Late Angolan Prelate “distinguished by his goodness, sincerity, great love of the Church”

Late Archbishop Benedicto Roberto who died Sunday, November 8 at the age of 74.

The late Archbishop Benedicto Roberto who has been serving as the second Local Ordinary of Angola’s Malanje Archdiocese is being eulogized as having been instrumental in the growth of the Church in the Southern African nation.

In a Monday, November 9 statement, Bishop Belmiro Cuica Chissengueti of Cabinda Diocese in Angola highlights his memories of the late Archbishop who died Sunday, November 8 at the age of 74.  

“Archbishop Benedicto was distinguished by his goodness, sincerity, affection, prayer and his great love of the Church,” Bishop Chissengueti says, recalling the member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans) who died at the General Hospital of Malanje.

Calling to mind his conversation with the late Archbishop when they first met in 1984, Bishop Chissengueti says in his November 9 statement, “I remember the question he asked me on that first meeting of ours, ‘How do you, being from the IECA (Congregational Evangelical Church in Angola) want to be a Priest’?”


Courtesy of Archbishop Roberto’s “faith and great reception,” Bishop Chissengueti recalls, he was admitted to the Minor Seminary of the Holy Spirit in Huambo, Angola in 1984.

“Not having a parish of origin, as I left evangelicals for the Minor Seminary, he stayed as my reference,” the Bishop of Cabinda says in reference to the late Spiritan Archbishop.

Bishop Chissengueti considered the late Archbishop Benedicto as a parent, he says in his statement, explaining, “After losing my Father and Mother, I just lost another father and friend.” 

Born in Mussende, South Kwanza Province in Angola, the late Archbishop Benedicto joined the Novitiate of the Spiritans in Braga, Portugal in 1967 and was ordained a Priest in October 1981.

More in Africa

He served as the Rector of the Minor Seminary of the Holy Spirit in Huambo, Angola for 28 years before he was appointed as the Bishop of Angola’s Diocese of Sumbe in December 1995.

17 years later, Pope Benedict appointed him as the second Archbishop of Malanje. For 8 years, he was at the helm of the Archdiocese – since 2012 until his death. 

He chaired the Commission for the Clergy at the Conference of Bishop of Angola and Sao Tome (CEAST).

Describing the demise of Archbishop Benedito as having caused “great grief” in his native home of Mussende, Luciano Luís Luís, says, “Prayer is required because the relatives, the parishioners of the Mission of St. Anthony of Padua – Mussende – and the townspeople in general are in great despair.” 


“We pray that God may have this untiring Servant of His (Mons. Benedicto Roberto) in His glory and that the Holy Spirit may comfort all of us who remain orphans, especially spiritual ones,” says Luciano.

For the leadership of the Paulines in Angola, “Life has several mysteries, and the greatest of them is death. We can never understand why a loved one has to leave.”

“The pain we feel is immeasurable. At this time there is no word that can be said that is able to comfort our hearts. Rest in Peace Archbishop Benedito Roberto,” the leadership of the Paulines in mourns the late Spiritan Archbishop.

On his part, the President of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), Adalberto Costa Junior, learnt “with a deep feeling of sorrow” the passing of the Archbishop. 

(Story continues below)

“He was a servant committed to the country and to its people, having left very strong marks of a very significant priesthood and pastoral care,” adds the President of UNITA. 

Adalberto further says, “At this time of great pain, I express, on my own behalf and on behalf of the members and friends of UNITA, our deepest condolences to the Bishops' Conference of Angola and São Tomé (CEAST), to the Clergy and faithful of the Archdiocese of Malanje.”

In May, the late Archbishop mourned Bishop emeritus Oscar Braga of Angola’s Benguela Diocese saying, “It is a very big loss for me and for everyone.”

Archbishop Roberto had gone on to recall his first meeting with Bishop Braga.

“I met Bishop Oscar then priest, in 1971, when he was placed in the catholic mission as the brother responsible for carpentry, metalwork and a little bit of typography workshops; we were friends and we worked together,” the late Archbishop said in May following the death of Bishop Braga. 

Funeral arrangements for the late Archbishop Roberto are ongoing, the Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Malanje, Fr. Alfredo Ramos Gomes announced in the November 9 statement.

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.