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The Preaching of Portuguese Colonialism and the Protest of the White Fathers

  • Luiś B. Serapião


Commenting on the work of Portuguese clerics outside Portugal, a former Minister of Overseas Territories referred to the government’s understanding that missionary work could not be separated from the high interest of the State. While Portuguese officials have long appreciated the support of the Church in Africa, the Church itself has been silent regarding the identity of interests between Portuguese colonial policy and church evangelization. This silence—sign of the acquiescence of Portuguese bishops to the colonial regime—led the White Fathers to speak-out, denouncing policies supported by the Church in Mozambique.



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1 Professor Adriano Moreira quoted by Joaquim Antonia Aguiar in “Actualidades e perspectivas das missoes catolicas portuguesas ultramarinas,” Sociedade de Geografia de Lisboa. Series II (See January 19701, p. 50.

2 Moreira, Adriano, The Spirit of Prince Henry and Portugal’s Present Policy Overseas (Lisbon, 1960), p. 27 , and Moreira, Adriano, Occidente e o ultraniar (Rio de Janeiro, 1961), p. 146.

3 Marques, Luis, Overseas Provinces or Colonies (Lisbon, 1961), p. 9.

4 Rego, Antonio Silva, Licoes de missionologia (Lisbon, 1961), p. 131.

5 Santos, Eduardo, 0 estado português e o problema missionario (Lisbon, 1964), p. 75.

6 Aguiar, “Actualidades,” p 50.

7 Ibid.

8 Silva Rego, Licoes, p. 301.

9 Aguiar, p. 56.

10 Ibid, p. 53.

11 Ibid., p. 154.

12 de Gouveia, Don Teodosio Clemente, The Voice of the Pastor, (Lisbon, 1961), p. 14.

13 Ibid., pp. 14-15.

14 Informations Catholiques Internationales, May 1962, p. 11.

15 Letter of March 23, 1971, from the priests of Beira to the Archbishop of Lourenço Marques.

16 Sebastiao Soares de Resende, “Eloquentissima Licao de Natal,” Diario de Moçambique, December 25, 1961, p. 3.

17 Ibid.

18 Letter from the priests of Beira.

19 Mondlane, Eduardo, The Struggle for Mozambique (Baltimore, 1969), pp 7479.

20 Informations Catholiques Internationales, April 1965, p. 16.

21 Letter of January 1971 from the Archbishop of Lourenço Marques to the Consolata Fathers.

22 Letter of January 14, 1971 from the Consolata Fathers to the bishops of Mozambique.

23 Letter from the Archbishop of Lourenço Marques.

24 Washington Post January 2, 1969, p.A-17.

25 Un groupe de portugais croyants et incroyants, “Religion prostituée,“ Portugal libre, July-August, 1971, p. 3.

26 Um documento que um grupo de Missionaries Espiritanos poe nas maos de Conferencia Episcopal, Nova Lisboa, July 11, 1970, p. 6. (Certainly the letter of March 23, 1971 to the Archbishop Alvim Pereira from the priests of the diocese of Beira [see p. 35] was one of the strongest letters ever written against a Portuguese bishop accusing him of engaging in partisan politics in the colonies.)

27 Raymond-Marie Tchidimbo, Archevêquede Conakry, “L’Angola de Monsieur Salazar,“ Informations Catholiques Internationales, November, 1967, pp 4-6.

28 Keatly, Patrick “Cleric Asks Defiance in Africa,” Washington Post, April 9, 1970, p. A22.

29 Mgr Maury “Colonies portugaises: la situation de ces territoires devient pour l’Afrique une provocation et un scandale permanent,” Informationa Catholiques Internationales, September, 1970, p. 13.

30 “Les travaux du symposium de Kampala,” Le Monde, July 30, 1969.

31 Pereira, Custodio Alvim, “L’Afrique est incapable de se gouverner,“ Informations Catholiques Internationales, October, 1970, p. 18.

32 “Mozambique: Un Père Blanc témoigne,” Jeune Afrique. June 1971, p. 17.

33 “Two memos drawn up by confreres leaving Mozambique,” Petit Echo, Vol. 8, 1971, p. 36.

34 Meisler, Stanley “Mozambique Rebels Disagree,” Washington Post, June 30, 1968, p. F2.

35 “Two Memos,” Petit Echo, p 358.

36 “Mozambique: Un Père Blanc témoigne,” p. 17.

37 “Missionaries who could not bear false witness,” Le Monde Weekly, June 17-23, 1971.

38 Theo Van Asten and Robert Wilhelm Grosskortenhause, “Letter from the Council-General of the Congregation,” The White Fathers (Lisbon, 1971), p. 8.

39 “Fact and Fiction in Mozambique,” The Tablet, June, 1971, pp. 631-632.

40 Teixeira, Franciso, “Statement by the Bishop of Quelimane,” The White Fathers, p. 20.

41 “Conferencia de imprensa por Dr. Rui Patricio, Ministro dos Negocios Estrangeiros,” Diario de Noticías, May 29. 1971, p.

42 “Message of the Presbyteral Council of Beira,” Petit Echo, November 1971, pp 419-424.


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