On September 13, 2019, the signing ceremony of the Framework Agreement between the Holy See and the Republic of Angola took place in the Treaty Hall of the Vatican Apostolic Palace.
On the Vatican side, Bishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary of the Section for Relations with States, initialed this document, which must henceforth govern the relations of the former Portuguese colony with the Holy See.
Indeed, according to the terms of the agreement, the legal personality of the Church—hence the control of its property—is officially recognized in Angola, as well as the “free exercise of its apostolic mission and its specific contribution to the different areas of social life.”
On the Angolan side, Foreign Minister Manuel Augusto, after affixing his signature, described the new treaty as “an important instrument that should help strengthen and consolidate relations between Angola and the Vatican.”
In Angola, nearly half of the 30 million inhabitants are members of the Catholic Church, while a quarter of the population claims various Protestant denominations: so-called evangelical sects, Baptists and Methodists, for the most part, whose number and influence continue to grow in the country in an anarchic way.