The Holy See and the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe have exchanged the instruments of ratification for an agreement on Monday, January 29, 2024.
His Excellency Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States and International Organizations, represented the Holy See, while His Excellency Mr. Gareth Haddad do Espírito Santo Guadalupe, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Communities, represented São Tomé and Príncipe.
According to the communiqué issued by the Holy See, the agreement, composed of 28 articles and drafted in Italian and Portuguese, came into effect with the exchange of the Instruments of Ratification. It focuses on recognizing the legal personality of the Catholic Church and ecclesiastical institutions, establishing a legal framework for their relations with the state.
In the communiqué, Archbishop Gallagher emphasized the importance of the agreement, stating, “This exchange of ratification documents marks a significant step in strengthening the bonds of friendship and collaboration between the Holy See and São Tomé and Príncipe. It reflects our shared commitment to promoting the spiritual and material wellbeing of our people and advancing the common good.”
The event was witnessed by officials from both parties, including Msgr. Simon Kassas and Msgr. Carlos Fernando Díaz Paniagua from the Holy See, and His Excellency Ambassador Esterline Gonçalves Genero from São Tomé and Príncipe.