Catholic Archbishop Urges Angola’s Politicians to “work together to promote education for peace”

Archbishop José Manuel Imbamba of the Catholic Archdiocese of Saurimo in Angola. Credit: Radio Ecclesia

Archbishop José Manuel Imbamba of the Catholic Archdiocese of Saurimo in Angola has called upon politicians in the Southern African nation to put aside their differences and collaborate in fostering education for peace in the country. 

In his Monday, April 15 homily on the occasion of the 57th Anniversary of the Bishops' Conference of Angola and São Tomé and Príncipe (CEAST), Archbishop Imbamba weighed in on the events of April 12, when at least nine people were reportedly injured following an attack on the convoy of Angola’s main opposition party, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) parliamentary group in the province of Cuando Cubango.

In a statement, UNITA said that the caravan "was the target of an attack perpetrated by militias” from the ruling People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) party.

In his homily, Archbishop Imbamba underscored the need for politicians to help Angolans get out of hatred and evil.

“How good it would be if our representatives, our parties in the National Assembly, could work together to promote education for peace, education for citizenship, especially in those areas where intolerance is not yet felt,” the Local Ordinary of Saurimo Archdiocese, who doubles as the President of CEAST said. 


He added, “How good it would be if our representatives worked together, polished their political language more, penetrated the citizens more, promoted citizenship more and we really practiced the works of God.”

The Angolan Catholic Archbishop implored Angola’s politicians to be engaged in activities that foster “love, justice, peace, reconciliation, communion, and salvation.”

“How good it would be if all of us, as citizens could really practice the virtue of healthy coexistence, practice dialogue, practice welcome, hospitality; those cultural virtues of ours, which we must not allow to die out because of politics, because of militancy, because of intolerance, because of earthly bread,” Archbishop Imbamba said during the Eucharistic celebration at CEAST Chapel in Angola’s Catholic Archdiocese of Luanda.

He continued, “This bread that creates division, this bread that creates theft, this bread that creates greed, this bread that creates ambition, this bread that creates rejection of one's brother must be rejected.”

“Let's encourage God's works so that we can deserve His mercy,” the 59-year-old Angolan Archbishop, who started his Episcopal Ministry in December 2008 said.

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He invited politicians to examine their conscience and make the decision to work for public good rather than their personal interests.

“Work on your inner selves, on your consciences, your mentality, attitudes so that they are healthy, so that they are fruitful, so that they guide you to serve the people,” Archbishop Imbamba said during the April 15 celebration.

In working for the public good, the Catholic Archbishop of Saurimo said, “we can build that republican society that we all long for, where everyone feels well loved, well protected, and well placed, so that we can thank God for all these benefits.”

“We need to help our brothers get rid of hatred, violence, resentment, revenge, intolerance, everything that creates violence, enmity, and doesn't help us to be ourselves,” the Catholic Church leader said.

He continued, “How beautiful it would be if each of us truly stripped ourselves of that bloodthirsty man, that violent man, that man of hatred, that man of slander, that man who doesn't know how to appreciate the good and joy of others.”


Reflecting on the 57th anniversary of CEAST, the forum that brings together Catholic Bishops in Angola and São Tomé and Príncipe, Archbishop Imbamba shared words of gratitude. 

He thanked his brother Bishops for “all that each of us is doing in our respective Dioceses, for all that we are doing as the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, so that Easter may truly be the beacon towards which we are all heading, so that the Lord may always be alive within us.”

“I thank each and every one of you for your availability; I thank you for all the dedication, all the selfless mission we are carrying out, so that within this society of ours, the Church may always be light, may always be salt, may always be leaven and so that everyone may see themselves in this Easter light that shines and that through us must illuminate the lives of our families, our citizens, our rulers, our politicians,” the President of CEAST said on April 15.

João Vissesse is an Angolan Journalist with a passion and rich experience in Catholic Church Communication and Media Apostolate.