  

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