THE BOOK OF FR. TONY NEVES PRESENTED BY MARCELO REBELO
The book was presented on the afternoon of 8thNovember in the Bookshop Barata-Leyain, Lisbon.
‘Angola – Justice and Peace’ is a new book written by Fr. Tony Neves, which was the result of his doctoral thesis in Political Science. Many people participated in a session where it was formally presented. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa highlighted different facets of the book which ranges from Theology to the Science of Religions, from Social Communication to International Relations and Political Science. For more than thirty minutes, the presenter of the book defined the work as the translation and transmission of the life of the author on paper: it is a thesis of life, where the author knows what he is saying because he lived it before investigating it and giving it academic status.
The thesis shows that the intervention of the Catholic Church in Angola (from 1989 to 2002, the period studied) was decisive for the pacification of the country, because it denounced violations of human rights, proposed values and principles leading to peace and decreased the difficulties caused by civil war among the poorest peoples.
After complimenting the author and the work (which earned top marks with unanimous honours and distinction from the jury), the political commentator and professor of law considered “the book required reading for anyone who wants to know and study this period of Angolan history, since it is a unique and original document on the end of the civil war in the country”.
The author, a Spiritan missionary, shared some stories of day-to-day life in Angola during the civil war and explained the method of research that he followed: he first of all collected personal testimonies, then studied documents, analysed events and contacted institutions. He was in a privileged position to see the contribution of the Catholic Church in the critical period preceding the silencing of the guns.
Outside the session, when questioned by the media, Fr Tony Neves lamented that hunger is still affecting many Angolans; he expressed the hope for more social justice and equality for the Angolan people who are trying to lift themselves out of the ashes of a civil war that has killed and displaced millions, and has stolen a promising future from a big number of the population.