• Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

Launch of activities for the implementation of the framework agreement between the Holy See and the Republic of Burundi


Oct 5, 2023

BUJUMBURA, October 5th (ABP) – The Minister of the Interior, Community Development and Public Security, Mr. Martin Niteretse, opened on Tuesday, October 3, 2023, the activities of the joint commission for the implementation of the framework agreement between the Holy See and the Republic of Burundi on matters of common interest, in the presence of bishops, Catholic priests and representatives of the various ministries.

Minister Niteretse indicated that this joint commission was set up by the ministerial ordinance to develop a climate of understanding between the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Burundi (CECAB) and the government of the Republic of Burundi.

He specified that this commission is subdivided into six subcommittees to develop specific expectations for the implementation of that framework agreement. These are the subcommittee on associations of the Catholic faithful, on education, on health and medical assistance, on social assistance and development, on the retrocession of church property as well as the joint subcommittee on chaplaincy.

Minister Niteretse urged the members of the commission to work for the interest of the people of Burundi with a view to implementing that agreement.

The Chairman of the CECAB, Mgr. Bonaventure Nahimana, reported that the signing and ratification of the framework agreement between the Holy See and the Republic of Burundi on matters of common interest is tangible proof of a determined commitment of two parties, to collaborate well for the good of all the people of Burundi in general and the Catholic faithful in particular.

He added that the Catholic Church is very considerable in the field of education because it has invested in the school education sector, stressing that this church has more than 700 schools under Catholic convention. He specified that it is in the process of defining a project to build a Catholic university, to make its contribution also at the level of university education.

                                                                                         View of the participants

In the field of health and medical assistance, Bishop Nahimana stressed that the Catholic Church manages 92 health centers, 16 hospitals, 5 medical centers, 2 maternity wards, 7 centers for people living with physical disabilities, a polyclinic and 3 neuropsychiatric centers. He ended by inviting the members of the commission to work hard to support collaboration between the Catholic Church and the government of Burundi.

Father Martin Sinumvayaha who made a presentation on the framework agreement between the Holy See and the Republic of Burundi, indicated that the Holy See is the only religious institution to benefit from the bylaw of subject to national law, while the framework agreement is a formal bilateral pact, concluded through diplomatic channels and governed by international treaty standards, intended to produce legal effects.

Speaking about the guiding principles of the framework agreement, Father Sinumvayaha pointed to sovereignty and reciprocal autonomy as well as faith freedom. These also concern certain commitments of the Republic of Burundi and the Holy See.

Alongside the Republic of Burundi, he indicated the commitment to guarantee the Catholic Church and its members the freedom to communicate and maintain relationships with the Holy See and with the episcopal conferences of other countries, just as with particular churches, people and organizations present inside or outside the country; guarantee to the Catholic Church the identity of its faith symbols and its titles to ensure the inviolability of places of worship and symbols of worship. A commitment to guarantee the church its freedom in the acquisition and use of the means of social communication, and to recognize and protect the right of the faithful to association according to the norms of canon law for the specific activities of the mission of the church.

On the side of the Holy See, Father Sinumvayaha announced that the Holy See will make known confidentially and as a courtesy the name of the elected official to the Burundian government, who undertakes to keep it as a secret until the official publication and the respect for civil law, by building churches and other ecclesiastical buildings. Note that this framework agreement was signed on November 6, 2012 and ratified on January 7, 2014 by the Republic of Burundi.