VATICAN CITY -- Angolan Catholics must resist customs in their country that go against the Gospel, including the practice of cohabitation without marriage, shunning or even killing children and old people accused of being witches, and divisions based on tribal origin, Pope Benedict XVI said.
"Christians breathe the spirit of their time and experience the pressure of the customs of their society, but through the grace of baptism, they are called to renounce the dangerous prevailing tendencies," the pope told the bishops of Angola and Sao Tome.
Meeting the bishops Oct. 29 at the end of their "ad limina" visits to the Vatican, Pope Benedict said there were three practices widely accepted in Angolan society that are contrary to the Gospel and the good of the human family.
The first, he said, is what Angolans call "amigamento," or cohabitation, which the pope said "contradicts God's plan for procreation and the human family."
Pope Benedict said the low rate of Catholic marriages in Angola indicates a serious problem, including for social stability.