Vandals believed to be behind killing of elderly missionary priest in Angola


The Fides news agency reports that according to the latest investigation, vandalism rather than politics was behind the killing in Angola last week of Father Jose Alfonso Moreira.

The 80 year-old Portuguese priest, who was a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, was buried in the city of Luanda last Friday.  He was gunned down on Thursday, February 9, at his residence in Bailundo, some 60 kilometers north of Huabmo, Angola.

Police officials said the priest was shot seven times at close range in the face.  “The missionary had just gone to bed when about 15 armed men broke into his room and shot him dead without even giving him time to get out of bed”.  Police investigations indicated the shooting “would appear to be the work of bandits because the modest house was turned upside down and the catechist, the missionary’s assistant, was threatened and ordered to hand over non existing objects of value.”  “Sad to say banditry is spreading and people kill for no reason at all,” police said.

“Fr. Moreira was loved by all for his witness of service and love for mission even in times of difficulty” the sources added. “For forty years he served in Bailundo during the long years of civil war 1975-2002. Bailundo was occupied by the UNITA rebel forces (National Union for Total Independence of Angola) and then by the regular army. Nevertheless Fr. Moreira remained neutral, refusing any comprise so he could continue to announce the Gospel and serve others in the freedom of the children of God.”

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