Holy See Signs Agreement with Equatorial Guinea

Accord Recognizes Juridical Personality of the Church

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 15, 2012 (Zenit.org).- An official accord was signed between the Holy See and the Republic of Equatorial Guinea on Saturday. The agreement recognizes the juridical personality of the Church and its institutions, among them canonical marriage, places of worship and spiritual care of the sick and imprisoned.

The accord was signed in the building adjacent to the National Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in the city of Mongomo. Among the dignitaries present were the President of the Republic, Mr. Theodore Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, along with Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Agapito Mba Mokuy. Signing for the Holy See was Archbishop Piero Pioppo, titular archbishop of Torcello and Apostolic Nuncio of Equatorial Guinea.

 Several ecclesiastical and governmental dignitaries attended the ceremony of the Accord, which contains 19 articles and an additional protocol set to be enforced with the exchange of the instruments of ratification.

The juridical framework of reciprocal relations was established in respect of the independence and autonomy of the Church and the State, and in the wake of the common desire for collaboration.