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SOUTHERN AFRICA’S NATIONAL CATHOLIC WEEKLY SINCE 1920

Radio Veritas to go live in Pretoria

Inside Is the budget any good? A Church-based analyst has given qualified praise for finance minister Pravin Gordhan’s budget.—Page 3

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1,166 billion Catholics New Vatican statistics show that Catholics make up 17,4% of the world’s population, while the number of priests worldwide has increased by 1% since 2000.—Page 5

Mother’s miracle twins The world’s first woman known to give birth to healthy twins after having had a heart transplant was advised to abort her “miracle” babies.—Page 4

Abuse victims are angry Survivors of abuse by priests in Ireland are angry because they believe the Church will not take full responsibility for covering up the abuse.—Page 4

The Lord of dance In his monthly column, Mphuthumi Ntabeni reflects on a troupe of dancers called Black Tapping Jesus.—Page 9

Tiger lost in the woods In his weekly column, Chris Moerdyk explains why embattled golfer Tiger Woods could learn from Southern Africa’s bishops.—Page 12

What do you think? In their Letters to the Editor this week, readers discuss celibacy and service, liturgical wordings, artificial contraception, and the effects of being abused.—Page 8

This week’s editorial: SA’s moral compass

‘Catholic Oscars’ for Hurt Locker, Glee

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Rock star’s journey to faith

www.scross.co.za

March 3 to March 9, 2010 No 4665

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Shacking up: Durban Why it’s a plans Hurley bad option festival

Cancer ‘brought me closer to God’

Reg No. 1920/002058/06

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HE new musical-comedy TV series Glee and the Oscar-nominated film The Hurt Locker were named two of the top honorees of the 17th annual Catholics in Media Associates awards, distributed on February 28 in Los Angeles. The Hurt Locker follows a US army explosive ordnance disposal team as they defuse bombs, dealing with the threat of insurgency and the growing tensions among their unit. The screenplay was written by Mark Boal, who was embedded with a real bomb squad. Glee, which is broadcast in South Africa on M-Net, focuses on a teacher who becomes director of a musical club at a Lea Michele in Glee high school. It was selected “because of its beautiful and kind heart”, said Catholics in Media Associates member and screenwriter Brian Oppenheimer in a statement. “The show demonstrates how the arts integrate life and learning in a joyful way, tinged with humour and sometimes pathos, as kids and teachers try to figure out the best choices to make in life,” he added. Sr Rose Pacatte, a Daughter of St Paul who has written extensively about film, received the group’s Board of Directors Award.—CNS

GLIMPSE OF EDEN: Domitilla Hyams, founder of the Little Eden homes for people with intellectual disabilities in Gauteng, and husband Danny admire the new wooden sculpture of the Holy Family in the newly dedicated chapel of the Little Eden home in Bapsfontein. It was sculpted over six months by Artur and Goar Tadevosyan, a Johannesburg-based Armenian couple who donated the work to the chapel. PHOTO: PAOLO SLAVIERO

ATHOLIC broadcaster Radio Veritas has been granted a special events licence to broadcast on 98.9fm in the Pretoria area, starting on March 4 and ending at the end of Easter Sunday on April 5. “The footprint stretches from Witbank to the northern parts of Johannesburg, and from almost in Sun City in the west to Bronkhorstspruit in the east,” said station director Fr Emil Blaser OP (pictured). The special broadcast marks the season of Lent and also the 10th anniversary of Radio Veritas. The station will continue to broadcast on DStv’s channel 170 on the audio bouquet and on live stream on its website (www.radioveritas.co.za). Schedule details will be published in next week’s Southern Cross and on the broadcaster’s website.  For further information contact Radio Veritas at 011 663 4700

In morality dialogue, find common ground BY MICHAIL RASSOOL

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RESIDENT Jacob Zuma’s spearheading a national, multi-sectoral dialogue on morality in South Africa may prove superficial if it just involves getting leaders together with a view to setting guidelines and putting out a statement, but fails to deal with the underlying causes of a moral malaise in the country, the research director of the bishops’ Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office has warned. For example, said Mike Pothier, one could well castigate and then forgive the president for his affair with a friend’s daughter that led to the birth of a child, instead of seeking to address the deeper issue of the way men in patriarchal societies approach women. He pointed to a double standard: if a female political leader were to behave in a predatory sexual manner, the outcry would be so much greater. Mr Pothier said the same applies to the issue of corruption; one could understandably rail against corrupt practices in high places, yet at the same time one does not get to grips with the ongoing poverty in the country and its root causes. This, he said, is not helped when politicians manipulate tenders for their own gain. He pointed out that as long as the economy is structured as a free-market system, poverty will always exist with all its attendant problems and social and moral issues. Mr Pothier commented on President Zuma’s calls for a debate on “the issue of a national moral code”, which he made at the opening of the National House of Traditional Leaders. The president said that using one’s own

culture to judge others is unconstitutional, which is why he wished to initiate a national conversation on a moral code based on values arrived at as a nation. In this he also cited the significance of the Constitution, which provides for diversity of expression. The purpose of such a conversation, President Zuma said, would be to take the nation-building project further, and arrive at a standard ensuring “no clever person gives himself or herself a right and authority to judge others or impose his or her own religion or traditional beliefs”. He said it would not be a political debate, saying that everyone was expected to participate “to define an African in this country, and a South African”.

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he National Church Leaders’ Consultation (NCLC), of which the Catholic Church forms part, welcomed the prospect of a national dialogue on morality and morals, saying President Zuma’s call was “timely” as it is essential for all South Africans to take “collective responsibility” for their future. “As a nation, we have been reaping the fruits of attitudes—social, economic, moral and political—that have undermined and continue to undermine what common values and principles of behaviour we shared in the recent past to achieve our new South Africa,” the NCLC said in a statement. “The elements of a legacy which were beginning to emerge under the leadership of former President Nelson Mandela and his generation of leaders have been substantially squandered. It is quite clear that at present we are floundering—directionless and clueless as to where we are going as a country.”

Raymond Perrier, director of the Johannesburg-based Jesuit Institute of South Africa, said the institute was “delighted” over the calls for a national debate on morality. As a multi-faith nation “we cannot prioritise any one religious tradition”, he said. “But we are multi-faith, not no-faith: our national morality like our personal morality is grounded in our religious traditions.” Mr Perrier said the Catholic Church has a unique contribution to make to this debate, “not necessarily in regard to specific questions of morality—although the Church has much to offer on these—but rather in its experience of drawing out an ethic which, though inspired by specific revelation, is framed by our commonly shared reason”. In this regard he mentioned the fruits of Catholic social teaching in relation to economics, the environment, development and power as a good example, respected not just by Catholics but other Christians too and people of other faiths as well as those of no faith. “The important thing is to create a common moral language that can provide a common ground for a reasoned debate,” Mr Perrier said. “One suggestion might be to focus on those areas of morality which are to do with the impact we have on those with whom we share this country.” He said this would not mean that the Church is negating other areas of morality, but would enable it to focus on, for example, the parts of sexual teaching that most impact the public space, such as polygamy and the “rights and responsibilities” of both genders, and not get drawn into debates on which there is likely to be little consensus.


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LOCAL Cancer survivor owes life to God The Southern Cross, March 3 to March 9, 2010

BY MICHAIL RASSOOL

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ELICITY Maart of St Mary of the Angels’ parish in Athlone, Cape Town, is a cancer survivor who lives to tell others of the joy of hope and of life. She says her illness brought her even closer to her God, deepening her relationship with her Lord, drawing her closer to the people in her life, and to be there for others. Speaking to The Southern Cross at a celebration for about 20 cancer survivors organised for World Cancer Day by the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), Ms Maart, who successfully fought rectal cancer, said she believed her illness and its challenges were God's way of preparing her to be used as his instrument. A secular Franciscan, Ms Maart helps cancer sufferers by filling them with a sense of hope to live life to the fullest. She operates largely through her parish, whose priest, Capuchin Father Sean Cahill, instituted a campaign, “Cup for Cancer”, which raises funds for CANSA. At the CANSA event at Alexander Sinton High School hall in Crawford, Ms Maart joined her fellow survivors as they were escorted on stage by Grade 11 learners. The event formed part of their life orientation subject. Educator Fazilét Bell, head of student affairs at the school and who was instrumental in placing

Cancer survivor Felicity Maart. PHOTO: MICHAIL RASSOOL

school facilities at CANSA’s disposal, said the idea was to promote a sense of service among learners. Several survivors, mainly of the Muslim and Christian faiths, testified to their experiences of anger and depression after being diagnosed. They said they are still standing mainly because of God, giving them a heightened awareness of his presence, and to tell of their love for life and for one another, united in their shared experience.

The survivors also said it is important not to give up, to be grateful for one another, and for a new lease on life. The community’s role in a cancer patient’s healing cannot be understated, said Musthapha Murudker, an African National Congress local ward councillor with the City of Cape Town. For him the significance of the event lay in underscoring the necessity of life and health in society. Also present were United Democratic Movement Councillor Dumisani Ximbi, mayoral committee member for health, and Anne Ntembe, director of the Athlone Department of Social Development office, the latter reading a poem entitled “Empty Table” about the trauma, loss and pain that are part of healing. Other items on the programme included a minute’s silence for those infected or affected by cancer across the world and dance routines. A CANSA volunteer, Avril Petersen, who lost a brother to cancer 13 years ago, said the event's purpose was partly to publicise a forthcoming “Relay for Life”. A fundraiser for the association, will take place at the Turfhall Softball Stadium, Lansdowne, Cape Town, from March..  For more information, Ms Petersen can be contacted on 021 689 5347.

The alternative to violence BY MICHAIL RASSOOL

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OUNG people in the Free State are learning to deal with potentially conflictual situations without resorting to violence. Instead of solving problems through violence, they are taught to do so through negotiation and dialogue, thanks to a programme begun by a Christian brother who used to be based in Kroonstad diocese. Br Jerome McCarthy CFC started the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) in the diocese, which he hopes will spread throughout the province. Devised by the Quakers in America and introduced at Greenhaven Prison, New York, in 1975,

and adapted Br McCarthy to the South African scene in 2006, the AVP promotes communication and listening, cooperation, selfesteem and a sense of community. Br McCarthy said AVP workshops have been organised in Free State schools and moves have been made to secure a more enduring arrangement with the provincial education department. He said the aim of every workshop is to change the lives of its participants through a “transforming power”, which he personally identifies as the Holy Spirit. One practice of the workshop, he said, is a “listening prayer”, where participants are helped to get in touch with that very power already present in them which can

change, not only their lives, but their whole community at school and beyond. Sadrack Lottering, appointed coordinator of the AVPFS (Alternatives to Violence Project Free State), said participants tend to come with different expectations. He said they undergo a conscientising process, eradicating interpersonal difficulties and developing mutual respect, and feedback indicates the AVP programme continues to make a difference in many young people's lives long afterwards, Mr Lottering said.  For information on AVP, Br McCarthy can be contacted on 079 081 3872 or Mr Lottering on 072 020 7244.

Hurley weekend in Durban this month BY MICHAIL RASSOOL

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URBAN'S Emmanuel cathedral will mark the sixth anniversary of the death of Archbishop Denis Hurley, February 13, with a special programme of events over the weekend of March 19-21. Known as the “Hurley Weekend”, Paddy Kearney, spokesman for the cathedra’s Denis Hurley Centre (DHC), said celebrations will includ’ the anniversary of the archbishop's episcopal ordination (March 19) and take in Human Rights Day, on March 21. He said guest speaker, Fr PeterJohn Pearson, director of the bishop’ Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office, will address an ecumenical workshop organised by Diakonia Council of Churches on the 20th, from 14:00-16:00, in the Denis Hurley Hall at the Diakonia Centre. He will speak on “The Human Rights and Political Situation in South Africa”. Fr Pearson will also give the homily at all Masses over that weekend—Saturday, 17:30 (English), Sunday, 08:00 (English), 10:30 (in three languages), 13:00 (Zulu)—on the theme, “The Christian response to injustice: See, Judge, Act”. Mr Kearney said Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, the main celebrant at the 10:30 Sunday Mass, will preside over a special public meeting in the cathedral that afternoon, at 15:00, to discuss the DH’'s progress over the past year. He said the meeting will introduce 18 society leaders who have accepted the cardinal's invitation to join him as the centre's patrons. Among them are Ela Gandhi, granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, Archbishop Jabulani Nxumalo of Bloemfontein, Bishop Kevin Dowling of Rustenburg and Dr Ben Ngubane, chairman of the SABC

The Denis Hurley Centre PHOTO:JEAN-MARIE NTAMUBANO

national broadcaster’s. “The patrons will not form a decision-making structure for the Denis Hurley Centre, but will be requested to use their influence and contacts to open doors for it,” Mr Kearney said. The meeting will also feature a presentation by the architectural firm charged with restoring the DHC's premises, the 104-year-old cathedral parish centre, he said. Mr Kearney said a feasibility study by a quantity surveyor, acting for the architects, has indicated that restoring the centre, which is run-down and dilapidated, would be far too expensive. He said the archdiocese and cathedral authorities have agreed that permission should be sought from the authorities to demolish the existing structure and construct a completely new building on the site. The cost is estimated at half the price of restoration. “The new building will be carefully harmonised with the architectural style of the cathedral while being of modern design,” he said. The former Diakonia director said the cathedral meeting will see the launch of “Friends of the Denis Hurley Centre”.

For the record In the February 24 - March 2, edition of The Southern Cross, “Parish’s youth ecumenical music event a success,” The Southern Cross incorrectly named the church as St Matthew’s Anglican church in Bridgetown. It was in fact St Matthew’s church in Bonteheuwel. The Southern Cross regrets the error.


LOCAL

The Southern Cross, March 3 to March 9, 2010

Qualified thumbs-up for budget BY MICHAIL RASSOOL

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NEW BEGINNINGS: Retired Archbishop George Daniel of Pretoria, is assisted by Matthew Turner of Elvira Rota Village, at the Little Eden home for people with intellectual disabilities situated on a farm in Bapsfontein between Johannesburg and Pretoria. Archbishop Daniel blessed the home's new chapel of the Holy Family. It was opened and dedicated at a Mass presided over by Archbishop Daniel, concelebrated by Bishop Graham Rose of Dundee, Retired Bishop Michael Rowland of Dundee, Bishop Abraham Mar Julios of Muvattupuzha of the Syro-Malabar church in India, and several priests. The event was attended by Little Eden founder Domitilla Hyams, 92, her husband Danny, and Manuela and Alfredo Crabbia, whose donation made possible the chapel's building. SUBMITTED BY GIOVANNI TOLDO

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HE bishops’ Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office (CPLO) has various aspects of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s budget speech. The CPLO especially welcomed his conservative approach to the fiscal policy at a time of economic recession, and his central thrust to secure a better life for all through a “new growth path”. The office has, however, raised questions about the continued low social spending in a fiscus that is said to have quadrupled over the last ten years. In his analysis, CPLO research director Mike Pothier said the fact that it was not necessary to raise taxes in this budget, despite depressed economic conditions of the last financial year, and that South Afric’'s borrowing requirements remain low by international standards, is a tribute to prudent, conservative management of revenue

and expenditure over the last 15 years. Mr Pothier said Mr Gordhan has “stepped smoothly into the shoes of his muchadmired predecessor”, Trevor Manuel. “For all his talk of doing things differently, it appears that not much will change in the overall approach to the budget,” he said. Mr Gordhan’s “new growth path” includes reducing joblessness among young people; supporting labourintensive industries; raising the levels of domestic savings. Mr Pothier said all of these aspects are worthy, even though the speech lacked specificity. He said the most interesting was the announcement of a scheme to promote the hiring of unemployed and unskilled youth through a subsidy to employers. He saw it as a welcome development, “a public-private partnership of the kind often talked about but seldom concretised”.He saw as significant Mr Gordhan’s

approach, striking the right balance between keeping inflation as is, at 3-6%, reining in a somewhat fluid Reserve Bank, and providing tax relief to lower income earners. Mr Pothier indicated as noteworthy the minister's reference to the possibility that taxes may have to be raised in coming years.He commended the introduction of a new carbon tax on all new vehicles that emit more than 120g of carbon per kilometre. A niggling question for him was whether national revenue and expenditure were really reaching the places and people that need it most. “The ongoing service delivery protests are an indication that the answer to that question is uncertain. At least as far as the poor are concerned,” Mr Pothier said. He also cited growth in total expenditure from R245 billion in 2000/2001 to R907 billion in 2010/2011, amounting to some 370%, close to a quadrupling.

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Catholics march to stop abortion Catholics in Johannesburg will march to Constitutional Hill on Saturday March 13, to give the Gauteng MEC for Health a memorandum stating the Church's views on abortion. The march will be preceded by Mass to be celebrated by Archbishop Buti Tlhagale in the cathedral of Christ the King at 09:30. The Culture of Life Campaign was set up by Archbishop Tlhagale to put an end to abortion and to promote the fullness of life. All parishes, confirmation groups, Catholic schools, religious and lay communities are invited to attend Mass and the march. Marchers will carry banners and posters identifying the group and expressing support for the Culture of Life Campaign. There will be prayer before the Blessed Sacrament for those unable to walk the distance.  For more information or to offer help with organising the march, contact Michelle Joseph at 082 609 6919.


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The Southern Cross, March 3 to March 9, 2010

INTERNATIONAL

Fury after abuse meeting V BY CIAN MOLLOY

ICTIMS of clerical child sexual abuse in the archdiocese of Dublin said they are close to despair because they believe the Church will not take full responsibility for covering up the abuse. Clergy abuse survivors met with Dublin’s Archbishop Diarmuid Martin to discuss the outcome of the mid-February meeting of Irish bishops with Pope Benedict and senior officials from the Roman Curia. The Vatican meeting reviewed a November report by an independent commission that investigated how the Dublin archdiocese handled complaints of clerical child sexual abuse between 1975 and 2004. The commission, headed by Judge Yvonne Murphy, “found that the Church deliberately covered up allegations of child abuse, but the only senior person who seems to accept that is Archbishop Martin,” Maeve Lewis, director of the One in Four abuse survivors’ group, told Catholic News Service. She said that in the statement

issued by the Vatican, the pope accepted only ‘’the failure of Irish Church authorities for many years to act effectively in dealing with cases involving the sexual abuse of young people by some Irish clergy and religious”. “That is not good enough,” she said, adding that the abuse survivors want “complete acceptance by the pope of the findings of the Murphy report”. “Archbishop Martin also told us that there was a chance that the pope wouldn’t accept the resignations of the three auxiliary bishops named in the report who have offered him their resignation. If that would happen, the victims would find it unbelievable, they really would despair,” she added. Another survivor, Marie Collins, told RTE News that she was “totally depressed by what transpired at the meeting” with the Dublin archbishop. She said Archbishop Martin “seemed like a defeated man. He told us he had passed on our concerns to the pontiff, but that none of them were addressed”. Ms Collins was among the sur-

vivors who reacted with a mix of anger and disappointment to the Vatican statement about the papal meeting with Irish bishops. She told CNS she thought the statement was “pathetic” and “so far away from accepting that there was a policy of cover-up”. “I wasn’t expecting much from the meeting, but the fact that the resignation of bishops was not even on the agenda had been insulting,” she said. Fr Patrick McCafferty, who as a boy in Northern Ireland was abused by a priest, said he was trying desperately to take something positive from the meetings. “There’s such raw and deep hurt that it’s going to take a long, long time to ever recover what’s been lost,” he said. Shortly after the meetings, in response to criticism of the fact that the Vatican statement did not contain an apology, Archbishop Martin said “there comes a time when repeating the word apology may even be empty”. He also said the bishops and Vatican officials agreed beforehand that they would not discuss bishops’ resignations.—CNS

US scholars to pope: Slow down Pius XII cause BY DENNIS SADOWSKI

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INETEEN US Catholic scholars of theology and history are asking Pope Benedict to slow the process of the sainthood cause of Pope Pius XII. Saying that much more research needs to be done on the papacy of the mid-20th century pope, the scholars said in a letter to Pope Benedict that “history needs distance and perspective” before definitive conclusions can be reached on the role of Pope Pius during World War II and the Holocaust. “We’re not on a bandwagon to

stop his eventual canonisation,” said Fr John Pawlikowski, professor of ethics at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago “We’re saying allow some time.” Fr Pawlikowski said the scholars, known widely for their research and expertise on the Holocaust, wanted to express their concerns in a respectful manner to the pope. he letter asked Pope Benedict “to be patient with the cause of Pope Pius XII”. Pope Benedict advanced the cause of Pope Pius’ sainthood in December. Fr Kevin Spicer, who teaches history at Stonehill College in

Easton, Massachussets, said that the scholars also wanted to tell Pope Benedict that concerns about the canonisation of Pope Pius are not limited to the Jewish community. “The people who signed the letter, they are…Catholic, they work in the Catholic Church in Holocaust studies or have written in that area before,” Fr Spicer said. “We’re all practising Catholics. We’re faithful to the Holy Father. We wanted to be sure of writing a letter that was respectful but at the same time addresses our concerns,” he added.—CNS

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Stephania and Rich De Mayo cradle their twin daughters, Natalia and Melania, whose births made medical history as 29-year-old Stephania became the first known heart transplant recipient in the world to give birth to healthy twins. PHOTO: MICHAEL WOJCIK/CNS

Mother was told to abort ‘miracle’ twins BY MICHAEL WOJCIK

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ERHAPS the birth of the De Mayo identical twins on December 29 already might hint at the girls’ personalities, now beginning to form: Natalia, the smaller of the two, announced her arrival into the world by screaming. Melania, the larger of the two, came out of the womb sleeping. Several weeks later, the twin’s parents, Stephania and Rich De Mayo of Wayne, New Jersey, beamed proudly as they took turns holding them. For their parents, the twins’ birth is a miraculous ending to a “touch-and-go” pregnancy riddled with complications. Their births made medical history as 29-yearold Stephania became the first known heart transplant recipient in the world to give birth to healthy twins. She received her new heart from a 14-year-old accident victim in August 2008. Many people involved call the twins’ births a miracle, including the physicians. Their birth has even greater significance as a “miracle” story, because Stephania and Rich, both Catholics, trusted in God and

rejected doctors who advised aborting both babies early on in what was a risky pregnancy. Bolstered by faith, the De Mayos refused to abort both babies. Later on during a serious complication in the pregnancy, the couple refused one doctor’s recommendation to abort one baby to save the other, Rich said. “Abortion wasn’t an option. These babies had a fighting chance,” he said. “We had faith, something greater to believe in from what the doctors were telling us.” The De Mayos’ faith was tested when doctors discovered that Natalia’s life was in danger from an unequal flow of blood and nutrients. That’s when a doctor matter-of-factly suggested the weaker Natalia be aborted to save the stronger Melania, Stephania said. Another doctor suggested that a risky type of laser surgery could correct the potentially fatal in utero blood-and-nutrient-supply problem. It was a success. “My children are everything to me. I have to be an advocate for them. I couldn’t take one of their lives,” said Stephania.—CNS


INTERNATIONAL

The Southern Cross, March 3 to March 9, 2010

Pope announces six new saints

Pope: Airports must respect rights

BY CINDY WOODEN

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OPE Benedict will create six new saints on October 17, including Bl Mary MacKillop, who will be Australia’s first saint. The pope announced the date for the canonisation ceremony at the end of what is known as an ordinary public consistory, a very formal ceremony opened and closed with prayer, during which cardinals present in Rome express their support of the pope’s decision to create new saints. Bl MacKillop, founder of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart, was born in 1842, in Fitzroy near Melbourne, and died in Sydney on August 8, 1909. Although her sainthood cause was initiated in the 1920s, it faced some serious hurdles, not the least of which was her brief excommunication and the temporary disbanding of her religious order. Sr MacKillop and other members of the order were committed to following poor labourers into remote areas of the country in order to educate their children. But local Church officials disapproved of the sisters living in iso-

BY JOHN THAVIS

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NTI-TERRORIST measures at airports should always respect the principles of human dignity, Pope Benedict has said. Although the pope did not mention specific devices or technology, his words were taken by many as a reference to the recent move towards full-body scanners, which reveal graphic body images along with potential weapons. The pope told a group of Italian airport workers that along with their efforts to guarantee security at airports and on board planes, they were also called upon to protect human rights. “It is important to remember that in every project and activity, the first thing to safeguard and value is the person in his integrity.” He noted that airports have adopted new measures to counteract the threat of terrorism, which is increasingly aimed at civil aviation. “Even in this situation, one must not forget that respect for the primacy of the person and attention to his needs does not make this service less effective,” the pope said. Pope Benedict also observed that for himself and his predecessor, Pope John Paul II—the aircraft has become “an irreplaceable instrument of evangelisation.” Pope Benedict has made 13 foreign trips in his pontificate, logging more than 96 500km. Pope John Paul made 104 foreign trips, flying almost 1,2 million kilometres.—CNS

A woman prays at the tomb of Bl Mary MacKillop at a chapel named after her in Sydney, Australia. Pope Benedict will canonise Bl MacKillop and five others on October 17. PHOTO: DANIEL MUNOZ, REUTERS/CNS lated communities, often cut off from the sacraments. Within a few months, the bishop who had excommunicated her lifted his censure and a Church commission cleared the sisters of

all wrongdoing. The others to be canonised are: Canadian Bl André Bessette (1845-1937), founder of the St Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal in Montreal. He was known for his

intense piety, famed for miraculous cures and praised for his dedication to building the shrine to honour St Joseph. Polish Bl Stanislaw Soltys Kazimierczyk (1433-89), a member of the Canons Regular of the Lateran. He was famous as a preacher and confessor. Spanish Bl Juana Josefa Cipitria Barriola, founder of the Daughters of Jesus of Spain who died in 1912. Italian Bl Giulia Salzano, founder of the Catechetical Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus who died in 1929. Italian Bl Camilla Battista Varano (1458-1524), a Poor Clare Sister. The Poor Clare’s path to canonisation was unusual. A formal beatification ceremony was never held for her, but in 1843 Pope Gregory XVI recognised centuries of devotion to her and gave her the title blessed. In 2005, Pope Benedict recognised that she lived a life of heroic virtues—usually the first step before beatification and canonisation—and in December he issued the decree recognising a miracle attributed to her intercession.— CNS

Vatican stats show steady rise in world vocations BY JOHN THAVIS

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he latest Vatican statistics show a slight increase in Catholics as a percentage of the world’s population, and a slow but steady rise in the number of priests and seminarians worldwide. The statistics, from the end of 2008, were presented along with the new Vatican yearbook. The Vatican said the number of Catholics reached 1,166 billion, an increase of 19 million, or 1,7%, from the end of 2007. During the same period, Catholics as

a percentage of the global population grew from 17,33% to 17,4%. The number of priests stood at 409 166, an increase of 1 142 from the end of 2007. Since the year 2000, the Vatican said, the number of priests has increased by nearly 4 000, or about 1%. Of these 47,1% were in Europe, 30% in the Americas, 13,2% in Asia, 8,7% in Africa and 1,2% in Oceania. The number of seminarians around the world rose from 115 919 at the end of 2007 to 117 024 at the end of 2008, an

increase of more than 1%. The increase in seminarians varied geographically: Africa showed an increase of 3,6%, Asia an increase of 4,4%, and Oceania an increase of 6,5%, while Europe had a decrease of 4,3% and the Americas remained about the same. The statistics showed that professed religious women remain the single largest category of pastoral workers, but that overall their numbers continue to decline. From 2000 to the end of 2008,

the Vatican said, the number of women religious went from 801 185 to 739 067, a drop of 7,8%. Regarding geographic distribution, the Vatican said the largest numbers of women religious are still found in Europe (40,9% of the total) and the Americas (27,5% of the total); both areas have shown a significant decline in numbers since 2000, however. During the same period, the number of women religious in Africa has increased by 21,2%, and in Asia by 16,4%.—CNS

It’s ‘always panic’ in Iraq BY SIMON CALDWELL

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HE killings of four Iraqi Christians in as many days in midFebruary could prompt a wave of refugees fleeing northern Iraq, where Christians live in a constant state of panic, said a Catholic archbishop. Chaldean Archbishop Emil Shimoun Nona of Mosul, Iraq, said he knew of about ten Christian families who already had fled the violence. But he said there was a risk that “all the [Christian] people will leave” the Nineveh region, of which Mosul is the capital, unless the attacks against Christians were brought to an end. “It is very difficult to live in this kind of situation,” the archbishop said. “It is panic—panic always. The Christians don’t know what will happen to them. It is the same everywhere—in the office, at school or even at home. They don’t know if somebody is going to kill them. “What we are seeing is an effort

to force Christians to leave Mosul. We don’t know who is behind the attacks,” Archbishop Nona added. “We think that they are politically motivated—that some group has something to gain if all Christians go.” Archbishop Nona was installed on January 22 as successor to Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho, who died in March 2008 after he was taken hostage by kidnappers. Although the identities of the gunmen in the latest attacks are not known, the surge in violence against Christians comes as Iraqis prepare to vote in the March 7 elections. The Iraqi legislature has a quota for Christian seats, but some Arab politicians are concerned that Christian candidates might enter into an alliance with their Kurdish rivals, according to media reports. An al-Qaida-affiliated group of Sunni Muslims indicated that it would seek to disrupt the election because it is opposed to Iraq’s Shi’ite majority gaining political power.— CNS

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6

COMMUNITY

The Southern Cross, March 3 to March 9, 2010

IN FOCUS

Edited by Nadine Christians Send photographs, with sender’s name and address on the back, and a SASE to: The Southern Cross, Community Pics, Box 2372, Cape Town, 8000 or email them to: pics@scross.co.za

MASS TEA: The outreach committee of St Dominic’s Catholic Church in Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal, hosted their monthly house mass. Pictured is Fr Brian Southward with (from left) Lyn Derbyshire, Pat Meier, Esme Baker and Maureen Simpson.

FIRST COMMUNION: Members of the Fruit of the Regina Coeli parish in Belgravia, Athlone, Cape Town, received their first Communion. SUBMITTED BY NEIL NAIDOO

SUBMITTED BY MARJ PETCH

R E D E M P T O R I S T S STILL SEARCHING? CONSIDER YOUR CALL WITH THE REDEMPTORISTS AT A VOCATIONS WORKSHOP TUESDAY MARCH 30TH TO SATURDAY APRIL 3RD AT REDEMPTORIST COMMUNITY MERRIVALE, KWAZULU-NATAL CONTACT: BROTHER LEHLOHONOLO TAPOLE, CSsR 033 330 3384 OR l_tapole@yahoo.co.uk

EDUCATING OUR YOUTH: Raising awareness around HIV/Aids and human trafficking was the main aim at the HIV/Aids and Human Trafficking Awareness Workshop held recently. Around 40 youth members from the Lilyfontein Catholic Centre in East London, and members from Mdantsane and King William’s Town, attended the workshop that stressed and encouraged abstinence. Experts in these fields held several sessions with the youths who were encouraged to set achievable goals for themselves.

AND REDEMPTORIST COMMUNITY BERGVLIET ROAD, BERGVLIET, CAPE TOWN 7945. CONTACT: FATHER SEAN WALES, CSsR, 021 712 2210 OR walescssr@gmail.com

YEARS OF DEDICATION: Sr Mildred Mncadi FSE, a retired dressmaker, and Sr Elvira Msomi FSF, a retired teacher, celebrated 60 years of religious life in the Congregation of Daughters of St Francis of Assisi in Port Shepstone, KwaZulu-Natal. SUBMITTED BY SR CHRYSANTHA MQWAMBI FSF

AWARDING SERVICE: Sr Nokuthula Khanyila FSF was awarded an Apostolic Blessing from Pope Benedict for teaching Zulu to priests and sisters from various communities for over 13 years. SUBMITTED BY SR CHRYSANTHA MQWAMBI FSF

GIVING THANKS: Guild of Our Lady of Mercy, at St Anthony’s parish in Durban, held their annual endof-year Mass. At the service members thanked their benefactors for their continued support through the year. SUBMITTED BY NEIL JOHN


DEBATE

The Southern Cross, March 3 to March 9, 2010

7

The legal and moral trouble with shacking up A new project aims to highlight the legal and moral ramifications of cohabitation between unmarried couples, writes MICHAIL RASSOOL

A

CATHOLIC family lawyer and an Oblate priest from the archdiocese of Johannesburg have begun a project, which sets out to make known the negative ramifications, both legal and moral, of cohabitation between couples—that is, choosing to live together without being married. Nthabiseng Monareng, who runs a family law consultancy in Dobsonville, Soweto, and Fr Mohohlo Patrick Maselwane OMI, parish priest of St Peter Claver church in Pimville and archdiocesan vicar for family planning,have named their project, Cohabitation Vat en Sit/Masihlalisane. It aims to show couples that the law does not recognise cohabitation relationships, aside from it being regarded by the Church as living in sin. The project also sets out to explain that couples who cohabit are being “discriminated” against, both by the Church and the law. It shows why marriage is a more viable option from both perspectives. A booklet is being produced and sold for this purpose. Ms Monareng told The Southern Cross how, in her consultancy, she has come across couples who when choosing to part (a perceived easy exit being one of the options for the arrangement in the first place) under such circumstances, their fights over assets tend to be more brutal. Losses are greater

because legally neither party has a leg to stand on, she said. Moreover, she continued, people lose assets far more easily in cohabitational relationships. She said, for example, there was a tendency among women to register houses they acquire in their partner's name because in their sense of roles they prefer to see the man as the dominant party. When the relationship ends and the couple parts, the man asserts his position and claims the house, which legally is his, and the woman has no grounds to claim an asset that she might have paid for or contributed far more towards. Ms Monareng suggested that for a lawyer each case generally has to be treated according to its own merits, without recourse to the usual regulations that govern divorce cases. She cited a case brought before the Constitutional Court by a couple who were together for 16 years and wished to have their rights as a couple recognised. In its decision, Ms Monareng said, the court upheld the institution of marriage as a special legal arrangement with entitlements and ramifications for either spouse, thus mitigating legally the whole notion of unfair discrimination against cohabiting couples. She said children of cohabiting couples tend to be more deeply affected by their parents’ break-up than those of divorced parents, on several levels. Only in divorce cases are the rights of the children easily regulated through common law. Legally, marriage as an institution needs to be protected, she pointed out. She said couples

Nthabiseng Monareng runs a family law consultancy in Johannesburg and has just started a project highlighting cohabitational living.

embarking on cohabitation arrangements generally tend to be ignorant of the legal conundrum surrounding their situation. Fr Maselwane said he is disturbed by the extent to which even practising Catholics simply embrace the moral “grey areas” of life, however conventional they may now be nowadays. He decried the option commonly exercised by many young couples to cohabit as a “trial marriage” to test the viability of the institution even though it may lead to that. Writing of his dilemma, Fr Maselwane said the question of cohabitation has left him “cold and discouraged”. “The ‘faithful’ come to church and receive the sacraments as if nothing was wrong,” he wrote. “I ask myself the question: is the Church relevant as far as

cohabitation is concerned? Is ‘sinful living’' part of Christian life? Or has the Church been blinded by this reality? “What is cohabitation—Masihlalisane or vat-en-sit, two people who are in love, who are living together and have a sexual relationship without being married, and having no intention of getting married? Well, they may or may not. This is not my point of debate. They are happy to live like that. They live like a couple. “Children may be born in this union. They are somewhat attached to each other, yet there is no commitment to each other. It is rather a strange set-up,” said Fr Maselwane. As for why a couple opts for indefinite cohabitation, where there is no trial and the cohabitation appears to be an end-product, Fr Maselwane observed that living together, mingling finances and completely intertwining their lives, makes it harder to break-up and many become trapped and end up “hanging around” with someone else. He said commitment is fundamentally about making a decision: “It cannot be a commitment if it’s not a decision,” he said. He also observed that people in such an arrangement, on average, do not seem to talk about what cohabitation means for them as a couple and simply find themselves just doing it. The priest concedes that many who are engaged in such an arrangement are good people who play their part in the Church as active parishioners. But, he said, because society accepts this type of arrangement it does not make it right in the eyes of the Church.

“The Church does not accept cohabitation,” he stressed. “The Church sees it as simply living in sin,” he added. Fr Maselwane said that in such instances he is always drawn to look at the Church’'s teaching and position on marriage. He said it is very clear that the Church sees marriage as a holy institution, instituted by Christ himself. Echoing the priest’s sentiments, Ms Monareng pointed out that two people who decide to cohabit do not attend “cohabitation preparation” sessions, which means they will live together without understanding, from a Catholic perspective, why they have done so. Nor will their expectations, how they will resolve conflicts or their short and long terms goals, reflect this. Many of them, she said, live together and assume they will live happily ever after. Is the Church not leaving this group of people behind, Fr Maselwane asked. How significant is the Church’s attitude towards these people, he asked. He said because marriage is good it should be actively encouraged and supported—a responsibility that should not be shirked just for the sake of accommodating a group of people who are deemed good for the parish. “While we do not want to lose them as children of God, how do we bring them close to us without being judgmental?” the priest wondered. “And how do we make them feel that they are fully part of us, one in the Lord and full members of this body, the Church?”


8

LEADER PAGE

The Southern Cross, March 3 to March 9, 2010

The Editor reserves the right to shorten or edit published letters. Letters below 300 words receive preference. Pseudonyms are acceptable only under special circumstances and at the Editor’s discretion. Name and address of the writer must be supplied. No anonymous letter will be considered.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Editor: Günther Simmermacher

SA’s moral compass

P

RESIDENT Jacob Zuma’s proposed national dialogue on morality in South Africa is most welcome, even if the announcement’s timing and lack of detail may suggest an element of opportunism by a president whose own views on personal morality seem to differ from that of much of the rest of the population. The National Church Leaders' Consultation (NCLC), of which the Catholic Church is part, summed up the challenges South Africa faces most eloquently: “As a nation, we have been reaping the fruits of attitudes—social, economic, moral and political—that have undermined and continue to undermine what common values and principles of behaviour we shared in the recent past to achieve our new South Africa.” The Christian leaders described the South African nation as “directionless and clueless as to where we are going as a country”. South Africa has indeed lost its moral compass. There is a need for a collective effort to guide the nation in the right direction. However, the terminology of “morality” is ominously loaded because it is so subjective. What embraced by some religions, cultures or philosophies may be abominable to others. It is therefore fundamental that the terms of the proposed dialogue be predicated on common grounds, with an emphasis on equitable and mutually respectful co-existence. The NCLC has identified a workable premise: “We propose that the starting point be the foundational principle that the human person, and every human person, has intrinsic and inalienable value. All else in any code of morals must take its lead from that basic principle.” Some thorny issues will be raised immediately. The dialogue will be tested as the question of when life begins is presented, and further when matters concerning sexuality and gender relations arise. These difficult issues must be discussed openly and respectfully, but they must not derail a collective effort to address areas of common agreement.

At the root of the declining sense of ethics is the erosion of personal responsibility. South Africa has been infected with a culture of impunity. The problem manifests itself right at the top. The presidency of the nation is occupied by a man who fought long and hard to prevent having his innocence of alleged corruption tested in court, and whose lapses of sexual continence have angered the nation. The culture of impunity is manifest among those who wield political power. Not a few political leaders have milked their power for personal aggrandisement, benefiting from business interests which don’t always give the appearance of complete probity (and lie about it when presented with their unethical dealings), and then are not adequately investigated. The culture of impunity is manifest among business concerns that conspire to swindle the consumers of staple foods, exploiting the nation’s poorest for profit. And when found out, these racketeers plead ignorance. The culture of impunity is manifest among criminals, who fancy the odds of not being caught and are not being turned into social outcasts, and among those South Africans who already threaten xenophobic violence after the World Cup, with no evidence of preventative intervention from public officials. The culture of impunity is manifest on our roads, where motorists believe traffic laws need to be obeyed only at the threat of these laws being enforced. The culture of impunity has infected all of us who commit infractions—drink-driving, littering, petty theft, coercive behaviour, adultery—simply because we can. The erosion of ethics and morality in South Africa is linked to this festering culture of impunity, the lack of personal, social and national responsibility. A national conversation on morality will be of no consequence unless it tackles this corrosive mentality.

Right time to give all to God

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T was with mixed emotions that I read Henry Makori’s February 17-23 column regarding his friend’s pain in the Church. There are times in our lives when we are so close to God that we feel a need to give him all. But the reality may be that we are already married—or we’re a woman! Maybe we say, as did St Augustine: “Not now Lord, not just yet.” It can be the same for priests. They may wonder why they cannot have both. God works in such mysterious ways, but if we remember that we are not in control, it makes the

pain easier to bear. We may never doubt that we will one day marry and start our own families, but when God calls, the doubts are innumerable. Parents want to see their children be successful, and vocations are not always discussed or explored in the family. Pope Benedict said marriage and the joy of parenthood is beautiful, yet how difficult it can be. Ask friends and family who in the wake of a divorce are left picking up the pieces of our brokenness and helping with the healing process.

New wording of liturgy examined

Using the pill is always wrong

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OUR readers may know of an email campaign originating in the United States by Fr Michael G Ryan entitled: “What if we just said ‘Wait’?” Fr Ryan, writing in the Jesuit weekly America, suggested that the new liturgical translations be tried as a pilot project, then evaluated in the setting of Catholic worship. He noted that though the changes had yet to be implemented in the United States, the texts were available for anyone to read on the bishops’ website; and that those who did so, himself included, had serious reservations. He said that as a parish priest he could not justify the changes. It would be preferable, he said, to test them in the real situation among priests and people whose prayer would be most directly affected. To date his campaign has garnered almost 16 000 signatures from 61 countries from laity, priests, and religious. The Tablet, commenting on the campaign, noted that among the signatories was Nicholas King SJ, familiar to readers of The Southern Cross, and Timothy Radcliff OP, author and former Dominican master general. Comments posted include many from South African Catholics who are highly critical. Only one local bishop responded sympathetically to the avalanche of protest which met the new translations. Those who might want to add their signature to Fr Ryan’s campaign may read his initial article and some of the thousands of comments that have been received, as well as register their own response, at www.whatifwe justsaidwait.org. Sr Judith Coyle, Johannesburg

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REFER to the letter “Pill right for me” (Marelize Shade, January 27February 2) which was in response to an earlier letter of mine. Though many probably share that view, the comment: “…if women use the Pill, then abortion will not be necessary” is flawed. Medical investigations have shown that the use of the pill can actually cause the termination of a healthy pregnancy by making the womb inhospitable for a foetus which has already begun developing. That is abortion. Secondly, though there is no shortage of different forms of contraception, all available free of charge, the abortion figures in South Africa have soared since abortion was legalised in 1997. Ms Shade’s analogy: “What is worse: to prevent a baby being conceived, or to kill the foetus?” is illogical. It’s like saying: “What is worse: to kill someone with a gun or with a knife?” In 1968 Pope Paul VI issued his landmark encyclical letter Humanae vitae (Of Human Life), which re-emphasised the Church’s constant teaching that it is always intrinsically wrong to use contraception to prevent new human beings from coming into existence. This is reiterated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:  “[E]very action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act or in its accomplishment or in the development of its

Opinions expressed in The Southern Cross, especially in Letters to the Editor, do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editor or staff of the newspaper, or of the Catholic hierarchy. The letters page in particular is a forum in which readers may exchange opinions on matters of debate. Letters must not be understood to necessarily reflect the teachings, disciplines or policies of the Church accurately.

082 450 9930 Trevor 082 444 7654 Piero 082 506 9641 Anthony

Don’t touch

M

Y thanks to Mphuthumi Ntabeni for his excellent and penetrating Pushing the Boundaries column “Without religion, life is barbaric” (February 3-9). Concerning child abuse, I quote the philosophy of my education professor of times gone by: “We never touch a child.” I don’t like being touched myself. Our bodies are temples of God’s Spirit and should not be treated casually. Children need the example of principled adults to teach them how to handle this hugely dynamic force latent in their prepubescent nature, and foster their ability to say one day to someone of the opposite sex with joy: “I give myself entirely to you”, as God intended. It is therefore criminal and inexcusable to trespass on their rights. Abused

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natural consequences, proposes whether as an end or as a means to render procreation impossible is intrinsically evil” (2370).  “Legitimate intentions on the part of the spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means, for example direct sterilisation or contraception” (2399).  “The Church has always maintained the historic Christian teaching that deliberate acts of contraception are always gravely sinful, which means that it is mortally sinful if done with full knowledge and deliberate consent” (1857). Catholics believe that the Church’s/pope’s authority as regards doctrine and morals is incapable of error. We who call ourselves Catholic must subscribe to the moral teachings of the Church; not just the teachings we like, but all of them. Collette O’Sullivan, Cape Town

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How can we doubt the Church’s teaching that priests remain celibate? A vocation is lived every minute of every day, be it priesthood or marriage, dedicated to those we love. Our God-given flock can be in the sacrament of Holy Orders, or the children with whom he blesses us in marriage. Both vocations are difficult enough on their own, without taking on the trials of the other. I watched my father die a little every day for five months, before he succumbed to cancer. My mother tended and cared for him “every minute of every day”. And so our priests will care for God’s sheep till the very end. Tracey Miller, Port Elizabeth

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PERSPECTIVES

The tribal priesthood

Mphuthumi Ntabeni

Pushing the Boundaries

The Lord of dance

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T the risk of coming across as terribly parochial, I’m sure anyone who has been around the city of Cape Town in recent weeks would have met up with performances that are part of City Public Arts Festival called “Infecting the City”. My personal favourite among them is the re-enactment of slave experiences at the Slave monument in Church Square. Most of the performances are funky, fresh with intense creative exertion. This is why it surprised me to hear some Christian groups had raised objections to one of the performances, the Black Tapping Jesus. After watching the supposedly controversial Black Tapping Jesus, I felt the Christian groups were being a little finicky. The show does suggest casually flippant familiarity with the story of Jesus. This may look and feel uncomfortable to conservative Christians. But to say the dancer’s dress code suggested that Jesus was a cross-dresser is pushing it a little. Also using arguments of whether the same portrayal of Mohammed or Buddha would have been tolerated or not is a little disingenuous. For one, Christianity, throughout its history, has showed a lively interpretation of its story. It has shown more tolerance by introducing a spirit of comedy where it needed to evangelise and entertain. More still is the fact that we live in a free and democratic country where people’s right of free expression and dissent is guaranteed, as long as it does not offend or infringe on the rights of others. The big question, I guess, is by whose standards do we interpret whether something is offensive or not to others’ beliefs. What is reasonable when it comes to the spirit of free expression? I would not like to enter into the technical details about all of this, but I do sometimes feel we, as the faithful, need to understand that having a sense of humour does not mean we lack deep convictions.

P

erhaps, with my stoic amor fati to religious absolutism, I am not really the best person to make this argument. To me, to quote Montaigne, “it is putting a very high price on one’s conjectures to have someone roasted alive on their account”. Such cruelty never starts as such, but as something minor—even something apparently dutiful, such as defending one’s faith. Yes, our faith is under attack from the spirit of secularism, relativity, atheism and so forth. But if we allow this to make us dour, to make us lose our sense of humour, or—God forbid—act cruelly, then we are playing into the hands of the enemy. We’d not only betray our lack of humour, but also our shaky convictions. If we’re serious about our freedoms—all of our freedoms—then we must promote a society that invokes variable truths about who we are; of course as Catholics we have to make sure that this also does not violate the Truth as brought to us by Jesus, the Christ. We must be unflinching about our convictions, but honest also about allowing other people to be who they want to be. Throughout history the greatness of religion has been how it can persuade and transform normative cultures and traditions, and not how it prohibited them. Religious greatness, in other words, is measured in the level of its engagement with society; otherwise we would not have seminal books such as St Augustine’s City of God, which has stood the test of time in these things. Personally, at the tapping Jesus show, I decided to follow my daughter’s lead. She simply joined the dance, humming her own song: Lord of the dance, you’re the dancing Lord! Children are our teachers in intuitive things— because their guarding angels stand before the face of God. As the psalmist saw it long ago: we live our lives as if in a (narrated) story, which is why I’m almost certain it is permissible to dance along now and then. The pain and chaos of life is painful enough. Where we have the galvanising potential to insert some joy, let us not resist the triumphal (or despondent) storytelling by flattening out the narrative even where it is not necessary. Let’s kick off our shoes (or put on our dancing shoes, if we prefer) and join the dance. Lord of the dance, you are a dancing Lord!

on DStv audio channel 170

also streamed on www.radioveritas.co.za

T

HE formation of priests is one way in which the African Church might risk overlooking its local aspect. On the other hand, a well balanced and integrated formation of priests could just be a significant means of shaping the faithful in their awareness of being a universal Church that is at the same time truly local. Proposition 40 of the African Synod on the candidates for priesthood calls for a solid intellectual formation, for moral, spiritual and pastoral, human growth of the candidates. It thus calls on formators to help candidates attain a spiritual renewal that enables them to conform their lives in Christ and beyond the their tribal affiliation in order to be effective ministers of reconciliation, justice and peace. This inspired me and triggered another thought. In the wake of the sexual abuse scandal, the Church, especially in the West, has acted quickly to re-examine the question of formation to try and prevent similar cases. Here we have what I want to call an inculturated formation that takes the form and the content sensitive to the issues in the area where those preparing for the ministry will serve. My concern, and indeed my question, is this: has the African Church not encountered issues surrounding the formation of priests pressing and critical enough to send our hierarchy to the drawing board so as to come up with a programme to propose (to the relevant Vatican dicastery) for the formation of the priests working in Africa? Or are we waiting to see how the seminaries in the West are going so that we can borrow what they are doing?

T

he Kenyan theologian Fr Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator SJ has observed in reference to the 2009 Synod for Africa: “Wherever we look, Africa yearns for reconciliation, justice, and peace,” seen in the multitudes victims of injustice and people end up being refugees. He added: “Examples abound of how Africa has been torn asunder by tribalism and ethnicity.” How much has the African Church responded to these aspects in training priests whose ministry is coloured by issues of reconciliation, justice and peace? Has it been enough to organise seminars for one or two weeks during eight years of formation? The first African Synod was in April 1994, around the same time as the genocide in Rwanda. How much, did that awake the African Church to see how tribalism can be an important aspect in formation of priests who often are to minster among tribes that suspect one another and are ever in conflict?

The Southern Cross, March 3 to March 9, 2010

Michael Shackleton answers your question

Open Door

Evans Chama

Echoes of African Synod If that is not serious enough, are there not cases where both religious and priests in Africa are implicated in fanning tribalism and conflict? At the 2009 synod, Cardinal Polycarp Pengo of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, was quoted saying: “It is sad to have to state that there are allegations against some of us pastors being involved either through our omissions or even by direct commissions in these conflicts.” Fr Agbonkhianmeghe refers the violence in Kenya of 2008 following the election: “The veil of tranquillity covering religious life was torn to shreds by tribal and ethnic sentiments as sisters turned against sisters and brothers against brothers. Professing the same vows and promoting the same charism did not shield some religious communities from the atrocious strife and divisive sentiments that assailed the rest of the Kenyan society.” And I fully agree with him when he says: “What happened in Kenya gives an indication of the larger continental profile.” Here we come face to face with one of the many problems of Africa.

A

participant spoke of the recurring remark in the Synod Hall that went like this: “Tribal or ethnic blood was still much thicker than the blood of Christ.” Tribalism is a serious issue not only for civil society but also very much present in and suffered by the Church—so much so that, in some cases, the nominations of bishops, parish priests or other important diocesan offices have not escaped this mess. What are we waiting for? Don’t these cases deserve urgent and practical action to influence the structure and the content of the ministry? The synod’s Proposition 32 called for a manner of evangelisation well adapted to the pressing needs of local churches. But how is that possible if a minister’s training is so lightly connected with the real needs on the ground? I think here is just one area where the African Church needs to rise and take up her mat and walk. She needs to be creatively and responsibly bold to propose a formation programme of her priests that surely takes care of a priest formed for the universal Church, but at the same taking seriously his role as pastor of a specific flock. This would require not so much specialised formation but simply the type that accommodates fields pertinent and relevant to the local Church.

9

Who are the Anglican converts? We have read that the pope is opening the door to admit Anglican groups to fully join the Catholic Church. Who are these groups? CJB N his apostolic constitution Anglicanorum coetibus of November 2009, Pope Benedict wrote: “In recent times the Holy Spirit has moved groups of Anglicans to petition repeatedly and insistently to be received into full Catholic communion individually as well as corporately.” He did not name them. It is known that the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) is among the keenest to want reunification with the Church of Rome. This group was founded in 1991 as a reaction against the Anglican Communion’s tolerance of the ordination of women and the acceptance of homosexuality among the clergy. It describes itself as an international commmunion of churches in the continuing Anglican movement independent of the Anglican Communion and the archbishop of Canterbury. It is represented in all Englishspeaking countries, including South Africa. In October 2007 the TAC met in Portsmouth, England, and agreed to write to the pope asking him to allow it full, corporate and sacramental union with the Catholic Church. The Vatican responded favourably, particularly as expressed in Anglicanorum coetibus. The TAC regards this as a generous invitation to full union because it allows the convert group to use their old prayer books and liturgy, in effect maintaining the established culture of Anglicanism while simultaneously being subject to the bishop of Rome and the norms of the Catholic faith as set out in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The pope has proposed that the newly embraced convert group will be unified with the Catholic Church by means of “personal ordinariates”, that is, specified networks of widespread adherents who are not limited to a territory such as a diocese. Each ordinariate will be entrusted to an ordinary (a celibate bishop) appointed by the pope, who will exercise his authority jointly with the local diocesan bishop. Each ordinariate will have to be self-financing. The archbishop of Canterbury and the Vatican have been in close contact, and this suggests that interest in communion with Rome is not limited to the TAC. Right now it is not clear how things will develop because there has to be much more discussion to clarify issues. Meanwhile, individual Anglican groups or dioceses may approach Rome without waiting for a collective movement.

I

 Send your queries to Open Door, Box 2372, Cape Town, 8000; or e-mail: opendoor@scross.co.za; or fax (021) 465 3850. Anonymity can be preserved by arrangement, but questions must be signed, and may be edited for clarity. Only published questions will be answered.

CONGREGATION OF MARIANNHILL MISSIONARIES

Ora et Labora The Congregation of the Missionaries of Mariannhill, CMM, sprung from the Trappist Monastery of Mariannhill founded by Abbot Francis Pfanner in South Africa in 1882. We believe that: “Our missionary field is the Kingdom of God and that has not boundaries!” Faithful to the example of Abbot Francis Pfanner, the Mariannhill Brothers and Priests try to be of service to the local church through pastoral, social and development works. We make our contribution to the call for renewing, uplifting, developing and sustaining the human spirit, as our response to the signs and needs of the time. In our missionary life of Prayer and Work (Ora et Labora), we try to effectively proclaim the Good News to all people, especially to the poor and needy, so that there are “Better Fields, Better Houses, Better Hearts!” To know more about us contact: Director of Vocations PO Box 11363, Mariannhill, 3601 or PO Box 85, Umtata, 5099


10

The Southern Cross, March 3 to March 9, 2010

FAITH

Faith came after boozing rock ‘n’ roll life Rock musician Chris Campion met every stereotype of the boozing star until St Augustine got him on to the road to sobriety—and his Catholic faith, as he told MARK PATTISON.

F

OR rock singer Christopher John Campion, the road to sobriety led him back to his Catholic faith and the Church. “I really feel like God has had his hand in my entire journey,” Campion said in an interview. Campion, 44, the lead singer of the legendary indie-rock band the Knockout Drops, had many lows on his bumpy road towards sobriety, which he achieved ten years ago. “I was so hot-wired into the mythology of drinking and boozing—and drugs, too, but…alcohol was my great love when it comes to all that stuff,” said Campion, whose memoir, Escape From Bellevue, came out in paperback after Christmas. “I was into all that myself: Jim Morrison and Jack Kerouac and [Irish author] Brendan Behan, [Pogues singer] Shane McGowan…you name any drunk artist, I was a fan of him.” Campion never defined himself as a nonbeliever, even during his most rambunctious periods. He recalled a face-to-face talk with Br Gerard, an Augustinian monk who lived at Villanova University near

Philadelphia, where Campion went to college. “I was at the lunch table one day, and sat next to him, told a couple of off-colour stories, made everybody laugh. When they all went away, I sidled up to him, and told him my problem. He invited me to his room,” Campion recalled. He recounted that conversation with the monk, who asked him if he knew who St Augustine was. “He struggled with faith his whole life. And he was this boozing, womanising saint,” he told Campion, who replied that sounded like his “kind of saint!” “He went on to tell me: ‘Faith is dark. It requires a leap.’ It was really an important moment,” Campion said. “I said: ‘You know, I miss that kind of belief and I really don’t feel like going through life as an atheist, as someone who just has no hope.’ I missed the camaraderie and a relationship with God, as well as the security of it.” Alcoholism runs in his family, Campion said. “We got to having so many interventions we started calling them ‘surprise parties’.” His brother, Billy Campion, also a rock musician, has got sober. Their parents are daily Mass-goers. Chris Campion goes weekly, mostly to St Joseph church in his East Village neighbourhood of Manhattan. One thing Campion feared was that drying out would rob him of his creative spark. “It turns out I was dead wrong. As soon as I got

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up on dry land, my imagination came back threefold. It was an avalanche of ideas.” And not just songs, either. Campion wrote a stage play that shares the same title as his memoir, Escape From Bellevue. The play details his sobering up at the Bellevue Hospital Center in New York, where he escaped not once but twice from earlier attempts to get him straight. His memoir is not for the faint of heart as it serves up, often in vulgar detail, events of Campion’s booze-drenched odyssey. “Some people may find it profane, but I never intended to be that way. I did not write to try to shock anybody,” he said. “I said a prayer to the Holy Spirit and let whatever come out, come out. There was very little editing.” Despite the episodes showing Campion careening in despair toward his eventual redemption, there are still moments so touching that even the author remains affected by them. “I’m doing this weekly serialisation of the book at a place in the East Village,” he said. “I read a short passage from each chapter. I was going to do chapter 1 about my first Communion and how my father was cleaning me off [after the young Christopher got sick in church]. I was practising the reading, but I got so choked up thinking about it, I went over to a different reading. I didn’t think I was going to make it through that first one without crying onstage.”—CNS

Chris Campion is lead singer of the indie-rock group Knockout Drops. “I really feel like God has had his hand in my entire journey”, the singer says, recounting his bumpy road towards sobriety and a return to his Catholic faith. Inset: The cover of Campion’s autobiography, Escape From Bellevue. PHOTO: CHRIS CASSIDY, COURTESY OF CHRIS CAMPION

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The Southern Cross, March 3 to March 9, 2010

COMMUNIT Y CALENDAR

Thoughts for the Week on the Family

11

Classified Advertising Births • Engagement/Marriage • Wedding anniversary • Congratulations • Deaths • In memoriam • Thanks • Prayers • Accommodation • Holiday accommodation • Personal • Services • Employment • Property • Others Please include payment (R1,05c a word) with small advertisements for promptest publication.

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BETHLEHEM:  Shrine of Our Lady of Bethlehem at Tsheseng, Maluti mountains; Thursdays 09:30, Mass, then exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.  058 721 0532 JOHANNESBURG:  First Saturday of each month rosary prayed 10:30-12:00 outside Marie Stopes abortion clinic, Peter Place, Bryanston.  Joan Beyrooti, 782 4331 PRETORIA:  First Saturday: Devotion to Divine Mercy. St Martin de Porres, Sunnyside, 16:30.  Shirley-Anne 361 4545. CAPE TOWN:  Adoration Chapel, Corpus Christi church, Wynberg: MonThur 6am to 12pm; Fri-Sun 6am to 8pm. Adorers welcome.  021-761 3337  Holy Hour to pray for priests of the diocese, 2nd Saturday monthly at Villa Maria shrine Kloof Nek Rd 16:00-17:00.  To celebrate the golden jubilee of the shrine of Our Lady of Schoenstatt in Constantia, Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 on Monday March 22, in front of the shrine.Tea to follow. All welcome Entries in the community calendar, which is published as space allows, are free of charge. To place your event, call Gene Donnelly, 021 465 5007, or email gened@scross.co.za

IRISH SOUTH AFRICAN ASSOCIATION

will celebrate S T . PA T R I C K’ S D A Y on 17th March 2010 at Pigalle in Greenpoint For reservations phone 021 713 0154 or email members@ireland.co.za Cost: R385 p/p includes three course dinner, wine, gratuities, two Irish bands and Irish dancers. visit our website: www.ireland.co.za

FAMILY CALENDAR: 2010 FAMILY THEME: “Families Play the Game.” MARCH: Keep to the rules Peter, James and John were chosen by Jesus to witness his Transfiguration, a moment of ecstasy, of witnessing God’s glory. This was done to strengthen their faith, just before they travelled to Jerusalem and at the time when Jesus warned them of his approaching suffering. Moments of ecstasy, of joy in marriage and great family unity strengthen us to be able to overcome the hardships and sufferings that are part of normal life. Play some games to test and challenge your strength and your faith. March 7, 3rd Sunday of Lent: The Lord of Compassion and Love. Every one of us has a right to compassionate treatment and love, no matter what has been done and what rules we have broken, but at the same time repentance is necessary. This is in itself a sign of compassion and love and in fact goes beyond a “keeping the rules” mentality. Understanding how we hurt one another and how that feels makes this more possible. As Lent progresses, begin to prepare for a time of reconciliation. Family Hour is good at any time, but during Lent families can make a special effort to spend time together. Set a regular time-slot.

Mass readings for the week Sundays year C, weekdays cycle 2 Sun March 7, 3rd Sunday of Lent: Ex 3:1-8.13-15; Ps 103:1-4.6-8.11; 1 Cor 10:1-6.1012; Lk 13:1-9 Mon March 8, St John of God: 2 Kgs 5:1-15; Ps 42:2-3, 43:3-4; Lk 4:24-30 Tue March 9, St Frances of Rome: Dn 3:25.34-43; Ps 25:4-9; Mt 18:21-35 Wed March 10, feria: Dt 4:1.5-9; Ps 147:12-13.15-16.19-20; Mt 5:17-19 Thur March 11, feria: Jer 7:23-28; Ps 95:1-2.6-9; Lk 11:14-23 Fri March 12, feria: Hos 14:2-10; Ps 81:6-11.14.17; Mk 12:28-34 Sat March 13, feria: Hos 6:1-6; Ps 51:3-4.18-21; Lk 18:9-14 Sun March 14, 4th Sunday of Lent: Jos 5:9-12; Ps 34:2-7; 2 Cor 5:17-21; Lk 15:1-3.11-32

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INVITATION The Divine Mercy Parish, Walkerville, delights in God’s Mercy and invites all people of goodwill to come and celebrate the

Feast of the Divine MercyMercy of God, on the fist Sunday after Easter, that is Sunday 11th April, 2010 at Mass celebrated at 15.00hr.

DEATH

PERSONAL

BLUNDEN—Rochelle my beloved and beautiful wife of 61 years passed away on February 17, 2010. You were a good and faithful servant to the Lord and I know He has given you rest and peace. Sadly missed by Trevor. BLUNDEN—Rochelle passed away on February 17, 2010. Mom you were a wonderful mother to Liz, Chris, Kathy, Mike and Genni and grandmother to Caithlin, Natalie, Claire, Sarah, Michael, Rochelle, Torsten and Kia and greatgrandmother to Luke. We miss you so much. “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain” Revelation 21:4. HASTINGS—Sr Mary. In loving memory of my sister Pauline who passed away peacefully on February 18, 2010. She lived a full life in the service of the Lord and had a great devotion to Our Blessed Mother Mary. Thank you for all the loving care of her fellow sister's at Schoenstatt. From her sisters Marie and Teresa and their families. HASTINGS—Pauline (Sr Mary). Sincere condolences to Marie and Teresa on the passing of their beloved sister Pauline (Sr Mary). Sister is lovingly remembered for our long and happy friendship. Pat and Jacqui.

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IN MEMORIAM CLOETE—Jeanne Lucie (Baby) (nee Pillay) of Springbok, Namaqualand, passed away March 8, 2003. Rest in peace. Always lovingly remembered by your children, grandchildren, sisters, brothers, families, friends and your sister-in-law. FIGAJI—Aaron. In loving memory of Aaron who passed away March 10, 1982. Will always be remembered by his children, grandchildren, families, friends, parishioners of the Catholic Church, Bellville, Legion of Mary, Cape Town and the School for the Blind, Bellville. LOVATT—Terence (Ted) passed away 2/3/2002. Always in our thoughts and prayers. From his wife Eileen, children and grandchildren. SHAM—Fr Lionel. Passed away tragically March 7, 2009. Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Pray for him. Sadly missed and lovingly remembered. Elaine.

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MARIANELLA Guest House, Simon’s Town: “Come experience the peace and beauty of God with us.” Fully equipped with amazing sea-views, secure parking, ideal for rest and relaxation, Special rates for pensioners and clergy.  Malcolm Salida 082 784 5675 or mjsalida@mweb.co.za MONTAGU, Rose Cottage—A luxurious selfcatering “home away from home”; stylishly decorated, the “coolest” place in town! Sleeps 6. The most peaceful surroundings, mountain views, www.rosecottagemontagu.co.za or e-mail: info@rosecottagemon tagu.co.za or  Christa at 084 409 0044 PIETERMARITZBURG— St Dominic Guest House. Beautiful old house recently renovated, adjacent to Dominican Priory, Chapel and Conference Centre, near the University and ashopping mall. Self-catering, fully equipped kitchen, safe parking and Internet access. Sleeps 8 in single and double rooms.  033 345 2241, 033 845 9103, 083 301 3354, Fax 033 345 2246, guesthouse@ zaop.org SANDBAAI/HERMANUS— Relaxing weekend away. Reasonable rates. Contact Jacqui Ferreira.  082 924 5807 SOUTH COAST—3 bedroom house. Marine Drive, Uvongo.  Donald031 465 5651, 073 989 1074. STELLENBOSCH: Five simple private suites (2 beds, fridge, microwave). Countryside-vineyard/ forest/mountain walks; beach 20min drive. Affordable. Christian Brothers  021 880 0242 cbc - stel@ mweb.co.za STRAND—Beach-front flat to let. Stunning views. Fully furnished and equipped. Garage, one bedroom, sleeper couch in lounge. R375 per night for two people.  Brenda 082 822 0607. UMHLANGA ROCKS: Fully equipped self-catering 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house, sleeps 6, sea view, 200 metres from beach, DStv.  Tina, 031 561 5838 WILDERNESS—Selfcatering house, 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms. Sleeps 8/10, indoor braai, pool table, DStv. Contact Julia, e-mail progalu@ netactive.co.za

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4th Sunday in Lent,Year C (March 14) Readings: Joshua 5:9a.10-12; Psalm 34:2-7; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Luke 15:1-3.11-32 EXT Sunday is the 4th Sunday of Lent, mid-Lent Sunday, when you can relax the austerity of your fasting. At this stage of your Lenten journey, you should be aware that the story of God in your life is not simply the old, old story, but a tale with an undying freshness about it. The first reading has the travelling people of God newly arrived in the Holy Land. Immediately before this in the text, the males have all been circumcised (they had forgotten about all that in the desert), and immediately afterwards, Joshua is to receive a revelation, just like Moses. In our part of the story, they perform the enormously important and symbolic act of celebrating the Passover, for the first time in the Promised Land. That old-andfreshly new celebration is what we shall be doing, a few weeks down the road, when we recall what God has done at Easter. Here, after the mass-circumcision of the people, which has “removed the reproach of Egypt from upon you”, they eat the Passover on the right day of the correct

N

O

CONRAD

Donations and volunteers and prayers always welcome

The loveliest of St Luke’s parables Fr Nicholas King SJ

Scriptural Reflections month, and the manna supply stops, as a sign that God has done what he promised. That sign, of course, points to what God will not cease to do in the future that lies ahead. The psalm for next Sunday is exuberant in its enthusiasm for God: “I shall bless the Lord at all times, his praise continually on my lips”; and the author invites his hearers to join in the celebration of the old and new God, “that the oppressed may hear and rejoice”. They are called to “magnify the Lord with me; together let us praise his name”. He is aware of the story of God in his life: “This oppressed one called, and the Lord heard, from all my distress he rescued me.” In the second reading, Paul, under attack in Corinth under the absurd pretext

that he is not a “real apostle”, stresses the “new thing” that has happened in Christ: that we are all “a new creation”, and how God is still at work in our world, “reconciling the world to himself” and, what is more, inviting Paul and others to share in the divine work of reconciliation. Paul begs the Corinthians, in Christ’s name, to get reconciled. The gospel reading is perhaps Luke’s loveliest parable. The setting is the complaints from the religious-minded about Jesus’ terrible friends (“he offers hospitality to tax-collectors and sinners”) who, so the pious set think, have no place in the old story of God. So, Jesus tells three stories about parties being thrown to celebrate the rediscovery of what had been lost. First, there is the sheep, second the coin, and third (the only one we shall hear next Sunday), the son, whose recovery brought about a celebration. It is a poignant, compelling story. We share the unknown parent’s pain as “he divided his life between them”, in response to the younger son’s insensitive

A Tiger lost in the woods N the second day of Lent, I listened to golfer Tiger Woods apologise to all the world about his recent moral misdemeanours. Two days later, on the first Sunday of Lent, I listened to my parish priest reading out a letter on morality from the bishops of Southern Africa. I came to the immediate conclusion that our bishops could probably have taught Tiger Woods a lot about credible communication. In their message, titled “Seeds of Hope”, the bishops talked about the crosses we all have to bear. What impressed me was that the bishops did not write their letter in “bishop-speak” which usually includes a lot of Latin words that no one understands and also a lot of complicated English words that sound like Latin words that nobody understands. Rather, our bishops spoke in the simple language of the people. They spoke about the crosses they had to bear and the crosses we ordinary people have to bear in these modern times. They spoke as fellow Catholics and not from a position of being a cut above the rest of us. It was wonderful, warm, credible and encouraging. They spoke of St Simon of Cyrene who carried the cross of Christ and suggested that Lent is indeed a good time for us all to look around for those who have mighty crosses to bear and see if we can perhaps take a little weight off their shoulders.

www.birthright.co.za

Chris Moerdyk

The Last Word My goodness, wouldn’t it be wonderful if the bishops’ suggestion could extend beyond Lent and beyond religion! It’s a wonderful ethos by which the world could live. It would bring an end to wars, divorces, slavery, human trafficking, crime, one-upmanship in politics and a host of other examples of man’s inhumanity to man which, when you think about it, all stems from people wanting to add crosses to others rather than to take some away. It was indeed a wonderful communication from our bishops—which was something that was missing from the Tiger Woods litany of apology. Don’t get me wrong. I think it was extremely courageous of Mr Woods to get up in front of a TV audience of billions and beat himself up with a string of mea culpas so long that even some of our most penitent saints would have considered it somewhat over the top. In spite of his determination to concentrate his efforts on turning a new leaf, particularly with regard to healing the rift between himself and his wife,

and putting every effort into protecting his family unit, the way he did it was naïve. First of all, while he kept talking about what a bad person he was, at no stage did he suggest that he had an illness. Secondly, if he were also intent on saving his marriage, should he not have waited until his wife agreed to at least be present? And the very fact that he held a press conference but excluded all but a few pool reporters and one pool TV camera, and then refused to take any questions, suggests that Mr Woods has little understanding of the media world whatsoever. What he seems not to understand is that in his position it is impossible to separate your public and private lives. He has been paid millions of dollars by sponsors to persuade the public to buy a whole string of products. His television commercials invade the private lives and living-rooms of viewers the world over. He cannot in return expect the public not to want to have some quid pro quo. I believe that by accepting money from the public, which is effectively what sponsorship is all about, you have to accept that part of you is owned by that same public. In the same way that politicians are responsible to the voting public and not the other way round. I sincerely hope that Mr Woods will get back to the golfing form that made him one of the best the game has ever seen. He is a golfer whom I have admired not only because of his determination and positive, attacking attitude on the course, but also because of what I perceived as his humility. He was, I thought, a wonderful role model to our children. Now he is not a rolemodel even to the public relations community. I believe that right from the start, Mr Woods has been ill-advised in terms of what he should say and when. He should have called this press conference within a few days of this saga erupting. One cannot blame the media for being suspicious of his motives regarding the timing of this press conference and the fact that he allowed no questions. All that he did was to suggest that he still has something big to hide. Frankly, I think that whoever is doing his PR strategy and speech-writing is doing a singularly bad job. Tiger Woods’ people would do well to have a chat with our bishops.

demand, we watch the boy learning to value the “old story” of God’s fatherly love as he endures his exile. That there is no hint of repentance in his return; it is simply the chance of a decent meal that brings him back. Then there is something new: for “when he was still a long way off his father saw him, and was moved to pity; he ran, fell on his neck and kissed him”. This is not precisely the old story of God as we are inclined to tell it to ourselves, but something more subversive. And God—it is clear whom Jesus is describing here—throws a party! But a shadow now falls upon the celebration; the Elder Son, who represents all too many of us of a religious persuasion, comes and abuses his father’s absurd generosity. This is a very old story Jesus is telling, with no room for the undying newness of the real story of God. At the end of the gospel reading, ask yourself: does the Elder Son go in to the new celebration, or does he remain outside, lodged in the old story? And what are you going to do, this week?

Southern Crossword #380

ACROSS 1. Attempts to economise (6) 2. Looked at intently (6) 9. Seminarian looks forward to it (10,3) 10. Lose Mel around the river (7) 11. Recess in which to be comfortable (5) 12. No distinction between Jew and... (Rom 10) (5) 14. Even and flat (5) 18. Eight players (5) 19. Come to grips with a hook? (7) 21. Your lavish gratitude (7,6) 22. Not genuine German (6) 23. Trembling trees (6)

DOWN 1. Moves angrily in the rough weather (6) 2. Sons I direct in acts of folly (13) 3. Panel involved in criminal law (5) 5. Defeat heavily around counter (7) 6. Do it to cut down on parish costs (6,7) 7. Find poet in tawdry Denmark (6) 8. Soak in water, very expensive (5) 13. Assign responsibility to run test (7) 15.Undertaker’s object (6) 16. Eager to have the same opinion (5) 17. Big meals for saints’ days (6) 20. Get a cricket trophy at start of Lent (5)

SOLUTIONS TO #379. ACROSS: 5 Soul, 7 Omnipotent, 8 Ties, 10 Holy Week, 11 Impair, 12 Russia, 14 Adds on, 16 Twelve, 17 Brethren, 19 Purr, 21 Reach for it, 22 Bede. DOWN: 1 Font, 2 Miss Mass, 3 Kosher, 4 Healer, 5 Stew, 6 Unbeliever, 9 Immoderate, 13 Sheepdog, 15 Normal, 16 Tenths, 18 Tyre, 20 Rite.

CHURCH CHUCKLE the burial service of an elderly woman was ASending, a massive clap of thunder sounded. “Well!” said the husband to the shaken priest when it ended, “She has arrived!” Veronica Bischof Send us your favourite Catholic joke, preferably clean and brief, to The Southern Cross, Church Chuckle, PO Box 2372, Cape Town, 8000.


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