"With regard to those who did not return, around 20, it is worth remembering that until the month of September they have a regular visa and with a regular visa each one is free to return sooner or later", said the Angolan bishop Belmiro Chissengeti, who coordinated the Angolan caravan to WYD Lisbon 2023.
According to the official, only at the end of the period of validity of the citizens' visa will it be possible to say that the Angolans, who remain in Portugal, "did not come or fled".
"Since they are still in good time for their visas, they just didn't return with the delegation and it may be that they do it in time before the expiry of their visas", he admitted.
At least 1518 Angolans, residing in Angola and in the diaspora, were registered to participate in WYD Lisbon 2023, which took place from the 1st to the 6th of August, and from Luanda 518 pilgrims embarked for the meeting with Pope Francis.
Bishop Belmiro Chissengueti, who was speaking at a press conference summing up the II Annual Plenary Assembly of the Bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Angola and São Tomé (CEAST), confirmed that around 20 young people did not return to Angola.
According to the Catholic prelate, the pressing situation of one or another Angolan in Portugal "cannot cause any surprise", in the perspective of "having found a better work environment, better quality of life".
"Well, emigration is an integral part of the human condition, the search for better living conditions is part of the non-conformity of human life in relation to suffering and the constant search for better living conditions, which, not finding them in the place where you are looking, where can do them better", he stressed.
He considered that these would not be the first Angolans to stay in Portugal, because, he argued, they have "note that it is not only the poor who emigrate, there are whole families there [in Portugal] in search of better living conditions, which is normal".
"What we appeal to is, above all, that a correct emigration be carried out, one that through the job opportunities offered, make a good contract, have a visa in conditions so as not to be subject to the whims of employers", concluded the also spokesperson of CEAST.
The II Annual Plenary Assembly of CEAST bishops took place between the 23rd and 28th of August at its headquarters in Luanda.
The Angolan Catholic bishops approved, in this conclave, the pastoral message for the third year of the Children's Triennium (2023-2024) entitled "The Integration of the Child in the Church and Society" and the pastoral note on the social reality of Angola and São Tomé.
They also approved the specific revision of the statutes of CEAST, the statutes of Rádio Ecclesia - Emissora Católica de Angola, and the respective management council, which will be composed of bishops António Francisco Jaca (president), António Lunguieki Pedro (vice-president) and Maurício Camuto (1st vowel).
The new management council of the Angolan Catholic radio also includes Father Augusto Epalanga (2nd member) and Edna de Carvalho (3rd member).