Do Not Instill Fear in Your Employees, Angolan Bishop on Exercise of Authority

Bishop Belmiro Cuica Chissengueti of Angola’s Cabinda Diocese. Credit: Radio Ecclesia

Bishop Belmiro Cuica Chissengueti of Angola’s Cabinda Diocese has urged managers to be conscious of the quality of the authority and power exercised over their employees, noting that employers who seek to instill fear in their subjects run the risk of being seen as authoritarian.

In his November 5 homily during Holy Mass at Our Lady Queen of the World Parish of Cabinda Diocese, Bishop Chissengueti said managers should be aware that positions they hold are temporary.

“One of the problems we have experienced throughout human history has always had to do with the quality of the authority we exercise over others,” he said, and decried the tendency of some public office holders to seek “to be idolized, adored and even deified.”

The Angolan member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit under the protection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (CSSp.), also known as the Spiritans or Holy Ghost Fathers added, “In fact, one of the great evils of exercising authority and serving power is precisely when you have it in your hand and don't know what to do with it.” 

“When a manager arrives and everyone stands around and almost falls over in fright at his presence, it's because that manager is a bad leader. And when we become bad, the usual tendency of us blacks, which is already to lay traps in the path of others, only multiplies the evils that we could have avoided,” the Bishop of Cabinda Diocese who also serves as the president of the Episcopal Commission for youth, university ministry and Scouting of the Bishops' Conference of Angola and São Tomé and Príncipe (CEAST) said.


He said the best way to exercise authority is to be “close, friendly and aware that positions and functions are temporary.”

The Bishop of Cabinda also observed that the misuse of authority has been one of the driving forces behind family breakdown.  

Bishop Chissengueti said everyone is called to dissociate the power exercised in service from family functions. 

“You too, fathers and mothers of the family, have the obligation to know how to carry out the service of authority correctly. Self-respect is manifested in love, charity and closeness,” the Angolan Bishop said.

He continued, “We all need affection and recognition from our good and bad children. We must always have a sense of gratitude and choice so that we don't fall into ingratitude and dig our own grave.”

More in Africa

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