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Parish of the Month from the Cape

50 from SA at closing of priests’ year

Mystery over why bishop was killed

How the gospels see Jesus

www.scross.co.za

June 23 to June 29, 2010 Reg No. 1920/002058/06

No 4681

R5,00 (incl VAT RSA)

SOUTHERN AFRICA’S NATIONAL CATHOLIC WEEKLY SINCE 1920

Inside Mini-world cup for unity Catholic organisations have launched a football tournament in Pretoria featuring teams of migrants and South Africans as a way of helping to forestall the threat of renewed xenophobic violence.—Page 3

Aids funding alarm The Vatican’s nuncio to the United Nations has sounded alarm over cuts in international funding for the fight against HIV/Aids which affect several countries, including South Africa.—Page 4

Books reviewed We review books on the study of Jesus, African music and a novena for stressed Catholics.—Page 10

Jesus, the man In his monthly column, Mphuthumi Ntabeni reflects on the search for the historical Jesus.—Page 9

What do you think? In their Letters to the Editor this week, readers discuss Church land, constructive change, praying for abuse survivors, Divine Mercy, and family planning.—Page 8

This week’s editorial: A Church of penance

The dome of St Peter’s basilica at the Vatican is silhouetted as the sun sets in Rome.

PHOTO: PAUL HARING, CNS

‘God can’t be kept out of morality debate’ BY CHRIS CHATTERIS SJ

Vuvuzelas in ‘town of rest’ don’t faze bishop BY BRONWEN DACHS

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HE sound of vuvuzelas made for a sleepless night for Rustenburg’s bishop as football fans watched and then celebrated World Cup games less than 2km from his residence. Bishop Kevin Dowling, who lives near the 44 000-seat Royal Bafokeng Stadium, said there was “an incredible sense of celebration” among local residents and visiting fans, who included US Vice-President Joe Biden, who attended the United States’ 1-1 draw with England. “It is amazing that sport is able to unite the nation like this, and I hope we can build on this spirit of unity when the tournament is over,” said Bishop Dowling. He laughed as he told of the sound of thousands of people blowing the plastic horns and depriving him of sleep. Vuvuzelas are said to be based on kudu horns and rooted in African history. In a statement released as the World Cup began, Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban urged South Africans to “welcome the world, encounter the world, learn from the world so that the world will know that we remain the Rainbow Nation, diverse and united”.—CNS

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HETHER we—or politicians—like it or not, God is a part of the process of any national debate on morality. This was the consensus of the second Jesuit Institute/University of Johannesburg discussion held at Holy Trinity church at Braamfontein, Johannesburg. How one understands God’s role and the extent to which this role can be articulated in explicitly religious language remains, however, a point for ongoing discussion. Archbishop Buti Tlhagale of Johannesburg presented the Catholic case for religious engagement in the public sphere. He drew on principles of natural law common to all reasonable people and expressed the need for a clearly articulated ground for moral consensus. Rooted in natural law, Catholic social thought holds to a number of key themes that have direct bearing on public morality—the common good, respect for persons, subsidiarity and the option for the poor. None of them are specifically Catholic in content and can thus be used effectively in finding common ground. The archbishop was fiercely critical of the widespread corruption he saw in contemporary South African public life. It was challenges such as these that made a national debate on morality essential, he said. Political analyst Professor Steven Friedman holds a joint post between Rhodes and Johannesburg universities and is a regular preacher in a small Reform synagogue. He acknowledged that while it was necessary to bring a strongly religious presence into the moral debate, it was by no means easy. Within religions as much as between them debates can be acrimonious.

The panel: Professor Steven Friedman, Rev Frank Chikane and Archbishop Buti Tlhagale To illustrate his point, he told an amusing Talmudic tale of how, during a dispute, God tried to convince a group of rabbis that one of them was right—and got told off for his trouble. Despite this, Prof Friedman argued, religious persons need to take a clear stand on public issues. This was particularly true when faced by a tendency to see public life as a means to feathering one’s own nest. The sheer greed of politicians is disturbing, Prof Friedman said. One of the challenges facing religious communities today, he said, was reminding corrupt politicians that “enough is as good as a feast”. Having been tortured in the 1980s by a deacon within his own church, Rev Frank Chikane was all too aware of how internally divisive political issues can be within religions. Yet, he argued, we need a more publicly engaged church in this new era. Like the other speakers, Rev Chikane saw the need for a debate on national morality that moved beyond the narrow confines of parliamentarians’ private lives. The corruption of public office, he said, flew in the face of the “revolutionary morality” that was part of the culture that he and many other activists had imbibed during

the struggle. There was a need for a new struggle and a return to what he called a “conservative revolutionary morality” based on a contextual reading of the Christian Gospel. As it was during the first Jesuit Institute/University of Johannesburg forum, also on the morality conversation, debate after the speakers’ addresses was robust. A number of the audience raised the point that since 1994 many of the public figures who had led the moral struggle against apartheid had disappeared from the scene. The role of the Church had in some ways faded into the background. Other respondents felt that the nature of the public debate had changed so much that a new language was needed to continue the engagement. It was no longer enough for the Church and the religious community to simply “protest”. One problem that was raised by the floor was that of moral relativism. By talking about ethics in context was one simply saying that there was no such thing as right or wrong? None of the panel wanted to accept such a claim, even though they equally were unwilling to see simplistic one-line solutions to complex problems. For a number of participants, the questions that have been raised by this and the previous conversation on the “national moral debate” need to continue. Among the guest speakers there has been a strong common feeling that public morality cannot simply be expressed according to particular and institutional religious doctrines, but must reflect a broad basic consensus between and within religious traditions. In this respect, there is clearly a “space” for God in the public debate.


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The Southern Cross, June 23 to June 29, 2010

LOCAL

Protest laws discussed at faith gathering BY FR MOKESH MORAR

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ORE than 30 community leaders representing 14 organisations gathered for a workshop in the Bethlehem diocese to discuss legislation on freedom of association and dissent, as well as access to information. The workshop was organised by the local Sekwele Centre for Social Reflection and the Freedom of Expression Institute and saw leaders from ten rural towns discussing and debating the Regulations of Gathering Act (RGA) and the Promotion of Access to Information Act. “It is the pain of the people suffering and waiting, waiting, and when we are tired of waiting then we protest, and perhaps they [the authorities] will listen to our cry,” said one community leader. Community leaders said that people do not protest because they like it, but in most instances it's

from frustration over lack of services, despite public meetings or imbizos, organised by municipalities. Despite such consultation, they said, the concerns of communities are not listened to, nor do they receive promised feedback from local authorities until they have protested against poor service delivery. “Our leaders lack skills to really listen and to address our concerns. They make empty promises and we are tired of it after so many years,” one participant said. In April it was reported that there had been more protests and demonstrations since President Jacob Zuma assumed office than in other post-1994 political administrations. Participants said they were at the workshop to learn and understand what the procedures and regulations were that govern

protest gatherings—as their sense of responsibility dictated—which also dictated organising peaceful and non-violent protests. Many felt workshops were essential for police and government officials to get them to understand the RGA. Copies of the manual The Right to Protest: A handbook for Protesters and Police was handed out at the workshop. But it was not always against poor service delivery by local government that people were protesting, the workshop heard. “Farm communities are still facing evictions and the hardships that go with it in the new democratic South Africa,” said one member involved in issues affecting farm workers. Mining companies, many of whom are BEE compliant, are resettling people through forced removals like the apartheid regime, said an activist.

Panel highlights work still to be done BY KEN LANCASTER

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ARDINAL Wilfrid Napier of Durban participated in an interfaith panel discussion at the Durban Progressive Jewish Synagogue (DPJS) during the biennial conference of the South African Union for Progressive Judaism. Themed “Challenges facing the Abrahamic faiths in the 21st Century”, the panel included the leader of the Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation, Rabbi Hillel Avidan and Sheikh Rafeek Hassan, a well known Durban Muslim scholar. The discussion was moderated by Rabbi Robert Ash of Johannesburg. Cardinal Napier briefly sketched his early life in rural Matatiele in the diocese of Kokstad, where he matriculated before going to Ireland and Belgium to study and

train for the priesthood. He said his interaction with people of different nationalities and cultures during this period made him aware that, irrespective of these differences, people are all children of God. Sheikh Hassan referred to the followers of Judaism, Christianity and Islam as “people of the book” with many common beliefs and practices. He said there is a great measure of religious tolerance in South Africa. Born in Australia, Rabbi Avidan, who studied and worked in England, spoke of his experiences of leading within the reformist Jewish tradition. Challenges facing the monotheistic religions were also identified and discussed. These included the problem of fundamentalism and

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EACON Brent Chalmers of Immaculate Conception parish in Rosebank, Johannesburg believes that where many people are gathered, diversity of talent and skill is collected in a single space, which he says many fail to realise. The deacon, who runs an online South African interfaith spiritual agency, The Soul Provider Trust, pointed out that God has

blessed each individual in ways that each has probably only partially seen or noticed. “There does come a time at which the bottom line has to be drawn and the question has to be asked: What is there for God to see as a return for what He’s invested in us? Where’s the harvest? What have we done with our gifts? What good story do we have to share with our dear Father when we get home?” he said. With these questions in mind Soul Provider runs a

SUBMITTED BY KELSAY CORREA

Parents warned of new cocktail drug, Nyope BY MICHAIL RASSOOL Rabbi Hillel Avidan, Sheikh Rafeek Hassan, Rabbi Robert Ash and Cardinal Wilfrid Napier. extremism in all religions, of tolerant attitudes towards same-sex marriages or unions and the role of women in the clergy. Panellists agreed that there was a need for more dialogue and follow-up meetings on these and other issues to be dealt with in greater depth.

‘Soul’ workshops to enhance your life BY MICHAIL RASSOOL

Learners and staff at St Ursula’s School in Krugersdorp North donned their favourite football jerseys and joined in the 2010 World Cup celebrations. Pre-primary, primary and high schools gathered for a special football prayer to pray for the success of the tournament. All participating countries were represented and their flags, especially South Africa’s, displayed at various spots throughout the school.

“soul workshop” at Immaculate Conception’s Community Centre, on Thursdays at 18:30-19:30. The aim is to develop the group's spirituality and knowledge of the Christian faith over a certain period. Each workshop focuses on a topic relevant to the life of the soul.  For more information to start one, contact Deacon Chalmers on 011 646 6763, fax 086 637 4727, email brent@mysoulprovider.org or visit www.mysoulprovider.org

The

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PORT Alfred parishioner has sounded a warning to parents about a drug youngsters are abusing. Joe Stas, who attends St James church, Port Alfred, in the Port Elizabeth diocese, has warned that the drug, Nyope, which teenagers in his area are fast getting hooked on, is destroying their young lives and family relationships. Mr Stas, a long-time campaigner against drug abuse and a crime police reservist, told The Southern Cross that the drug is a mixture of dagga and heroin, selling for R35 and R40, and is an hallucinatory, which can even lead to depression. The police reservist said in South African schools, learners using drugs is on the increase and more teenagers are landing up in rehabilitation facilities at a cost of up to R16 000 for every six weeks. Rehabilitation does not help because many return to drugs, partly because of the ongoing intensity of their addiction and because of the stranglehold that threatening and intimidating drug dealers have over them, Mr

Stas said. Mr Stas has now called for more discipline from parents in their attitude to raising children. He said parents must continuously look out for any signs of behaviour change, of using large amounts of pocket money in a short period, stealing from their home, restlessness, lying about movements and a drop in school performance. He has also advised teachers, who are in daily contact with learners, to inform parents about their children’s behaviour in class, lack of attentiveness and performance deficiency, as these may be signs of drug abuse. Mr Stas said prayers at a local interdenominational prayer meeting during Christian Unity Week included those for youth and drugs, for strengthening the police force in the fight against the drug trade, and for putting drug dealers behind bars for life. He said that parents should be extra vigilant during the school holiday, saying that children will be prey to drug dealers and human traffickers.

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LOCAL

The Southern Cross, June 23 to June 29, 2010

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Secular Franciscans elect new board BY MICHAIL RASSOOL

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ELINA Williams and Janine Cloete of Cape Town both say that being Secular Franciscans has given their Catholic faith its shape, scope and meaning. At the Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Cape Region’s elective chapter at the Holy Spirit Centre in Maitland, Mrs Cloete—a long-time parishioner of St Teresa’s in Welcome Estate—said having been ministered to for much of her faith-filled life by Capuchin priests, and the examples they set, is a huge factor in her membership of the third order of St Francis. Mrs Williams, of St Luke’s parish in Factreton, said her 31-year membership of the SFO has taught her understanding of other people and to be grateful for what she has. “I try to love my neighbour as myself and I try to live a good Christian life,” she says. In his spiritual reflection at the chapter, the local SFOs chaplain, Capuchin Father Albert Gonsalves of St Mary of the Angels’ church in Athlone, told members that Secular Franciscans are called to live the Gospel. He said Secular Franciscans are called to discern the things of God in the world around them according to the Gospel, for which the greatest teacher is the Holy Spirit. He spoke of the centrality of the Holy Spirit when St Francis of Assisi and his circle, as well as those who came immediately after, read the Gospels effectively to the many people they preached to who could not read, but listened. “The Gospel is the life of Christ, and we are called to believe that life and to live it, practise it, and not just to preach it, as St Francis did,” he said.

Members of one of the teams partipating in the Peace Cup in Tshwane, with Fr Ken Thönissen.

Peace Cup tackles xenophobia STAFF REPORTER

New office bearers elected at the Secular Franciscan Order Cape Region’s chapter meeting are Yvonne Derby (treasurer); Nina Richards (counsellor); Ula Curtis (vice regional minister); Fr Albert Gonsalves OFMCap; Felicity Maart (regional minister); Janine Richards (secretary) and Veronica Vieyra (formator). PHOTO: MICHAIL RASSOOL

“St Francis said we can use words when it is necessary, but we should look at life; how one lives is the best measure of living the life of Christ in the Gospel, where the focus is on giving rather than receiving. And living the Gospel has bringing about the kingdom of God as its goal. Our dream should be the dream of Francis and Clare,” said Fr Gonsalves. In a personal reflection, “Seeds of God: Spiritual Formation and the Growth of Love”, SFO member Veronica Vieyra, of Christ the King parish in Pinelands, provided the context for St Francis’ calling. She related how medieval Assisi, Italy had a hunger for war, rebellion and decadence in the 12th century—an atmosphere in which people had to be held constantly to the Christian ideal. Ms Vieyra said that it was ironically under

later pagan influence that Assisi would be seized by a love for the Gospel. She painted a picture of a young man (Francis) who was “knight errant, troubadour—a lover and a dreamer, [riding] to war, small in stature, with huge potential that went to extreme”. The story of his calling, Ms Vieyra said, paints a sublime picture of a radical journey from riches to rags, of a descent into a human condition “no less spectacular than that of knight-to-beggar”. Ms Vieyra was elected formator to the SFO Cape region at the chapter, which takes place every three years. Other office bearers elected are Felicity Maart, regional minister; Ula Curtis, vice minister; Janine Richards, secretary; Nina Richards, counsellor and Yvonne Derby, treasurer.

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ORLD Cup fever has hit the township of Atteridgeville in Tshwane with the Damietta Peace Initiative and Caritas launching an eight-week football tournament, the Peace Cup. The tournament, sponsored by the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference, sees 26 teams comprising of different nationalities competing for the trophy. Damietta field worker Martin Mande, who initiated the tournament with the assistance of Antoine Soubrier, the tournament organiser, said the idea behind the event is to diffuse divisions and tensions between nationalities in the area through sport. “Sport allows spontaneous mixing that brings about uncomplicated recognition of a common humanity out of which respect and friendship can grow,” said Capuchin Father Kees Thönissen of Damietta. “Drawing on football as a peaceful mechanism that can break down prejudicial boundaries has already been fruitfully employed by the Damietta Peace Initiative in strife-torn Jos [in Nigeria], where mixed teams of Muslims and Christians learnt to build up solidarity across communal divides. “It has been reported that if the Damietta Initiative hadn’t started grassroots ‘peace cells’ in Nigeria, and if the Peace Cup had not been organised in Jos, much more violence would have erupted,” Fr Thönissen said.

At the opening of the Peace Cup by Mr Mande and Fr Thönissen, the Capuchin priest spoke briefly on the need for attitudes of non-violence and mutual respect in our communities when there are threats of renewed outbreaks of xenophobic violence. “Peace is a stance that is highlighted now that a major cross-section of the world is partaking in our football World Cup,” Fr Thönissen said. “With the coming together of so many diverse peoples, an optimistic and high-spirited mood is in the air in this land and infuses also this local Peace Cup.” The opening game was between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Africa (the local Atteridgeville team), and was followed by the match between Tanzania and another South African team. The semi-finals and final will have teams composed of mixed nationalities playing together in each team. “The Peace Cup is therefore meant to be about appreciative and friendly relations rather than promoting any national pride—often strived for ‘at all costs’,” Fr Thönissen said. “Peace is built on inner values such as mutual respect and the appreciation of differences. This Peace Cup is a modest attempt to bring about value change through the immediate experience of the ‘other’ as a human being with unique qualities and skills. Large-scale social transformation is arrived at through small-scale relationships,” Fr Thönissen said.


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INTERNATIONAL

The Southern Cross, June 23 to June 29, 2010

Mystery remains: why was bishop killed? C

ONFUSION still surrounds the motives for the murder of the Vatican’s representative to Turkey. Stabbed to death—and, reportedly, almost decapitated—by his driver, Bishop Luigi Padovese, 63, died on June 3 in Iskenderun, Turkey, his residence as apostolicvicar of Anatolia. The driver, Murat Altun, confessed to the murder, although there are still many conflicting stories about why he did it. AsiaNews, a Rome-based missionary news agency, reported that unnamed neighbours had heard Altun shout “Allah-u-Akbar” (“God is great”) after stabbing the bishop, leading to speculation that the murder was religiously motivated. Officials at the Turkish embassy to the Vatican initially had said Altun, the driver, was a Christian, but apparently that was not true. The ambassador, Kenan Gursoy, attended the bishops’ June 14 funeral in Milan. AsiaNews also questioned reports, including from Bishop Padovese’s secretary and from the Turkish embassy, that Altun was suffering from mental problems and seeing a psychiatrist. The Milan archdiocesan website published an interview with the bishop’s brother, Sandro, and sister-in-law, Liliana. “In the past few days we have read many things that were not exact and many stupid things,” the sister-in-law said. Sandro Padovese said the fact

Bishop Luigi Padovese: mystery still surrounds the reason for his murder. that his brother was killed by Altun “is incomprehensible”. “We knew Murat, the young man who killed him, very well,” he said, adding that he was “good and honest”. “The fact is that in the last two months, he fell into a deep depression, especially because the moment when he had to leave to do his military service was approaching and the thing that really worried him was that he was the sole provider for his family,” Mr Padovese said. Jesuit Father Thomas Michel, who works in Ankara, Turkey’s capital, told Catholic News Service:

“There is so much speculation about what is true and what people are making up. People are just repeating other people’s rumours. “I knew Murat, we had a good talk several times,” Fr Michel said. “He certainly didn’t seem like a murderer.” Fr Michel also said it was not true that Catholics in Turkey feel like they are targets. “Life is going on pretty much like it was. No one here feels like there is a campaign against Christians.” Speaking at the end of Bishop Padovese’s funeral Mass in Milan, Archbishop Ruggero Franceschini of Izmir, Turkey—whom Pope Benedict has appointed apostolic administrator of Anatolia—said Catholics there are suffering and afraid. Despite its apostolic origins, “the little Church that remains in Anatolia is too young to overcome such a tragedy by itself; it is too fragile to face the evil that has stricken it; it is too poor to find within it the resources needed to continue to hope”, Archbishop Franceschini said. He asked foreign missionaries to come help. The archbishop said that one of Bishop Padovese’s first pastoral letters said: “Perhaps we have not been asked to witness to our faith to the point of martyrdom, but it is still true that we have been asked to witness to it.” “Unfortunately, he was wrong,” Archbishop Franceschini said. “Or maybe he just did not want to frighten his community.”—CNS

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John Kelly, brother of Bloody Sunday shooting victim Michael Kelly, reacts as he leaves the Guildhall after reading the Saville report in Derry, Northern Ireland. British prime minister David Cameron apologised for the killing by British troops of 14 Catholic demonstrators in Northern Ireland in 1972 on what has become known as Bloody Sunday. PHOTO: REUTERS/CNS

World Cup betting warning Many people who gamble on soccer are ages 18-25, according to a study Caritas conducted from 2003-10. However, football fever is not all bad news. In Fr Ng’s case, he said his love for the sport helps him build rapport with young people, making evangelisation that much easier. “If you are a fan of the same football team, then they will like you and listen to you,” said the priest. He also swaps picture cards of famous football players with the youngsters. Fr Ng was scheduled to travel to South Africa for the World Cup in a trip sponsored by lay Catholics

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JESUIT football fan has warned people against getting caught up in betting on the World Cup. “Gambling is no good in itself,” said Fr Robert Ng Chi-fun, who teaches moral theology at Holy Spirit Seminary College in Hong Kong. Gambling on football matches could also lead to cheating, he said. It is often “a catalyst for gambling”, said Joe Tang, director of the Caritas Addicted Gamblers Counselling Centre. The centre saw a 20% rise in counselling cases during the 2006 World Cup, he said.

Alarm over Aids funding cuts

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EOPLE must be equipped “with more than knowledge, ability, technical competence and tools” to truly combat “the deeper causes” of Aids and provide “loving care” to those who have it, the Vatican’s nuncio to the United Nations has said. Archbishop Celestino Migliore urged more attention and resources be dedicated to “a spiritual and human renewal that leads to a new way of behaving towards others”. “The spread of Aids can be stopped effectively, as also has been affirmed by public health experts, when this respect for the dignity of human nature and for its inherent moral law is included as an essential element in HIV prevention efforts,” he said. The archbishop made the comments during a day-long review by the General Assembly of international efforts to fight

HIV/Aids. The world leaders were told that progress is being made, but that the epidemic continues to outpace global response. Archbishop Migliore said the Vatican is also concerned about an apparent gap in available funding for antiretroviral treatment for the poor and marginalised groups. He said health care providers associated with Catholic-run agencies in South Africa, Uganda, Haiti, Papua New Guinea and elsewhere have reported they are being told by international donors not to enroll new patients into current programmes. These providers have also expressed concern “about further cutbacks even for those already receiving such treatment”. “The global community carries a serious responsibility to offer equitable and continuous

access to such medications. Failure to do so will not only cause untold loss and suffering to those individuals and families directly affected by the disease but will also have grave public health, social and economic consequences for the entire human family.” A report by UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon that was delivered during the review called for strengthening links between Aids response and other development goals. Mr Ban’s report said that the number of people in low-income and middle-income countries receiving antiretroviral treatment had jumped tenfold in five years to 4 million, and HIV infections decreasing 17% from 2001 to 2008. But the epidemic continues to outpace the response, with five new infections reported for every two people receiving treatment.—CNS

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INTERNATIONAL

The Southern Cross, June 23 to June 29, 2010

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Pope: Scandals did not ruin Year for Priests BY CINDY WOODEN

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OPE Benedict said the Year for Priests might have been ruined by the clerical sex abuse scandal, but instead became a “summons to purification” in the Church. Concelebrating Mass with some 15 000 priests, including about 50 from South Africa, the pope said that “the enemy”, Satan, wants to drive God out of the world and opposes those who work to ensure that God is at the side of every man and woman, especially in times of trouble. “And so it happened that, in this very year of joy for the sacrament of the priesthood, the sins of priests came to light—particularly the abuse of the little ones, in which the priesthood, whose task is to manifest God’s concern for our good, turns into its very opposite,” the pope said in his homily at the Mass concluding the Year for Priests. The priests, 80 cardinals and 350 bishops and archbishops, who were sitting under the hot sun in St Peter’s Square, signalled their agreement with the pope’s statement by applauding. The Vatican said that with so many priests vested for Mass and reciting together the key words of the Eucharistic prayer with their hands extended towards the altar, the liturgy marked the largest concelebration ever held at the Vatican. Addressing the abuse scandal in his homily, Pope Benedict said the Catholic Church begs forgiveness from God and “from the persons involved, while promising

to do everything possible to ensure that such abuse will never occur again”. In admitting men to the seminary and priesthood, he said, “we will do everything we can to weigh the authenticity of their vocation and make every effort to accompany priests along their journey, so that the Lord will protect them and watch over them in troubled situations and amid life’s dangers”. The priests and bishops, who turned St Peter’s Square into a sea of white albs and stoles, were well aware of the scandal and the shadow of doubt it cast over the Catholic priesthood. But, the pope said, the scandal should make priests grow “in gratitude for God’s gift, a gift concealed in ‘earthen vessels’ which, ever anew, even amid human weakness, makes his love concretely present in this world”. “Let us look upon all that happened as a summons to purification,” the pope said. He then led the priests in the solemn renewal of their priestly promises to be faithful ministers of Christ, working not for their own interests, but for the good of all men and women. Fr Paul Daly, a pastor in Heywood, England, said: “I think the pope was spot on” in saying the Year for Priests was about thanksgiving and renewal, not shouting the glories of the priesthood. “It wasn’t a triumphalistic celebration, but was calm and reflective.” As for the pope using the Mass to apologise for abuse, Fr Daly said: “He says and continues to

Frs Grant Emmanuel and Desmond Nair of Durban at the closing Mass of the International Gathering of Priests in Rome that marked the end of the Year for Priests. About 50 priests from South Africa joined 15 000 clergy from around the world for the event. say from the heart that he is shocked and sorry. The pope would have been pilloried if he hadn’t said anything, but he also needed to apologise for the past and renew the Church’s commitment to making the Church safe for children.”

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n his homily, the pope said: “God wants us, as priests in one tiny moment of history, to share his concern about people.” Called to be shepherds, imitating Christ the Good Shepherd, “we are not fumbling in the dark. God has shown us the way and how to walk aright”. When priests, like anyone else,

walk through “the dark valleys of temptation, discouragement and trial”, they must remember that God is there. “God personally looks after me, after us, after all mankind. I am not abandoned, adrift in the universe and in a society that leaves me ever more lost and bewildered,” he said. Continuing the work of the Good Shepherd, the pope said, “the Church, too, must use the shepherd’s rod, the rod with which he protects the faith against those who falsify it, against currents which lead the flock astray”. The “rod and the staff” help the Church exercise its love for

people and for their true good. “Today we can see that it has nothing to do with love when conduct unworthy of the priestly life is tolerated,” he said. “Nor does it have to do with love if heresy is allowed to spread and the faith [is] twisted and chipped away, as if it were something that we ourselves had invented.” The Year for Priests coincided with the 150th anniversary of the death of St John Vianney, the patron saint of parish priests. During the liturgy, Pope Benedict used a chalice that belonged to the saint and was brought to Rome from his former parish in Ars, France. In his homily, the pope had told the priests that it is impossible for them not to rejoice that God has given them the gift of being able “to set God’s table for men and women, to give them his body and his blood, to offer them the precious gift of his very presence”. At the end of the Mass, Pope Benedict knelt before an icon of Mary and led the priests in consecrating themselves to her “maternal heart in order to carry out faithfully the Father’s will”. Asking her intervention in calling forth the Holy Spirit to transform them, they prayed that the Church would be “renewed by priests who are holy”. “Let your presence cause new blooms to burst forth in the desert of our loneliness,” they prayed. “Let it cause the sun to shine on our darkness; let it restore calm after the tempest, so that all mankind shall see the salvation of the Lord.”—CNS

Roman celebration touched priests BY JOHN THAVIS & CINDY WOODEN

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Y all accounts, the estimated 15 000 priests who came to Rome for the closing events of the Year for Priests set a record, but they were a small fraction of the 409 000 priests who serve around the world. “It’s an important occasion for me. It’s a landmark because the last time I was here was 40 years ago, so I thought it was a good occasion to come back to Rome,” said Fr Patrick Arowele of Abuja, Nigeria. The best part of being a priest is “serving the people, especially in my part of the world”. Fr Roland Hafliger, 43, of Lenzburg, Switzerland, came with another priest. “We wanted to feel part of the community of all the priests. In Switzerland there are not many of us, so it is good to know we are not alone.” At the Mass, the priests renewed their promises with the pope. That was a highlight for many participants, including Fr Anton Quang Dihn Van of San Antonio, Texas. He said the point of the Rome events was to help people be better and more holy priests, an ongoing task

that requires self-reflection. “I look at myself every night before I go to sleep: Was I good today? Did I help people?” he said. A speech by German Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne on the importance of confession created a buzz of reaction among many priests. Oblate Father Paul Beukes of Johannesburg said Cardinal Meisner’s observation was something he will take back with him, along with the experience of Mass with the pope. “The Mass this morning was wonderful. There was a spirit of prayer that was good, that was beautiful. I think it was something that will lead me to look at my life and to go home and say, ‘We’re going to make the changes,’” he said. Fr Daniel Divis of Lorain, Ohio, said the week’s programme of speeches, conferences and liturgies did not necessarily cover new ground, but made a profound impact. “It wasn’t anything I hadn’t heard before, but when you hear them saying it in this kind of context, it really was a grace moment. It was reaffirming, it was electric, it was pretty good,” he said. For Filipino Mgr Vicente Bau-

son, who works in campus ministry in the archdiocese of Manila, the pope’s comments about encouraging new vocations were insightful. “He encouraged priests to realise that modelling and witnessing are very important, and also that priests must learn to be humble—and even bishops. And I think that if young people see that lived in a true way, then surely we will get vocations.” The concept of humility was cited as an important theme by many priests who came to Rome. Daniel Engels, a deacon soon to be ordained a priest in Limburg, Germany, said: “The priesthood isn’t just, ‘Oh, he’s so good, so great’. A priest is just a servant, and we thank God for the priests who guide us.” Mgr Blaise Zubuor from the diocese of Tamale, Ghana, who works at Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, said he came to the events to meet priests from all over the world and to mark the 150th anniversary of St John Vianney, patron saint of parish priests. “He is our model as priests— to be humble, loving, obedient, all the adjectives you can think of,” he said.—CNS

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COMMUNITY

The Southern Cross, June 23 to June 29, 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

Members of the Catholic Women’s League and St Michael’s parish in Redhill, Durban, enjoyed a relaxing weekend at Mariannhill monastery. SUBMITTED BY MARLENE ABRAHAMS

At Ss Peter & Paul parish in George, parishioners showed their support for the World Cup and Bafana Bafana by holding a special Soccer Sunday celebration. The Ayoba morning was enjoyed by young and old during tea, which took place after morning Mass. SUBMITTED BY PATTY LLOYD

The Knights of Da Gama from Pietermaritzburg organised a pilgrimage, led by Fr Allesandro Capoferri SCJ to the Marion Shrine in Ngome, KwaZuluNatal.

CONGREGATION OF MARIANNHILL MISSIONARIES

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Learners of Holy Cross Primary School in Aliwal North, participated in a two-day workshop entitled “Education for Life”. Pictured are the Grade 6s. PHOTO: SR BEATRIX MARIA

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Members of St Philip Benezi parish in Meyerton, Johannesburg were confirmed during Mass. With the confirmed members are Archbishop Buti Tlhagale and Fr Hans Vos. SUBMITTED BY MICHELLE REDELINGHUYS


CHURCH LIFE

The Southern Cross, June 23 to June 29, 2010

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Corpus Christi, Wynberg

Parish incorporates young and old in a diverse, multi-cultural mix BY STAFF REPORTER

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HE Southern Cross plays an integral part in bringing Catholic news to the parishioners of Corpus Christ parish in Wynberg, Cape Town. “I believe we live in difficult times as we are surrounded by mosques and churches of other denominations, which often bombard us with anti-Catholic literature. “It is for this purpose I see The Southern Cross as a very good newspaper as it gives us Catholics perspective and response to various happenings around us. It is for this one main reason we actively advertise The Southern Cross in our parish bulletin,” said Corpus Christi parish priest, Fr Susaikannu Esack SAC. The parish in Wynberg’s Wittebome area has a rich history. “The history of Corpus Christi is a curious one,” said Fr Esack. “St Dominic’s church at Springfield convent was the original parish in Wynberg. Blessed and inaugurated on January 21, 1880 with the assistance of Irish Dominican sisters, the parish of Corpus Christi was opened, becoming the fifth parish in the

vicariate of Cape Town,” the priest told The Southern Cross. St Dominic’s, he said, remained the parish church until the completion of the present-day Corpus Christi in 1937. Mgr John O’Rourke was the first parish priest and was instrumental in growing the congregation to what it is today. Fr Esack has led the parish since January 2005 and is assisted by Fr Michael Clement. The church has been growing from strength to strength since its humble beginnings. It now boasts 1 233 registered parishioners and is surrounded by St Augustine’s Primary School, Immaculata High School and the Dominican School for the Deaf—with Springfield junior and senior schools forming part of the parish. The parish also serves 11 retirement homes and three hospitals. “Ours is a laity-driven parish. We are an exciting mix of young and old and it is a beautiful testimony that both can co-exist. For instance, on Sundays at the 08:00 Mass we have a melodious traditional choir leading the singing. For our 10:00 Mass, the Youth Choir with their vibrant singing

stand up and lead the church in worship. Besides that, we also have a Folk Choir who looks after the singing in our church,” Fr Esack said. The parish has very active pastoral and financial councils, and has 21 associations accommodating both young and old. “While there are over 65 young boys and girls serving as altar servers, there are over 40 teenage boys and girls forming the parish youth group,” said Fr Esack. The parish also has several societies including St Vincent de Paul, Legion of Mary, Catholic Women’s League and the Flower Group for the elderly. “For the families we have a family group, who are actively involved in the church. The car watch group, extraordinary ministers of the Holy Communion and lectors—all involving young and old—remind us that the young, old and families all have a role to play in the growth of the Church and proclamation of our faith,” Fr Esack said. The parish can also boast a parish library set-up with the assistance of one of the parishioners. With all the activities taking

Be a light to others Servants of the Holy Childhood of Jesus.

Corpus Christi parish in Wynberg, Cape Town.

Corpus Christi parish boasts a 1 233-strong member congregation. place, the parish is currently fundraising to give their hall a face-lift, said Fr Esack. “At present we feel that our parish hall badly needs renovating, so all our fundraising such as our Golf Day and parish féte will be directed towards it,” he said.

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Meanwhile, Fr Esack said that he acknowledges the work done by parishioners especially Julia Williams, Cecelia van As, Alverna Curry, Ivan Dyer and Tony Archer “who help us in making this newspaper even more diverse and well read”.


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The Southern Cross, June 23 to June 29, 2010

LEADER PAGE 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.

Editor: Günther Simmermacher

A Church of penance

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ANY Catholics will lose patience with secular commentators who continue to insist that Pope Benedict has failed to apologise for the abuse of minors by priests and other Church personnel. Closing the Year for Priests, he again offered an apology, begging the forgiveness of those who were abused and from God. The question is not whether the pope has apologised—he demonstrably has— but whether his apologies are being seen as sufficiently complete. Should they have been lacking, as abuse survivor activists are suggesting, then the pope, and the Church with him, must continue to seek the perfect mea culpa. Such an apology would incorporate an unambiguous confession of failings on episcopal and curial levels, some of them deliberate and some— presumably most—owing to grave errors in judgment and lack of competence. With the forgiveness that the pope and the Church seek must come reparation and penance. In many cases, the dimension of reparation has taken the form of financial compensation. But money can’t buy forgiveness. The Church, as an institution, must show that it is willing to do all that is needed to reconcile itself with those who feel betrayed by it. For a start, bishops who put young people at risk of predator priests must be held accountable—a principle that still seems to be applied inconsistently. The most genuine (and probably necessary) way of making reparations would involve a full inquest into the Vatican’s role in the scandal. Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos, the former prefect of the Pontifical Congregation for Bishops, has unapologetically confirmed that his policy counselled against reporting sex crimes to civil authorities. Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna has revealed that moves by the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to act against abuses were undercut by others in the Vatican. The scandal goes right up to curial corridors.

With that, the Church faces a dilemma. If the whole curial can of worms is opened, will the Vatican lose its authority? But if it isn’t, will the Church merit the forgiveness that Pope Benedict has said it seeks? Some commentators have mooted a truth and reconciliation commission. This would provide abuse survivors with a forum in which to tell of their terrible experiences, and facilitate the acknowledgment and confession of crimes by sexual predators and gross dereliction by Church officials. The inquest into the scandal is not limited to the hierarchs, however. The whole Body of Christ must heal itself. Last week’s moving letter by a reader who acknowledged that she knew abuses were taking place but kept quiet about them must touch all of us. How many others did not do the same, or are even now justifying the actions of abusers or those who failed to protect the innocent (perhaps understandably so when they knew, loved and respected these people)? How many of us would still turn a blind eye to the crimes of our pastors, teachers, friends or family members? The whole Church stands accused, and the guilt must be collectively borne. There are times when collective guilt places obligations and burdens even on those who bear no personal blame. As a minimum, this burden involves the unqualified recogniton that the Church, as an institution, failed terribly, and an awareness that we, as the Church, must address that failure with justice, charity and honesty. But perhaps our collective penance is not best expressed in public recitation of mea culpas (important as these would be), but in prayerful and brutally honest introspection, as individuals and as a Church, on our failings in protecting and defending the vulnerable. As the Church seeks forgiveness from those brutalised by priests and by those leaders who placed institutional reputation before justice, it must humble itself to achieve the reconciliation without which it cannot be healed.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Use Church land to train youths

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ONTRARY to Alan Sauls (May 26), I believe selling off Church land is short-sighted. All land belongs to God, and there are no borders in God’s world. It is the use of land that people are crying for, not land itself. When Christ said “you will want for nothing”, he was indicating whatever we “needed” was already here on earth. The sun shines and the rain falls and the earth produces food. Currently, money owns the vast majority of land. Sell the Catholic holdings and they end up in the portfolio of some rich person.

Far better if the Church let the land to the landless for a portion of the produce (as laid out in Leviticus). This way control of the land and its products remains in the hands of those who need and grow the produce. To sell the land would be to put it back into a system that has already failed the poor and, in fact, requires unemployed people to function. A better way would be to establish a farming community along the lines of Girls’ & Boys’ Town, where those who think they would like to go into farming can learn the trade without the pressures of

Calling for change constructively

autonomous groups in more than 20 countries. There are only a handful of members in South Africa. If we had more members, we could establish a South African IMWAC group and hopefully make a meaningful contribution to constructive change in our Church. Brian Robertson, Cape Town

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CANNOT agree more with the point Colleen Constable made in her article “Breaking the alliance of abuse in the Church” (May 19) that a study of the causes of clergy sexual abuse needs to be conducted as a matter of urgency. A study commissioned by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2003 suggested that paedophiles, according to the strict definition of the term, did not constitute a majority of such clergy (www.usccb.org/ ocyp/wwebstudy.shtml). An Australian Catholic bishop, Geoffrey Robinson, believes that a climate conducive to sexual abuse by priests and religious occurs when the following three conditions are met: An unhealthy psychological state, unhealthy ideas concerning power and sexuality, and an unhealthy environment or community. He urges that studies must be undertaken to investigate all three areas in order to determine how a climate of abuse has arisen in Church institutions, and what action must be taken to reverse the situation. Effective interventions to actively prevent sexual abuse continuing in the Church are not yet evident, despite repeated adverse publicity. Many Catholics feel disempowered to assist with essential change and renewal in the Church. The International Movement We Are Church (IMWAC) (www.we-are-church.org) was founded in Rome in 1996 by men and women from ten countries to press for authentic renewal and substantial reform according to the spirit of Vatican II. IMWAC is now a worldwide network of independent and

Storming heaven for abuse survivors

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N light of the horrendous reports on the sexual abuses I also feel a Sunday Mass offered for the consolation of those so horrifically betrayed might be an occasion for the Church—us—to show our solidarity and be seen as an attempt to ask their forgiveness. We cannot feel their terrible pain, but we can attempt to take it to our suffering Lord at Holy Mass, and somehow their suffering could be melded with his and their dreadful burden lightened…even a little. At this time the prayer of St Gertrude is even more necessary. It is understood to have been dictated by Our Lord himself. Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the Universal Church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen I will happily forward a copy of this prayer to anyone who asks. Just SMS a name and address to 073 654 2691. Grace de Lange, East London

Divine Mercy: three points

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HERE are three points which I would like to mention in response to Fr Allan Moss’ letter “Divine Mercy used to be banned” (May 26). Firstly, the Catechism of the Catholic Church does indeed state that “no new revelation is to be expected” (66). But God’s mercy is not a new revelation. Jesus revealed to us a God of Mercy and Love. Just think of the parable of the “Prodigal Son” (Lk 15:11-32). Jesus himself always acted out of love and mercy to all, and he told us that he and the Father are one, and if we see him, we see the Father. In the Old Testament God reveals himself as “slow to anger…rich in Mercy” (Numbers 14:18). So we are all standing on “ancient teachings and traditions of the Church”. Secondly, the problem lies in the fact that we have misunderstood this teaching of God’s mercy (Divine Mercy), it would seem. This, I believe, was the reason Jesus asked Sr Faustina that we celebrate God’s mercy (Divine Mercy) on the second Sunday of Easter. Easter is definitely about God’s love, and it is the most important season in our liturgical calendar. We have a God

bank loans and ownership. All that would be required is some hard work. Produce from these farms could be used to supply Girls’ & Boys’ Town. The problem now becomes who would run these centres? Vocations are at an all-time low and will probably stay that way. Perhaps farmers, retired or displaced, could be persuaded to plough their skills into the South African youth rather than in some far-off land. I believe the Jews of the Old Testament had it right when they declared that all land given to God (the Church) would remain with God forever. Christopher Grealy, Johannesburg who is “ consumed with the desire to forgive” (The Way of Divine Love, Tan Books) Thirdly, Sr Faustina’s Diary was indeed banned. But it was because she had so little schooling that her sentences didn’t always convey what she intended. It was revised under Pope John Paul II, in consultation with Sr Faustina’s convent and others who were still alive and knew what she was trying to say. My personal belief is that one of the reasons why God called John Paul II to be pope was to introduce to the universal Church this beautiful feast of Divine Mercy for us, to focus on God’s Mercy. The fact that Pope John Paul died on the eve of the feast of Divine Mercy speaks volumes to me. Moira Gillmore, Durban

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ITH all respect to Fr Moss, the saintly Pope John Paul canonised St Faustina with pride, joy and holiness. She was the person our Lord chose to promulgate the Divine Mercy, and Pope John Paul gladly led the Catholic world to trust Jesus, and on instructions from St Faustina, encouraged the Divine Mercy novena to end on the first Sunday after Easter. I, with million others, have regularly made this saving novena without detracting from the Easter holiness. What is good and holy enough for that saintly pope is good and holy enough for me, and all the Divine Mercy followers. Nassey Saaiman, Johannesburg

A burglar is a burglar…

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EACON R V Descroizilleses’ letter “Contraceptives are against life“ (May 26) left me a trifle confused. The use of condoms is specifically to prevent conception. The use of Natural Family Planning is also to prevent conception, but is accepted by the Church. The intention in both cases is identical, their means are therefore irrelevant, but the former is condemned by the Church. To give an analogy: a burglar is able to disarm an alarm system and so robs a house. Another burglar knows that the occupiers of the house are away on holiday and there is no alarm system, so he can safely burgle the house. The means differ, but they are still burglars. Perhaps parents are the best judges, for the right reasons, about the size of their families and the spacing and the means they choose. Margaret Green, Durban 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.


PERSPECTIVES

The Southern Cross, June 23 to June 29, 2010

Mphuthumi Ntabeni

Chris Chatteris SJ

Pushing the Boundaries

Pray with the Pope

Pray for Zuma & co

Jesus the man broke the rules

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F one looks at the proliferation of books about the historical Jesus of Nazareth, one might observe an apparently widespread need for rediscovering the person and humanity of Jesus, especially by contemporary secular thinkers. The exploration of Christ’s humanity is not something new; it goes back as far as the gospel, especially Luke’s. Though there’s very little that is new to these contemporary books, common in them is the need to explore the human traits of Jesus, without the Christ-part of religion. This has always been a starting point for faith in Jesus; for no one can truly have an encounter with the Jesus of Nazareth without engaging with his life, death and resurrection. How can one not be attracted by the human traits of Jesus? His evident sincerity, intelligence, short temper against hypocrisy, a well developed sense of ironic, self-effacement, lack of worldly ambition, fidelity to the authentic self, and so on. The contemporary studies seem to be to be taken up, not by Jesus’ piety or worldly detachment for divine precepts, but the “irritability and impatience” of his character. I accept Jesus was no Buddha, and definitely did not preach resignation in the face of evil. He frequently got annoyed at the unjust rulers, the oppression of the poor, the hypocrisy of empty piety, the daftness of his followers: “Do you have eyes but fail to see?” When we concentrate on Jesus’ humanity we are at first surprised by how brash and mostly indifferent to conventional ideas of goodness his teachings seem. His style of talking blended the epigram with enigma. Indeed there is a wild gaiety about Jesus’ moral teachings; an informal, new way that didn’t really connect with the ramblings of the traditional prophets. The familiarity with God, whom he called “Abba”, meaning Father or even Dad. The disregard for material prosperity. And the disdain for fussing about place, home and ritual. He ate and drank with prostitutes, highwaymen, tax-collectors, and he repeatedly violated his era’s etiquettes, especially those governing eating. He dined with people of a different social rank (shocking most Romans), and with sinners and people of different tribal allegiance (shocking most Jews). He forcefully proclaimed: “What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him unclean, but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him unclean”, thereby shocking Jews and (later) Muslims. Unlike the ascetic John the Baptist, he came dining and drinking, but was neither hedonistic nor epicurean. But to paint Jesus as the angry revolutionary, as most of these books do, in the vein of Gandhi-Malcolm-Martin kind of charismatic leader is missing the point. Jesus liked defiant, enigmatic paradoxes and pregnant parables that, by design, never quite closed in on themselves, or condemned the culprit. (God never closes a door to anyone.) Take the story about a vineyard whose ungrateful husbandmen keep killing the king’s messengers, and eventually his son, sent to them as an example. The traditional Christian explanation is that Jesus is referring to this world, and foretelling his own death. But to contemporary secular writers this as an anti-establishment, even an anticlerical story. For some reason they link it to Sadducees and Pharisees who were always trying to catch Jesus out in a declaration of antiRoman sentiment. We know that in the end they made the charge stick and Jesus was crucified by the Roman rulers on the instigation of the Jewish clergy. What has been clear since time immemorial is that Jesus’ death and resurrection testified to his claim of being the Son of God. It is not without reason St Paul hinges the Christian faith on this incident: If Christ be not risen then we are deluded. What Christian scholars have realised, and secular ones still need to learn, is that the character of Jesus will always seem contradictory when not looked at through the focus point of his divinity.  Catch up with Mputhumi Ntabeni’s previous columns at www.scross.co.za/category/ ntabeni/

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General Intention: That in every nation of the world the election of officials may be carried out with justice, transparency and honesty, respecting the free decisions of citizens. HE difficulty for the Church in being on the side of democracy is that its critics can point out that its authority structures seem more medieval than modern. Yet forms of democracy do exist within the Church and have the potential for development. Popes, religious superiors and parish councils are elected. Some religious congregations thrash out everything in their chapters and voting is part of their charisms. So the statement “the Church is not a democracy” needs modification. Catholicism does have democratic traditions. In the secular political domain hardly a week goes by without news of yet another election whose results are questioned by the losing party. The problem with this is that we can become cynical about the freedom and fairness of elections and thus lose hope in the democratic process itself. Undoubtedly there are major problems, particularly in countries not used to democracy. Smaller countries with small populations, such as Zimbabwe, are particularly vulnerable to vote-rigging because a small number of votes can swing an election. By contrast a society like India has such enormous voting populations that manipulation of the figures or buying of voters is very difficult. However, the fact that elections are now so frequent and so hotly contested should be a cause for hope since these signs suggest that the idea and practice of democracy is spreading. Naturally, democracy does not just mean holding an election every five years. It includes the idea that politicians continue to listen to the electorate between elections and try to serve them all, even those who voted against them. Other institutions are indispensable to a democratic system—a free press, an independent judiciary and a strong civil society. We pray not just for fair elections but also for the conditions for fair elections.

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A snow-covered statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at dusk in Rochester, New York. In the second of a 13-part series on the gospels, Catherine Upchurch looks at the different ways in which the four evangelists saw Jesus. PHOTO: MIKE CRUPI, CATHOLIC COURIER

How the four gospels see our Saviour Jesus

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F we open our New Testaments expecting to find a definitive biography of Jesus of Nazareth, we will be disappointed. On the other hand, if we open these pages expecting to encounter Jesus in a way that can transform us, then we’ve come with the proper expectation. A Gospel is a unique literary form. Its purpose is to announce, to introduce, to persuade, to instruct, to call to repentance, and ultimately, to convert the reader and listener. A simple, factual accounting of events cannot have that power. Each writer is an evangelist, one who shares the Good News of Jesus. Who is this Jesus we encounter in the Gospels? Is he the beloved Son of God? Is he the awaited Messiah? Is he an effective rabbi? Is Jesus the Saviour of the world? Is he the true vine, the image of the invisible God, the bread of life? Yes, Jesus is all of these and more. No title, no image, no simile or metaphor can adequately depict Jesus in his essence, or who he is for each of us. Many scholars and preachers have written about the various portraits of Jesus that we encounter in the four Gospels of our Bibles. Their works demonstrate that each evangelist drew the image of Jesus looking back at his life and ministry from a slightly different angle. In Mark, the question, “Who is Jesus?” is answered in the opening verse where we read about the beginning of the Gospel of “Jesus Christ, the Son of God”. What that means unfolds as the evangelist also focuses on what it means to follow him: “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me” (9:34). Jesus, in Mark’s writings, is not a triumphal king who rules from on high. Rather, he is the anointed (Christ, Messiah) Son of God who must suffer. Mark focuses on the full humanity of Jesus and invites us to do the same. The suffering of his followers can be meaningful insofar as it is connected with carrying the cross as Jesus himself did through the streets of Jerusalem. In what some would say is a stark contrast, John’s gospel introduces us to the divine Jesus, the Word of God made flesh (1:14). In this account, Jesus appears fully in charge of the events that surround him, and fully capable of assuming the identity of the great I AM revealed at Sinai. John uses what have become some of the most familiar images to

Catherine Upchurch

Hearing the Good News identify Jesus and places them on his own lips. Jesus says, “I am…” the light of the world, the lamb of God, the way and the truth and the life, the bread of life, and the good shepherd.

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n Matthew, Jesus is portrayed as the fulfilment of the Jewish scriptures, the long-awaited Messiah who stands at the intersection of salvation history. As a respected rabbi, he is shown to teach with authority and creativity. This account from Matthew contains five large teaching discourses: the Sermon on the Mount (chapters 5–7), the instructions for mission (10), the great sermon in parables (13), the instructions for living as church (18), and a final discourse on the end times (24–25). Perhaps most pointedly, in Matthew, Jesus is Emmanuel (God with us). This title is introduced at the birth of Jesus (1:23), and reinforced at the close of the gospel where the risen Jesus commissions his followers and promises: “I am with you always, until the end of the age” (28:20). Jesus the forgiving Saviour, the one whose mercy and compassion reaches out to all on the margins, is the focus of Luke. In this account, the emphasis falls on the inclusiveness of Jesus, his appeal both to men and women, rich and poor, Jews and Gentiles. Jesus is the faithful companion who exudes and inspires compassion, a man whose touch is as powerful as his words. Clearly, these portraits overlap and what emerges is an experience of Jesus that is more than the sum of its parts. In our own prayerful reading of the gospels we may be drawn at some times to particular aspects of Jesus. At other times we may need the challenge of an image that stretches us to a deeper relationship with the Lord and a new direction as disciples.  Catherine Upchurch is the director of Little Rock Scripture Study in Arkansas. This article was originally published in the Arkansas Catholic, newspaper of the diocese of Little Rock. It is the second in a series of 13 articles which will explore the four gospels.

Justice in the city Missionary Intention: That Christians may strive to offer everywhere, but especially in great urban centres, an effective contribution to the promotion of education, justice, solidarity and peace. URING the colonial era, the British colonial administration gave retired local policemen, known as askaris, an area on the outskirts of Nairobi, in recognition of their faithful service. No doubt the British hardly envisaged the Kibera of today. It has, over the years, mushroomed into a vast and impoverished “informal settlement”. A number of my Jesuit confrères recently participated in a “peace run” through Kibera. It was a modest attempt to contribute to the lessening of the ethnic tensions which brought Kenya to the brink of civil war during the last elections. But clearly if the Church is to make in impact in such places—fostering education, justice, solidarity and peace—she has to be in it for the long haul. For the Kiberas of Africa and the developing world are not going to disappear anytime soon. In fact their apparent permanence can be a source of deep discouragement. If governments are unwilling or unable to provide even basic services to these communities of the world’s “bottom billion”, what can the rest of us do? The answer is “what we can”, and this is often considerable. The Church’s record of establishing and sustaining viable educational and healthcare institutions in the harshest of human environments is impressive. These establishments give the Church the credibility to comment on wider social issues and challenge civic authorities to take their responsibilities to their people more seriously. As ever, we must act as if everything depends on us and pray as if it all depends on God.

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VALLEY VIEW TRAVEL NEW FOR 2010 4-14 September OUR LADY OF THE ASSUMPTION PILGRIMAGE Visiting the popular Christian sites in the HOLY LAND and St Catherine’s Monastery and Mt Sinai in EGYPT. Spiritual Director and guide: Fr Ignatius Heer R18 698

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The Southern Cross, June 23 to June 29, 2010

BOOK REVIEWS

All you wanted to know about Jesus CHRISTOLOGY: A Biblical, Historical, and Systematic Study of Jesus (2nd edition), by Gerald O’Collins SJ. Oxford University Press, 2009. 385pp Reviewed by Fr Anthony Egan THOROUGHLY revised version of the 1995 volume of the same name, Christology is perhaps one of the most comprehensive works available on the subject of Jesus—one is tempted to say that it could be subtitled “Almost everything you wanted to know about Jesus, but couldn’t find enough books about”. Written by one of the finest and most respected Catholic theologians of recent years, Fr Gerry O’Collins, it manages in fewer than 400 pages to be a veritable summa christologica, one that would make an Aquinas envious. One of O’Collins’ strengths is his familiarity with Christology across a range of theological disciplines—systematic theology, Church history and biblical studies—together with a fine command of philosophy from ancient Greece to present day. As a result he is able to delve into his subject from a variety of angles and draw together, among other things, the biblical, historical and dogmatic. He starts by looking at the

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scriptural foundations of Christology in both the Old and New Testaments. Unlike some more fundamentalist theologians he does not read the former simplistically as “prophecy”, but as a way of seeing how Hebrew ideas contributed to the New Testament understanding of Jesus. Similarly he shows how different New Testament texts need to be read as part of a growing understanding of the significance of Jesus to his disciples after the Resurrection. Here he also avoids the reductionism of many of the scholars centred on the famous (or notorious) Jesus Seminar. This “theological centrism” is a characteristic throughout most of the book. Fr O’Collins is nothing if not fair in his judgments, while clearly steering an orthodox course through centuries of theological controversy. As a work of theological history, in three chapters totalling 70-odd pages, he manages to summarise the cut-and-thrust of theological dispute clearly and succinctly. It is so clear and succinct that, I would venture to say, it is the ideal background material for preparing any advanced undergraduate student for the relevant exams. The author tackles all the key issues in Christology in a similar

manner: the Incarnation, the meaning of the Passion, the Resurrection, salvation and the less central but no less challenging questions about Jesus’ birth, what is meant by his sinlessness, and the degree to which the human Jesus knew about the world and his divinity. To say that O’Collins has mastery (if not, to use the chess term, grand mastery) of the debates in these areas goes without saying.

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do, however, have a number of questions about the book. It revolves around the difference between two questions. The first can be formulated as “Who is Jesus?” or “What does the Church say about Jesus?”. The second question comprises two parts: “Who is Jesus for us today?” and “What does Jesus mean for those outside the religious mainstream?” O’Collins has brilliantly answered the first question. He is less forthcoming on either part of the second. Unless one is a theologian the kind of universal doctrines that the author deals with may elicit from the ordinary religious person—whether pastor or punter in the pews—a response along the lines of “That’s nice, but how does this actually affect my life?”. Now

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the case certainly can be made that the classical themes in Christology O’Collins addresses actually do make a difference in the long term, but in the short term I wonder whether the right understanding of the two natures of Jesus is actually what marginal people need from him. Granted, O’Collins does make passing reference to contextual theologies like liberation and feminist theology. But what is missing in this book is a sustained reflection on how such theologies represent an important development in the Christian understanding of Jesus. O’Collins certainly raises some important questions in passing on feminine imagery in representations of Jesus and the degree to which one must emphasise his masculinity uncontextually—but he seems to stop short of linking this to important issues raised for faith, ministry and Christianity by feminism. Another area that intrigues me personally and that I would love to see examined are the so-called “modern”, “literary” and “secular” images of Christ one finds in the controversial novels of authors like Nikos Kazantzakis (The Last Temptation of Christ), the Nobel laureate (and militant atheist) José Saramago (The Gospel of Jesus Christ) and

African music’s rich traditions MOVING INTO AFRICAN MUSIC, by Joyce Scott. Pretext, Cape Town, 2009. 136pp (includes 72-min CD with 27 songs) Reviewed by Barry Smith UTHOR Joyce Scott’s qualification for writing this book “comes from 28 years of cross-culture missionary work in East Africa…learning music from grassroots interaction with African friends and mentors in eleven African groups in Kenya”. In addition to all this she acted as a consultant on indigenous music for ministry in Namibia, Sudan, Lesotho and also in North African Muslim countries and the Comoro Islands. In her introduction she modestly invites the reader to share her journey, “not with a know-it-all music specialist, but as with an adventurer”. And so this is not a book full of technical advice, but one which gently encourages the listener to have an open mind on indigenous African music and to understand both its background and meaning. Much of the book is couched in language essentially intended for the layperson and not necessarily musicologists or professional musicians. Scott has unbounded enthusiasm for her subject and this enthusiasm constantly leaps out of the page in such phrases as “if you can walk, you can dance”, and especially when she writes about “ecstasy” in religious music. We are constantly reminded of her modest willingness to learn from the people with whom she worked, discovering that her journey was not always an easy one.

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the radical philosophers Slavoj Zizek, Gianni Vattimo and John Caputo. One hopes, in his forthcoming examination of Philip Pullman’s anti-religious fiction, O’Collins will address this more fully. Quibbles aside, this is a superb book, an ideal textbook for theology students and an excellent refresher for priests, deacons and lay ministers. Much as I am loathe to approve the high price of books (this one costs R300), Christology is well worth its price!  Fr Anthony Egan SJ is associated with the Jesuit Institute South Africa.

Indeed, at one time the musical changes she introduced in worship almost resulted in her dismissal when the acting principal of a Bible College accused her of leading the students “back to heathenism”. Her dogged persistence and energy, however, led to the founding of a School of Music under the Christian Education Department in Kenya in the late 1970s. Here she became involved in the playing and making of African instruments as well as teaching composition and the basics of reading music. In the course of its 133 pages, this book covers a surprisingly wide spectrum and is full of clearly expressed ideas and insights into African religion. I have never quite understood the ethos behind traditional African religious beliefs and so found her clear and concise explanation (with a helpful

diagram) of the links between the African “High God”, “the Living Dead Ancestors”, “mediums” (sangomas), “The Living” and “The Not Yet Born” to be particularly helpful. Quite rightly she quotes Dr Hugh Tracey’s trenchant comment, “it was you missionaries who tried to destroy the music of Africa”, and then goes on to give an enthusiastic account how preconceived prejudices and judgment can be transformed into understanding and appreciation. In the course of her discussion she also touches on many interesting concepts such as “what kind of music is Christian”. Fascinating territory indeed. Particularly useful is the section where Scott writes about developing musical gifts and gives helpful guidelines and suggestions as to what constitutes a memorable song and how to set about composing one. All this is detailed in economic point form and extends to the teaching of songs, not only for theological education but also for a variety of subjects as varied as community health and agricultural development. The book comes with a CD which contains a colourful variety of traditional music culled from across Africa—from Kenya, Sudan, Malawi, Lesotho, Madagascar, Tunisia, Algeria and, of course, South Africa. All these items give us a fascinating glimpse of the musical treasures still waiting to be discovered by many of us, the inhabitants of this great continent.  Barry Smith is the musical director at St Michael’s parish in Rondebosch, Cape Town.

A novena for stressed-out Catholics 9 DAYS TO HEAVEN: How to Make Everlasting Meaning of Your Life, by Teresa O’Driscoll. O Books, 2006. 110pp. Reviewed by Michael Shackleton OVENAS of all kinds have been common among Christians for centuries. This one is proposed as a modern novena, suitable for today’s stressed people who need comfort and assurance that God is at the centre of their lives.

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It will be helpful for those who find it hard to concentrate on their spiritual selves and that they belong to the kingdom of God rather than the kingdom of earth. In nine chapters, O’Driscoll begins by presenting a choice: we are free to make a journey towards God or away from God.

Then, covering a number of meditations on this, she presents nothing new to those who are already on the journey to God, but she does so in a manner that may provide a refreshing realisation that the commonplace devotions and time-honoured practice of prayer could have deeper depths than most people might ever have imagined.


The Southern Cross, June 23 to June 29, 2010

Fr Cosmas Hlengwa TOR

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ATHER Cosmas Landula Hlengwa died on June 12 at the age of 60. Born of Ignaz Dladla and Seraphina Magoso at Emakuzeni in Gala outstation under Bulwar-Natal on December 1, 1949, Cosmas was baptised at Gala mission of Reichenau parish in

the diocese of Mariannhill. After his early education, he worked at various jobs in and around the Durban area. It was at this time that he joined the Secular Franciscans and eventually the Franciscan Familiars of St Joseph in 1973. He made first profession in

COMMUNIT Y CALENDAR 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 Friday Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament 10:30. First Saturday: Devotions: Our Lady’s Cenacle, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Rosary, 15:00–16:00. Special devotion to Our Blessed Lady for her priests. Our Lady of the Angels, Little Eden, Edenvale,  011 609 7246  First Saturday of each month rosary prayed 10:30-12:00 outside Marie Stopes abortion clinic, Peter Place, Bryanston.  Joan Beyrooti, 011 782 4331 PRETORIA:  First Saturday: Devotion to Divine Mercy. St Martin de Porres, Sunnyside, 16:30.  Shirley-Anne 012 361 4545. CAPE TOWN:  Holy Hour to pray for priests of the diocese, 2nd Saturday monthly at Villa Maria shrine Kloof Nek Rd 16:00-17:00.  St Pio Holy Hour. June 20 at 15:30 at Holy Redeemer, Bergvliet. To place your event, call Claire Allen at 021 465 5007, or e-mail c.allen@scross.co.za

Thoughts for the Week on the Family FAMILY CALENDAR 2010 FAMILY THEME: “Families Play the Game.” JUNE THEME: The Beautiful Game June 27, 13th Sunday of the year The Lord we serve. The Gospel tells of people who want to follow Jesus but make excuses. “I have to plough my field, or bury my father,” they say. Do we say, “We’re busy watching soccer games, catering for people, transporting them around, policing and keeping them safe?” All of these are ways to follow Jesus too, if we do our work conscious of the fact that we are Jesus’ followers and offer up our work to God for the good of the kingdom.

1976. His final vows as a member of the Third Order Regular took place at St Thomas More Formation House in Washington, DC on January 15, 1981. Before joining St John Vianney seminary in Pretoria he completed his high school studies at St Francis College, Mariannhill. He was ordained a priest by the late Bishop Paul Themba Mngoma on December 17, 1984 at Reichenau parish. As a priest he served several parishes in the diocese of Mariannhill and the archdiocese of Durban. Oetting mission, St Patrick mission and Mpophomeni Esingodini are among the parishes he served. He faithfully discharged his duties as a pastor, house superior, member of priests’ council, diocesan consultors board and as a spiritual animator of Secular Franciscans. He was one of the founding pillars of his religious community which he served as the minister provincial from 1990 to 2002. Beacause of ill health, Fr Hlengwa retired from duties as pastor at St

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CONGRATULATIONS Patrick mission in Mabhaleni early this year. His parishioners celebrated his silver jubilee of priesthood on April 17. The past six months he suffered greatly from several health problems. As a man of prayer and of principle he was well prepared for his death. He spoke openly to all of his illness and he was resigned to God’s will till the end. Bishop Pius Mlungisi Dlungwane of Mariannhill was the main celebrant at Fr Hlengwa’s funeral Mass at St Patrick mission on June 19. The burial took place at the community cemetery of Kwa St Joseph monastery.

DE GOUVEIA—Francisco Rt Rev Mgr. Congratulations on your appointment as Bishop of the Diocese of Oudtshoorn. May the good Lord guide and protect you as you shepherd the flock entrusted to your care. Be like children of the light; for the fruits of the light one seen in the complete goodness and right living and truth (Eph 5:8-9) I can do all things with the help of the one who gives me strength, (Phil 4:13). From Daniel Ambrose David Manuel (Bro) Secular Institute, Servants of Christ the Priest.

DEATHS C L A R K E —S r Marie Claire. Passed away May 25, 2010 at the age of 97. Will always be remembered by her family, friends and the Congregation of St Francis de Sales in Namaqualand and Koelenhof. Rest in peace.

PRAYERS

Sun June 27, 13th Sunday of the Year: 1 Kgs 19:16,19-21; Ps 16:1-2, 5-7.11; Gal 5:1,13-18; Lk 9:5,1-62 Mon June 28, St Irenaeus: Am 2:6-10,13-16; Ps 50:16-23; Mt 8, 18-22 Tue June 29, SS Peter & Paul: Acts 12:1-11; Ps 34, 2-9; Mt 16, 13-19 Wed June 30, The first Martyrs of the Church of Rome: Am 5:14-15, 21-24; Ps 50:7-13,16-17; Mt 8:28-34 Thur July 1, feria: Am 7:10-17; Ps 19:8-11; Mt 9:1-8 Fri July 2, feria: Am 8:4-6,9-12; Ps 119:2,10, 20, 30, 40,131; Mt 9:9-13 Sat July 3, St Thomas: Eph 2:19-22; Ps 117:1-2; Jn 20:24-29 Sun July 4, 14th Sunday of the Year: Is 66:10-14; Ps 66:1-7, 16-20; Gal 6:14-18; Lk 10:1-2,17-20

HOLY St Jude, apostle and martyr, great in virtue and rich in miracles, kinsman of Jesus Christ, faithful intercessor of all who invoke you, special patron in time of need. To you I have recourse from the depth of my heart and humbly beg you to come to my assistance. Help me now in my urgent need and grant my petitions. In return I promise to make your name known and publish this prayer. Amen. Stephen.

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14th Sunday – Year C (July 4) Isaiah 66:10-14; Psalm 66:1-7, 16, 20; Galatians 6: 14-18; Luke 10:1-12, 17-20 HIS Christian faith of ours is not just a private luxury. We are charged with a mission, to go out and proclaim the message of the Kingdom to a world that stands desperately in need of it. We need courage for that however, and so it is that next Sunday’s first reading, almost the last words of the scroll of the prophet Isaiah, tells the disillusioned people who have returned from exile in Babylon that they are to “rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all those who love her; rejoice with her in joy, all you who mourned over her”. To make his point, the author uses some slightly startling images, which our culture finds either an embarrassment or a trigger for adolescent giggling (and which you must therefore read for yourself), and then hastens to indicate what God, here presented as our Mother, is offering: “I am spreading peace over her like a river, and like a torrent the glory of the nations.” It is not, though, all about power: “As a mother comforts her son, so I shall comfort you; and you will be comforted in Jerusalem.” So they are to be given encouragement to do the work that God asks

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Scriptural Reflections of them. The psalm, a song of national and personal thanksgiving, reinforces this, as it shouts, “make a joyful noise to God all the earth; play a song to the glory of his name”. They are reminded of “God’s wonders”; in particular of how God saved the people from Egypt, “he changed the sea into dry land; they passed through the river on foot”. We must make this our song, “Blessed be God, who did not refuse my prayer, or take his love from me.” For Paul, as we come to the end of Galatians,in the second reading, it is absolutely clear that God’s action is what counts: “May I not boast, except in the cross of our Lord

Jesus Christ”; but at the same time, he knows that he has an uncomfortable mission: “Through him the world is crucified to me, and I to the world.” It means that none of our conventional religious divisions (which he sums up as ‘circumcision’ and ‘uncircumcision’) matters any more. He concludes the letter with a stark warning not to obstruct the mission: “For I am carrying the marks of Jesus in my body,” and finally brings this bad-tempered letter to a calmer ending: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your Spirit, brothers and sisters.” In the gospel we see the mission getting underway, as Jesus sends out the seventy (or, according to some manuscripts, seventy-two) as ambassadors ahead of him. We should listen attentively to what he says, because the words are addressed to us: “The harvest is great, but the labourers are few. So ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers.” They are to travel light: “no wallet or purse or sandals, don’t greet anyone on the road”. They are also to expect to be fed on the way: “For the labourer is worthy of his hire.” On

Prediction is not our forte T doesn’t take more than a cursory glance at popular mass media today to realise that a lot of people hang on to every word uttered by celebrities and film stars, even though some of these “modern oracles” have IQs that may not come close to reaching double figures. On the other hand, are we able to believe people who have IQs so high that they qualify for the top echelons of Mensa, or at the very least are considered to be leaders in their particular fields of endeavour? I asked my trusty research assistant, Mr Google, to delve into the success rate of so-called experts in predicting the future. He came up with some startling evidence in favour of the notion that no-one, however clever, can make accurate predictions. Charles H Duell, commissioner of the US Office of Patents, pronounced in 1899: “Everything that can be invented has been invented”, in what was perhaps the worst prediction ever made But Commissioner Duell is by no means an exception. There were those who saw no future for the telephone, radio and aeroplanes. “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.”—Western Union internal memo, 1876. “The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?”—David Sarnoff’s associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s. “Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.”—Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895. “Aeroplanes are interesting toys, but of no military value.”—Marechal Ferdinand Foch, professor of strategy at l’École

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The Last Word supérieure de guerre. Scientists may be bright, but not always right. “Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous fiction.”—Pierre Pachet, professor of physiology at Toulouse, 1872. “The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon.”— Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed surgeon extraordinary to the Queen “Professor Goddard does not know the relation between action and reaction and the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react. He seems to lack the basic knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.”—1921 New York Times editorial about Robert Goddard’s revolutionary rocket work. The personal computer once was the stuff of science fiction. “Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1,5 tons.”—Popular Mechanics Magazine, forecasting the relentless march of science in 1949. “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”—Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943. “640K ought to be enough for anybody.”—Bill Gates, 1981. “But what…is it good for?”—Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip. “There is no reason anyone would

want a computer in their home.”—Ken Olson, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, 1977. “I have travelled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won’t last out the year.”—The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957. Business ideas might have floundered if future magnates had listened to their judgments. “So we went to Atari and said: ‘Hey, we’ve got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we’ll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we’ll come work for you.’ And they said, ‘No’. So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, ‘Hey, we don’t need you. You haven’t got through college yet’.”— Apple Computer Inc founder Steve Jobs on attempts to get Atari and HewlettPackard interested in his and Steve Wozniak’s personal computer. “Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You’re crazy.”—Drillers whom Edwin L Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill for oil in 1859. “The concept is interesting and wellformed, but in order to earn better than a ‘C’, the idea must be feasible.”—A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith’s paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp. “If I had thought about it, I wouldn’t have done the experiment. The literature was full of examples that said you can’t do this.”—Spencer Silver on the work that led to the unique adhesives for 3-M ‘PostIt’ notes. Those who shape popular culture also have cloudy crystal balls. “We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.”—Decca Records executive Dick Rowe rejecting the Beatles in 1962. (In mitigation of Mr Rowe, Southern Cross editor and Beatles obsessive Günther Simmermacher tells me that on evidence of the audition tape, the Decca man was right to reject the Fab Four. Mr Rowe later signed the Rolling Stones.) “Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?”—HM Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927. “I’m just glad it’ll be Clark Gable who’s falling on his face and not Gary Cooper.”—Gary Cooper, on not taking the leading role in Gone With The Wind. All of which just goes to show that when it comes to the future, don’t believe anything mere mortals tell you. Rather get on your knees and ask the only One who really knows.

the other hand, they are not to demand fivestar treatment, but “eat what is put before you”. They also have a job to do: “Cure the sick, and tell them that ‘The Kingdom of God has come upon you’.” Luke writes of the excited ambassadors (us, that is) coming back from this first deployment, breathlessly, and joyfully exclaiming: “Lord, even the demons are subordinated to us by your name!” Jesus responds, possibly with tongue in cheek; “I beheld Satan falling like lightning from heaven.” Then we hear a bit more about the mission: “Look, I have given you the authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and on all the enemy’s power; and it will not harm you.” However the glory is not ours to claim. Luke reminds us, gently but firmly: “But in this respect, don’t rejoice that the [evil] spirits are subordinated to you. Rejoice instead that your names are written in the heavens.” We have, this week, a task to perform and we need the Lord’s encouragement if we are to perform it.

Southern Crossword #397

ACROSS 5. Musical work (4) 7. Like men not in the vineyard (Mt 20) (10) 8. Bone in awful nasty position (4) 10. In an old-fashioned way (8) 11. ... of Sinners (Litany of Loreto) (6) 12. Use them to light altar candles (6) 14. Incentive for a boy, by the sound of it (6) 16. Roof-covering (6) 17. Cross carried by Hitler (8) 19. Sunny side of breakfast? (4) 21. Church porches (10) 22. Some nasty eye complaint (4)

DOWN 1. Hindu holy man (4) 2. Title of Durban's cathedral (8) 3. Commemorative tablet (6) 4. Martyr Antony embraces cruel ruler (6) 5. Scandinavian god (4) 6. Not befitting the clergy (10) 9. Is ready to ambush you (4,2,4) 13. Animal that surprised Australian missionaries? (8) 15. Stripe torn off cleric (6) 16. Very sad (6) 18. We hope to do it for our souls (4) 20. South African storage chest (4)

SOLUTIONS TO #396. ACROSS: 1 Dice, 3 Educates, 9 Elixirs, 10 Bambi, 11 Subterranean, 13 Apathy, 15 Strive, 17 Stout-hearted, 20 Rhoda, 21 Kneeler, 22 Schedule, 23 Aped. DOWN: 1 Deep Seas, 2 Climb, 4 Desert, 5 Cabinet-maker, 6 Timpani, 7 Shia, 8 Five thousand, 12 Perdured, 14 Antioch, 16 Shekel, 18 Tulip, 19 Arts.

CHURCH CHUCKLE

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SUNDAY school teacher was telling her class the story of the Good Samaritan. She asked the class: “If you saw a person lying on the roadside, all wounded and bleeding, what would you do?” A thoughtful little girl broke the hushed silence, “I think I'd throw up.”

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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