Vatican City, 3 March 2014 (VIS) – On Friday 28 February 2014, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Burundi, Laurent Kavakure, minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Archbishop Franco Coppola, apostolic nuncio, exchanged the instruments of ratification of the Agreement between the Holy See and the Republic of Burundi on matters of common interest, signed in Bujumbura on 6 November 2012.
The solemn act was attended by:
On behalf of the Holy See, Bishop Gervais Banshimiyubusa of Ngozi, president of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Burundi (CECAB); Archbishop Evariste Ngoyagoye of Bujumbura, deputy president of the CECAB; Bishop Joaquim Ntahondereye of Muyinga; Bishop Bonaventure Nahimana of Rutana; Bishop-elect Georges Bizimana, coadjutor of Bubanza; Rev. Jose Nahum Jairo Salas Castaneda of the apostolic nunciature in Burundi, and Rev. A. Lambert Niciteretse, secretary general of the CECAB;
On behalf of the Republic of Burundi, Emile Butoyi, chief of protocol at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Ambassador Egyde Ndikuriyo, director general for Europe, America and non-governmental organisations; Ambassador Antoine Ntahobwa, director for America; Ambassador Ernest Ndabashintze, advisor to the minister of Foreign Affairs; and Emerence Nahonkuriye, assistant to the minister of Foreign Affairs.
The framework agreement, acknowledging the good relations that have developed between the Holy See and Burundi over the last fifty years, defines and guarantees the legal status of the Catholic Church and regulates various areas, such as canonical marriage, places of worship, Catholic institutions of education and instruction, the welfare and charitable activities of the Church, pastoral care of the armed forces and of penitential and hospital environments, and the property and tax laws.
The framework agreement, which consists of a Preamble of 22 Articles with an Appendix, entered into effect with the exchange of the instruments of ratification, in accordance with Article 22, paragraph 1.