THE STATEMENT OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH ON THE RECENT VIOLENT ATTACKS ON FOREIGN NATIONALS.
The Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference has observed with sadness the outburst of xenophobic violence in Durban which the Catholic Archbishop, Cardinal Wilfrid Napier has already condemned.
Our charter, the bible, is very clear “When a foreigner lives with you in your land, don’t take advantage of him. Treat the foreigner the same as a native. Love him like one of your own. Remember that you were once foreigners in Egypt. I am God, your God”. (Leviticus 19:33-34)
We understand the anger that the people may be feeling towards the foreigners for various legitimate reasons. However, we are a nation of peace; we are a rainbow nation. We conquered apartheid with very little use of violence and a settlement was reached peacefully. The same principle of Ubuntu needs to be applied in order to calm the recent spates of violence and unrest.
While we acknowledge that the utterances by His Majesty, the king of the Zulu nation, never meant nor intended this violence, we believe that he should categorically condemn this violence and publicly propagate the value of hospitality entrenched in the Zulu worldview “isisu somhambi asingakanani singangenso yenyoni ”. This would amplify his influence as a peacemaker and a loyal leader of the soil.
We commit ourselves to pray to God for this situation to be resolved and to be available as agents to broker peace. We also commit financial support from the SACBC Foundation for the displaced people.
We urge the foreigners and expatriates to avoid being involved in any unfair labour and illegal business practices. We also exhort them to expose those who are here illegally and report any criminal elements among them. This is to be expected of every responsible citizen, both foreign/expatriate and native.
We urge our society to avoid irresponsible use of social media. Many graphics and verbal postings do very little to change the situation but exacerbate the violence. Before posting, always ask yourself if it will bring any good or if it will fuel the conflict.
Finally, we urge the government to take leadership in this matter. Leaders of this violent movement should have been identified and confronted for dialogue and accountability. Issues that provide a context for this horrible violence need to be addressed immediately.
May all South Africans remember that “whatsoever you do to the least of my brethren, you do it unto me” (Matthew 25:40) and that the Freedom Charter (1955) says “South Africa belongs to all who live in it.”
Released by : Archbishop William Slattery, the Spokesperson of the SACBC
Enquiries : Fr S’milo Mngadi, SACBC Communications Officer
Tel : 012 323 6458
Cell: 072 110 8613
The Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference has appointed its new associate General Secretary. He is Fr Patrick Tseko Rakeketsi, a Stigmatine priest. He was born in 1972 in Lesotho and joined the Stigmatines in 1990. He made his final vows in 1997 and was ordained a priest in 1998. He was on missions in Tanzania (1998 – 2001), obtained a Licentiate in Dogmatic Theology at the Gregorian University (2001-2003) and is a lecturer at St John Vianney Seminary, Pretoria. He has vast pastoral experience as Stigmatine formator, pastor in various parishes, president of the Leadership Conference of Consecrated Life (LCCL-SA), Coordinator of Marriage Preparation Ministry and Chairman of the Board of Management of Catholic Institutions in the Archdiocese of Pretoria.
Fr Rakeketsi will be replacing Fr Grant Emmanuel who is returning to parish ministry at Chatsworth, Durban.
John 19:20, 21
A young girl in Grootdrink said to me one Sunday morning: “Bishop, my mother said that the day I was baptised, God the Father was very happy.” “And why was that Veruschka?” I asked. “Because he got a new baby daughter.” I was still marvelling at the depths of this simple statement, when she added: “And Mother Mary got a new child.”
Baptism, the Easter sacrament, means a new life and union with the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. We are made at home in the family of God. Baptism also means becoming part of the great Communion of Saints – and Mary is the first of the saints, and their mother.
“When the faith of the disciples was most tested by difficulties and uncertainties, Jesus entrusted them to Mary, who was the first to believe, and whose faith would never fail.” (Pope Francis 31 December 2014) Take her to your home.
Disciple “who Jesus loves”, that is you, take Mary home; make a space in your home where Mary is honoured, with a statue or picture; make place for her in your daily prayer; live daily her simple reply: “Let it be done to me according to your word.”
“O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy hear and answer me.”
+Bishop Edward Risi OMI
Diocese of Keimoes-Upington
Today we begin another Triduum – we will be invited to witness and celebrate the the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, in a personal and communal way.
The Triduum is filled with much symbolism – symbolic actions and gestures which invite us to experience in a real and transforming way the Paschal Mystery.
The Washing of the Feet is one such gesture – it is done in imitation of Christ and is a truly moving experience for both the priest and the people.
This gesture is a wonderful example of how our lives can be immensely transformed by both the words and example of Jesus. And while the physical washing of the feet takes place only once a year – the message of love and service that it contains, should be lived and celebrated daily.
As we witness this act today we could ask ourselves: Am I imitating Jesus in acts of humble service. Where in my life do I still need to follow the example of Jesus – in my loving, serving, trusting… my forgiving, sacrificing, obeying… In my dying and rising again?
I pray that the rich symbolism of the Triduum may help us experience the immense love and power of our God offered to us so beautifully through Jesus Christ and the Church. Amen
The Lord comes to my help, so that I am untouched by insults…
I have always been amazed as to how Jesus was able to endure his Passion in is a meek and humble way – yet with such inner strength and power. The image of a lamb being led to the slaughter often comes to mind; that image is reinforced today with the words of the prophet Isaiah: “The Lord comes to my help, so that I am untouched by insults”.
As you know there are so many insults flying around today. And people, ourselves included, are so edgy and sensitive – that we retaliate to the slightest insult or sarcastic remark. There is so much bickering, even within our own homes and communities. Surely, this is not the unity that Jesus prayed for – and it is very far from the peace and reconciliation that he died for.
During this Holy Week let us pray that we may experience God’s help and strength, especially when we feel unjustly treated by others. Let us also ask God to keep us calm so that we do not retaliate in anger. We pray that our own words will be life-giving to others, words that build people up, words that promote peace and reconciliation especially in my own family.
The Lord comes to my help, so that I am untouched by insults… Guided by this truth and following the example of Jesus, let us strive to live for the peace and harmony that he prayed for.