SACBC Statement on Gaza – August 2014

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August 2014 marks 100 years since the beginning of the Great War: a century of war & violence. And over and over again, we witness the tragic consequences of lessons never learnt.  The cry “no more war!” has gone unheeded and millions continue to suffer and die.

In different parts of Africa, in Iraq and Syria and now in Gaza we are faced with stark and horrifying evidence of the moral bankruptcy of modern warfare.

By its very nature: in situations and with weapons where no distinction is possible between combatants and non-combatants and where superpowers are stymied by lone suicide bombers, modern warfare shows itself to be obsolete.  War that has become interminable – or self-perpetuating as in Gaza – solves nothing; it never reconciles but only succeeds in entrenching hatred and division.

Whether perpetrated by Israeli or by Palestinian, the use of violence will never bring a solution to the problems of the Holy Land.  First and foremost the Israeli offensive against Gaza and the firing of Palestinian rockets must stop.  Then, it must be recognized that so long as structural forms of violence continue – for example, the illegal settlements, the wall, the checkpoints and restriction of movement, the lack of security on both sides – there is little hope for any lasting peace.  These and other root problems must be engaged and resolved.

It was said some 70 years ago, surely in the aftermath of August 1945 and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, “that humankind is fast reaching a point where it must choose between a God of Love and biological suicide.”  It is no exaggeration to say that that point is upon us, that point has been reached.

We call on the leaders of Palestine and Israel to put an end to the war and to cease the violence – to stop killing each other.

We call upon them, in the name of the God of Love they both worship – and with the collaboration of the International Community – to commit themselves:

-       to respect their common and fundamental dignity and rights;

-       to dialogue, to real negotiations and the building of a lasting peace.


Enquiries: Archbishop William Slattery OFM

083 468 5473

Posted in SACBC News by Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference. Comments Off


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It is absolutely abhorrent that the Christian community of Iraq, a tradition that goes back almost 2000 years, is suffering expulsion from their country and martyrdom.

As Catholic bishops of Southern Africa, we beg for religious tolerance in Iraq.  We assure our Christian brothers and sisters of our deepest concern and we assure them that we have not and will never forget them.

The utter destruction of ancient dioceses, vibrant parishes and faithful families because of their loyalty to faith is a crime against humanity.

We also bear in our hearts those other religious traditions of Iraq who suffer the same fate as the Christian community.

We admire many of the great religious teachings of Islam, particularly their care for the poor and the needy.  We call on faithful Muslims who believe in our common humanity to plead with those driven by extremism to cease their oppression of deeply religious communities and to seek that peace which Islam itself endevaurs to promote.


Given at Mariannhill on this 11th day of August 2014.


Enquiries: Archbishop William Slattery OFM

083 468 5473

Posted in SACBC News by Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference. Comments Off


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Pornography is destructive of persons, detrimental to our society and is evil.

As Catholic bishops we are totally opposed to the broadcasting of pornography in South Africa.

Any form of commercialisation and screening of pornographic sex is exploitative, engenders addiction and can only bring about degradation of everyone involved.  Entertainment should enrich and not diminish human dignity.

We, therefore, call upon all people of goodwill, especially those with the responsibility of decision-making, to do all in their power, to protect our people, in particular women and youth from this evil of pornography.

Given at Mariannhill on Women’s Day, 2014


Enquiries: Archbishop William Slattery OFM

083 468 5473

Posted in SACBC News by Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference. Comments Off

Bishops Plenary Begins Today In Mariannhill Ending on Tuesday 12th August

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Posted in SACBC News by Fr Smilo Mngadi. Comments Off

4 – 10 August

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4. White
Monday, 18th Week, Ordinary Time (Ps. wk II).
St John Vianney, Priest, memorial.

LH of the memorial. MASS of the memorial.

R 1 Jer 28, 1-17;
Ps 118, 29. 43. 79. 80. 95. 102.
Go Mt 14, 22-36.

[St John Vianney Seminary: Patronal Feast]

Read the rest of 4 – 10 August »

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