A Week of Prayer for a Lasting Peace in the Middle East

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Our brothers and sisters in the Middle East need our prayers now more than ever.
We are inviting you to undertake a week of prayer for the Middle East, using the reflections and prayers on this brochure. You can say the prayers alone or in your parish, school or community.

Please, visit www.sacbcjusticeandpeace.org and click iPray, for more prayers and reflections.

“Let us pray together to the God of peace through the intercession of the Virgin Mary: Give us peace, O Lord, in our days, and make us builders of justice and peace.” Pope Francis.

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

To All The Struggling Mothers On St Monica’s Day

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Mother Tears

A priest once said to St Monica in the 17 years of her praying for the conversion of St Augustine, IT IS NOT POSSIBLE THAT THE SON OF SO MANY TEARS SHOULD PERISH.

Posted in SACBC News by Fr Smilo Mngadi. Comments Off

Communications Sunday Upcoming: Bishops Celebrate It With A Media Workshop

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Comm Sunday 2014 SACBC-final (3) (566x800)

Our bishops will prepare for the celebration of Communications Sunday (7 September) with a media workshop on media facilitated by the Vatican team consisting of Prof Sean Patrick Lovett, Bishop Moses Hamungole (both of Vatican Radio) and Mgr Janvier Yameogo (of Pontifical Council of Social Communications). The workshop will run from 2nd-4th September at Lumko Pastoral Centre, Benoni under the theme “Discovering! Experimenting! Experiencing! Discerning!”.

This is a joint effort of the Centre of Research and Education in Communication (France), Vatican Radio, Pontifical Council of Social Communications, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Office of Communications and Media of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference.

Posted in SACBC News by Fr Smilo Mngadi. Comments Off

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

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CATHOLIC CHURCH’S STATEMENT ON IRAQ

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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