Be prepared to communicate in a crisis
Pope Benedict in Spain
150 years of Indians in SA
Christmas is a holy day, not a holiday
November 17 to November 23, 2010 Reg No. 1920/002058/06
SOUTHERN AFRICA’S NATIONAL CATHOLIC WEEKLY SINCE 1920
Tallest statue of Christ goes up
A new year, a new look To greet the new liturgical year, The Southern Cross will give itself a little makeover. While the appearance will change in some ways, the content will remain as relevant and stimulating as ever. We trust that our readers will like the new look, and let us know what they think.
BY JONATHAN LUXMOORE
Inside Valuable traditions Some ancient traditions are valuable and should be integrated into modern life, an academic told a Christian audience in Durban.— Page 3
Evangelical friends An invitation to the Catholic Church to visit an international Evangelical congress in South Africa was a first.—Page 2
The churches of Barluzzi In his pilgrimage series, Günther Simmermacher looks at the Holy Land churches built by architect Antonio Barluzzi.—Page 12
Medicine of immortality David Brattston looks at the ancient view of the “medicine of immortality”—the Eucharist.—Page 7
What do you think? In their Letters to the Editor this week, readers discuss criticism of Israel, Anglican conversions, contraceptives, and great memories.—Page 6
This week’s editorial: In all things charity
Pope rated in Top 5 of most powerful people
R5,50 (incl VAT RSA)
OPE Benedict has been included in the top five of Forbes magazine’s list of “The World’s Most Powerful People”, and is the highest ranked religious figure on the list of 68. The pope is at number five in a list headed by Chinese President Hu Jintao, followed by US President Barack Obama, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah and Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Pope Benedict ranked ahead of the likes of Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Indian President Sonia Gandhi and Microsoft founder Bill Gates. The full list includes 68 names—a number chosen to symbolise the 6,8 billion people that populate the world. “The people on this list were chosen because, in various ways, they bend the world to their will. They are heads of state, major religious figures, entrepreneurs and outlaws,” Forbes wrote in introducing the list. Other religious leaders in the Top 68 are Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Hoseini-Khamenei (#26) and the Dalai Lama (#39). The outlaws included are al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden (#57), Joaquín Guzmán (#60), head of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, and Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar (#63), who runs a vast criminal enterprise in India. “These rankings are not meant to justify or glorify these odious men. They simply reflect reality,” Forbes explained.
A worker walks past the head of a giant statue of Jesus in Swiebodzin, Poland. Fr Sylwester Zawadzki, the 78-year-old priest who created the statue, said it stands at 33m—one metre for every year that Jesus lived. PHOTO: KACPER PEMPEL, REUTERS/CNS
PARISH in western Poland will dedicate what it says is the world’s largest statue of Christ in what a local Church spokesman said is a “show of devotion” by local Catholics. “We’re treating this monument as a sign of faith—an external manifestation that religious belief is still alive here,” said Fr Andrzej Sapieha, spokesman for Zielona Gora-Gorzow diocese. “While we are called to live a Christian life, faith also demands material proofs through the figures and crosses adorning our churches. This statue very much reflects this logic.” The reinforced-concrete statue, more than 10m taller than the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and the Christ of Peace statue in Cochabamba, Bolivia, will be dedicated in late November at Divine Mercy parish in Swiebodzin, 32km from the border with Germany. Fr Sapieha said the statue was a local initiative, “but there’s been great interest in this project among the faithful everywhere”. “The fact that the biggest Christ figure in the world is being set up here shows the strength of Polish belief and will encourage Catholics to have trust in Christ and renew their faith,” he added. Poland’s Catholic information agency, KAI, reported that the 433-tonnes figure, topped by a 3m crown, had already attracted sightseers to the 22 000-inhabitant town. It is situated on a mound and is visible for at least 15km in each direction. Mgr Sylwester Zawadzki, the former pastor who commissioned the statue, said the figure, with its adjoining altar and stations of the cross and its proximity to the main highway, would “provide a catechesis for millions of people” passing the town. “It really wasn’t a question of whether this statue was the biggest, but that it should be sumptuous,” he told KAI. “It’s been erected largely thanks to parish donations, as well as money offerings not just from Swiebodzin, but from around Poland and abroad.”—CNS
Rethink on provinces BY CLAIRE MATHIESON
HERE is a need for serious deliberation on the nature of South Africa’s nine provinces, their current form and what structure they should take in the future. This is the message from the Catholic Church following the 6th Annual Conference on Provincial Government by the Democracy Development Programme, recently held in Durban. Dadisai Taderera, researcher for the Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office (a body of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference), said an honest and impartial approach requires “rising above narrow party interests”. She said the current structure of the provinces was “largely due to a compromise aimed at placating competing political interests during the transition period” in the 1990s. As a result certain issues have not been successfully handled by the provincial structures. The Durban conference again discussed the relevance of the provinces, asking whether they should be retained; if so, how many; and how the relationship between
the different spheres of government can be strengthened? “While there is broad consensus on the need to review the provincial system, there are fundamental differences on the way forward,” Ms Taderera said. The primary issue was that of power dynamics, and the need for a more sustainable system of governance and service delivery. Ms Taderera said competing views must not lose sight of the need for “an efficient and effective governance structure that can deliver goods and services to uplift the poor and to narrow inequalities”. The Church has said a more nuanced approach is needed. One of the key issues behind the debate is the status which the provinces hold. Ms Taderera said the power struggle at the heart of the debates was caused by the system being neither federal (like Nigeria or America) nor unitary, making it difficult for governing to occur effectively. Before 1994, provinces were demarcated through a commission which was given a list of criteria for drawing provincial borders. These included consideration of old boundaries, service delivery points, finan-
cial implications of the divisions, potential growth and cultural realities. The extensive research involved addressing 700 submissions and studying international conventions. The commission in the 1994 document “The Birth of a Constitution” concluded that “if the borders were demarcated in such a way as to equalise economic potential and tax bases between regions, [this would] lead to distortions in the shape of regions to the extent that they are no longer functional in other respects”. Finance is one of the major arguments for a review of the provincial system. “Ours is not a purely federal system,” Ms Taderera said, “which means that the ability of provincial governments to raise funds is seriously limited.” Inequality of resources including financial, human and infrastructure, is an enormous challenge but if the federal government provides the funding this curtails the provinces freedom to make policies and objectives. In 2007 the ANC issued a discussion document, “Legislature and Governance for a National Democratic Society”, which Continued on page 15
The Southern Cross, November 17 to November 23, 2010
Congress shows bond, differences between Christians BY COLIN BRYDEN
RCHBISHOP Stephen Brislin of Cape Town, leader of a Catholic Church observer delegation, said the 2010 Lausanne Congress, an international evangelical meeting held in Cape Town, was “a positive event which hopefully will be built on”. It was significant that the Church had been invited to attend the evangelical gathering for the first time, he said. The Lausanne Movement was launched in 1974, at a congress convened by Dr Billy Graham. Cape Town was the third major gathering after a follow-up meeting in Manila, Philippines, in 1974. Cape Town 2010 was attended by 4 200 delegates from 198 countries. Canon Andrew Norman, the coordinator of observers, said the organisers were “absolutely delighted” that a delegation from the Catholic Church had attended. He said the catchphrase of the congress was “the whole Church
taking the whole Gospel to the whole world”. The Lausanne Movement comprised Evangelical and Pentecostal churches, but Canon Norman said there was a desire that other parts of the Church be “part of the conversation” and that there should be “a spirit of graciousness and respect” between churches with different approaches to spreading the message of the Bible. The Catholic delegation consisted of Archbishop Brislin, Bishop Graham Rose of Dundee, Archbishop Emeritus George Daniel of Pretoria, Bishop Oscar Cantu, auxiliary bishop of San Antonio in the United States, and Mgr Juan Usma-Gomez, bureau chief of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Mgr Usma-Gomez said the invitation to the congress was a clear sign of the changes that had occurred in the relations between Catholics and Evangelicals during the past two decades. He pointed out that Dr Douglas Birdsall, executive chair of the congress, had referred to the
Evangelicals’ explicit request to have the Catholic Church represented. “Of course, there are still problems and a long way to go,” said Mgr Usma-Gomez. “Nonetheless we are in a new situation of growing mutual knowledge and collaboration on both local and international levels.” Mgr Usma-Gomez said the congress highlighted the bonds, which already existed among Christians of different traditions who adopted a similar way of spreading the Gospel in a modern context, although he said it seemed to be a problem at the Congress to define who a “real Christian” was. “Lausanne I and Lausanne II created situations in which Catholics and other Christians were targeted as non-Christians,” said Mgr Usma-Gomez. “I hope it will not be the case with Lausanne III. How indeed can we proclaim the gospel of reconciliation without, at the same time, being committed to working for reconciliation between Christians?
“I do believe that it is time for Evangelicals and Catholics to collaborate in announcing the Gospel instead of competing with one another.” Asked whether the Cape Town congress had contributed to the cause of Christian unity, Mgr Usma-Gomez said: “It is clear that Catholics and Evangelicals/Pentecostals have a different approach to Christian unity, but nonetheless both proclaim it as the will of Christ, so neither can ignore it. Therefore it is necessary to identify a way to proceed that is respectful of both partners involved. “The participants were able to pray together, to discuss and share very personal, spiritual and pastoral concerns with candour and freedom; they listened and started to know each other; at times, fraternal confrontation on different ecclesial approaches emerged but always in a positive spirit… I think this is something that can be duplicated in the local context and will contribute greatly to growth in communion between Catholics and Evangeli-
cals, always bearing in mind that unity is not the result of human efforts but a gift of the Holy Spirit.” Archbishop Brislin said he believed there was a growing openness among Evangelicals— and many Christian groups—for dialogue, particularly with the Catholic Church. “There are many things that we Catholics take for granted which other Christians find attractive, for example the sacraments, the abundance of spiritual literature, contemplative prayer, lectio divina [divine reading] and our adherence to moral teaching.” Summing up his delegation's experience at the congress, Archbishop Brislin said: “We are united in our proclamation of the Word of God and that the Word is fundamental to Christian life. However, the divisions and differences remain. These cannot be swept under the carpet but must provide the framework for further openness and discussions to find more common ground.”
SA priest new Jesuit conference president
HE Jesuit General has appointed a South African priest as the president of the Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar (JESAM). In this role Fr Mike Lewis SJ will coordinate the overall planning and development of the Society of Jesus’ mission in Africa and Madagascar. He will also be responsible for encouraging training in leadership and continuing formation among the more than 1 000 Jesuits in Africa. The president of the Jesuit Conference has a coordinating role for the work of the Society of Jesus in sub-Saharan Africa, and his territory stretches from Khartoum to Cape Town, Madagascar to Senegal. The Society of Jesus in Africa runs a number of common works and centres that are staffed by Jesuits from all over the continent.
Fr Mike Lewis SJ Fr Lewis is responsible for what Jesuits call the cura personalis of the men assigned to JESAM common works and centres. His task is to support, encourage and look after the
Jesuits in the region. Fr Lewis was born in Cape Town and attended St Aidan’s College in Grahamstown. He entered the Jesuits in 1968 after military service and a stint as a volunteer teacher at St Ignatius College in Chishawasha, then Southern Rhodesia. He studied anthropology, archaeology and Zulu at Wits, and theology at Heythrop College in London, and Berkeley in the United States. He was ordained in 1978. His first major assignment as priest was in a Zulu-speaking parish in Elandskop, KwaZulu-Natal. Thereafter he was appointed major-superior for 15 years. He later spent several years teaching pastoral theology and anthropology at St John Vianney Seminary in Pretoria where he established their Pastoral Training Programme.
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Be prepared to communicate STAFF REPORTER
Canadian communications expert Sheila George, Vatican Radio executive Sean Lovett and Radio Veritas director Fr Emil Blaser OP after an advanced communication workshop for Catholic media workers in Johannesburg. Cape Town-born Mr Lovett heads Vatican Radio’s English and Italian services. Ms George is the co-owner of a US-based public relations company that specialises in Church communications. Illumicom Communications, an agency that serves religious communities in North America and Europe. She told the workshop: “As [Catholic] communicators we have to always facilitate understanding; when the news is good and when the news is bad—no matter how we feel about it personally [or] spiritually.” She advised Catholic leaders and media professionals to establish and maintain good relations with journalists, and urged Church bodies to draw up emergency plans. “Be prepared! Develop a crisis communications plan and have it in place before the crisis arrives,” Ms George said. When the need arises,
“encourage accountability, transparency, responsibility and clarity in public statements”, the Canadian-born public relations expert said. “Repeat core messages often and on a regular basis, because the message might not come through the first time.” One participant said that she had attended a business workshop on a similar theme recently, and was astonished at the difference in the values proposed at the two courses. Both Mr Lovett and Ms George emphasised the spirit behind the workshop’s motto, coined by the US novelist Edith Wharton: “There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”
Booklet encourages family prayer time STAFF REPORTER
HE Marriage and Family Ministry (Marfam) in Johannesburg has published a new booklet to offer spiritual guidance for the season of Advent and Christmas. The 40-page Pray As You Go booklet, authored by Marfam’s Toni Rowland, is intended to help families pray at home. Ten main themes, including discipline, reconciliation, fear and courage consist of prayers, reflections, discussion points and proposed actions. The booklet includes a series of “quick prayers” for people with a busy lifestyle. For young
Lecture highlights African traditions STAFF REPORTER
ATHOLIC institutions, especially dioceses, must be prepared for crises, because when trouble arises it may be too late to respond effectively. That was the message during a training workshop on crisis communication for Catholic media workers held at Koinonia in Johannesburg. The workshop was led by Sean Patrick Lovett, head of Vatican Radio’s English and Italian services, and Canadian communication expert Sheila George. It was hosted by Radio Veritas. Simulations of crises—one involving an accident, the other a scandal—revealed that emergency plans must be in place to enable those appointed to liaise with the media to communicate clearly and judiciously. Mr Lovett, a multiple awardwinning media expert who has worked in the Vatican since 1977, outlined the basis for effective communication. Messages, he said, must be conveyed clearly, concisely, concretely and creatively. Communication designed to effect change must engage what he called “the four ‘I’s”: Involve the audience by creating “a novelty that will satisfy their curiosity”; Inform it with focused content; Interact with it by attracting feedback (which can then be used to adapt the message); Inspire the audience by illuminating a message. Ms George is the co-owner of
The Southern Cross, November 17 to November 23, 2010
Marfam’s new prayer booklet helps families pray together.
people there are prayers on subjects such as sports and courage. One prayer addresses peer pressure: “Take away any fears of being laughed at, especially if I
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refuse to do wrong.” While the booklet is linked to the coming season, it can be used throughout the year, said Mrs Rowland. “It’s partly for Advent and Christmas, but not exclusively so.” The booklet offers prayer techniques and outlines a simple framework for “Family Hour”. It also encourages families to hold “a short reconciliation service at home from time to time”, suggesting the Lord’s Prayer as a basis. Pray As You Go can be ordered at R10 from Marfam at PO Box 2881, Randburg 2125, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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OME ancient traditional practices are valuable and should be integrated into modern life with a fair reflection of human values, Professor Pearl Sithole, lecturer at the Community Development Programme of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, has said. Prof Sithole was speaking at a seminar on “Relevance of traditional practices in a modern and democratic society”, organised by the Diakonia Council of Churches at Diakonia Centre in Durban. She said the first mistake made is to regard tradition as something for only certain societies. “All societies have traditions, all have indigenous knowledge and all have all types of ancient practices. If we can understand that, then we will stop the intellectual patronising of certain groups by associating them only with tradition and by equating tradition with backwardness,” she said. “In a bid to be more scientific and intellectually ahead, colonialism created a situation where it painted everything associated with the African religion and sadly African medicine as well, as traditional and backward,” she said. “Tradition is simply a progression of life through operating from the known procedures, and negotiating new ways of doing things as new circumstances present themselves. The only reason why we have a different attitude to tradition other than this understanding is because of the intellectual and cultural battles we fought during the colonial period,” Prof Sithole said. However, she said it would be wrong to assume that specific traditions will always be relevant. She said it is equally unreasonable to assume that certain traditions must be proclaimed irrelevant overnight because somebody has declared a sudden realisation that we are now in the modern world. “How one looks at specific practices should be hugely mediated by human values—respect, equality, honesty, kindness, among others. Practices that have been criticised, and according to Prof Sithole, should be done away with, include lobolo and polygamy. She added that the distrust attributed to traditional medicine has been largely unfair, but said some of its aspects should be analysed. Addressing the same gathering,
Professor Pearl Sithole Inkosi Mzimela, former chairman of the National House of Traditional Leaders, said pre-colonial African communities were organised under traditional leadership, but the colonial and apartheid eras distorted this valuable institution. In support of polygamy Mr Mzimela said: “Polygamy is a customary wedding and is done above board because lobolo is paid and marriage takes place in a normal way. It is not a clandestine, underground or submarine practice. Furthermore, women are not forced into it, but they do it in accordance with their own volition.” Mr Mzimela added that proper consultation with other wives, especially the principal wife, takes place, and they must agree to it before the man takes another wife. “Contrary to Western conception, polygamy within African communities has been there from time immemorial as a fundamental practice which is totally different from the modern practice of having mistresses or women having illicit and regular sexual relationships with married men,” Mr Mzimela said. Concurring with Prof Sithole, Mr Mzimela said there are no harmful cultural practices and any thinking to that effect comes from people who are opposed to “our” system of living or have no understanding of it. When speaking on lobolo, Mr Mzimela said: “People should understand that it is not bride wealth or payment, but a provision in honour of the woman who has come to build a home where it did not exist.”
The Southern Cross, November 17 to November 23, 2010
Despite terror, Middle East Christians still trust in God BY DOREEN ABI RAAD
ESPITE terrorist warnings that all Christians in the Middle East are “legitimate targets”, the faithful in the region say they have placed their trust in God. An al-Qaeda group in Iraq made the threat in an Internet statement in early November. The same group was responsible for the siege in the Syrian Catholic cathedral in Baghdad that ended in a rescue drama that killed 58 people, including 46 Catholics who were in the church. Since the threat was made, there have been several lethal attacks on Christians, including Catholics, in Iraq. “When I hear about people dying for their faith, it pushes me to believe even more and to be a better Christian,” said Patty Barbara, a 40year-old Melkite Catholic from Beirut, Lebanon. “It’s as if someone is telling me, ‘Wake up and be a better Christian!’” Mrs Barbara said attacks such as the one in Iraq and threats to Christians “make the people who are lukewarm in their faith to boil for Christ”. While the Christian presence in Lebanon—about 33% of the population—has been steadily dwindling due to emigration, Mrs Barbara said she is determined to stay in the land of her birth. “I am planted in this country,” she said, adding that she will encourage her three children to stay in Lebanon. “This is our mission, to be a witness to Christ here.” John Fahed, a 26-year-old Maronite Catholic from Beirut, told Catholic News Service: “I am not afraid to be in Lebanon because I feel the Lord has called me to stay here, and he will protect me.” Growing up in Beirut, he experienced the horrors of the 1975-1990 civil war. “We had bombs and shells exploding in our house, yet God
kept me and my family safe from danger.” During the Israel-Hezbollah war in the summer of 2006, he continued with his daily routine, going to work every day. “I pray daily. I’ve been brought up to do that,” he said. “God hears my prayers.” Of the al-Qaeda threat he said: “I didn’t expect it, but I’m not really surprised. We are living in a place where everything is possible. I can’t respond to their hatred by hating them back. Instead, I pray for them that their eyes will be open to the truth. I think the best thing we can do is to pray for them, to love them.” Jocelyn Cherfan, 45, a Maronite Catholic from Beirut, views the persecution of Christians in the region as a “wake-up call” for the faith. “Masses are full, and even the new generation of younger people are coming back. We are becoming like the cedars of Lebanon,” she said. “With our feet planted on the ground, we have to be one hand, all together, and with our faith we have to face the problems all together.” Christians in Jordan—representing only about 3% of the country’s population—are also expressing trust in the Lord. “About the threats: really, we are not afraid,” said Fr Rif’at Bader, director of the Catholic Media Centre in Jordan. “Not because the name of Jordan is not mentioned in these threats, but because we have a strong faith, and we are the followers of Jesus Christ who pardoned his crucifiers.” Fr Bader added that Christians in Jordan “are not, and never will be, at the margins of society”. He said the October Synod of Bishops for the Middle East “gave us a renewed encouragement and strength to be always attached to our Church and to our societies as well”.
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In the West Bank, although Christians are a target for extremists, they are not afraid, said Fr Faysal Hijazen, priest at Holy Family parish in Ramallah. “This is our land. We Arab Christians and Muslims are living together here for centuries. We are not afraid of anybody. This is our land, our Middle East.” Anton Habash, 63, sat inside Holy Family before a special Mass honouring the Iraqi massacre victims. “I have lived here all my life and I never was afraid,” he said. “Extremists can’t come here to the West Bank and Gaza. It is different here than in Iraq, the borders are so closed.” As she guided her 10-year-old daughter Carmen into the church, Abir Kidess, 35, said she would never be intimidated from practising her faith or leaving her homeland. “I am proud of being Christian and I am willing to die for my faith if that is God’s plan,” she said. She said she had spoken to her daughter about the attack and what had happened. “I am afraid they will come to kill us like they did at the Iraqi church,” said Carmen, adding that only her faith in God made her feel safe. Latin-rite Archbishop Jean Sleiman of Baghdad told the British branch of Aid to the Church in Need that he feared Iraq’s Christians would lose hope after the attack. He said Christians “are deeply afraid. But they are trying to overcome this latest horrible experience”. “This is not possible for all of them, but it’s the only way to find inner peace and so to resist in a very hostile context,” he said.—CNS Contributing to this story was Judith Sudilovsky in the West Bank.
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Altar servers hold candles during a procession after a special memorial Mass at Holy Family church in Ramallah, West Bank, in solidarity with those killed in the recent attack on Iraq's Syrian Catholic cathedral. Christians throughout the Middle East called for protection, but said their faith is keeping them strong. PHOTO: DEBBIE HILL, CNS
Castro at seminary launch
N a ceremony joined by President Raúl Castro, Cuba’s Catholic bishops inaugurated the San Carlos and San Ambrosio Seminary, the country’s first major Church-related construction in the half century since the revolution led by Fidel Castro. Joined by Cuba’s bishops and representatives of the Vatican and of the Catholic Church in the United States, Mexico, Italy and the Bahamas, Havana Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino noted that the late Pope John Paul II blessed the first stone of the new seminary at a Mass during his January 1998 visit to the island. At that point, then-President Fidel Castro pledged his support for the project, the cardinal said. The seminary, which can house 100 people, will open to students next year. In 1966, in the early days of the Castro regime when tensions with the Church were high, the Church was forced to turn over to the government the previous San Carlos and San Ambrosio Seminary, built in 1948. Classes were moved to a classic
colonial cloister in Havana’s historic district, where they have been located ever since. That building will become a cultural centre and studio, housing a library and space for exhibitions, concerts, theatre and film screenings. The country’s only other Catholic seminary is in Santiago de Cuba, on the south-eastern coast. Construction of the new San Carlos and San Ambrosio Seminary began in 2006. The stone blessed by Pope John Paul rests in a glass case at the seminary’s entrance. The opening of San Carlos and San Ambrosio takes place at a time of marked improvement in relations between the Catholic Church and the state, after 50 years of ups and downs. Analysts describe the current situation as “more relaxed”, since a dialogue process that began with a meeting in May between Raúl Castro, Cardinal Ortega and Santiago Archbishop Dionisio García Ibáñez, president of the Cuban bishops’ conference.—CNS
Irish women unappreciated BY MICHAEL KELLY
RISH Catholic women feel that they are not sufficiently appreciated by the Church, but their faith remains strong, according to a newly published survey. The research, which compared attitudes between Catholic and Protestant women, found that 74% of Catholic women surveyed felt that the Church did not treat them with “a lot of respect”. Among Protestant women, just 6,3% felt that lack of respect. However, 61% of Catholic women said they looked to Mary as a positive role model who empowered them within the Church, compared with 27% of Protestant women who looked to Mary. When given a statement that the Church had tried to control their position in society, 72,3% of Catholic women agreed compared with 19,7% of Protestant women. The research, carried out by Trinity College Dublin among more than 500 women across 12 counties in the Irish Republic between 2002 and 2006, also found that religious faith remains strong among women and they remain actively involved in the Church. Results were published in a book by Florence Craven of Trinity’s Social Attitude and Policy Research Group. Dominican Sister Geraldine Smyth of the Irish School of Ecumenics said she was not surprised by the figures. The high percentage “needs to be listened to and attended to, not written off as lunatic fringe”.
Sr Smyth said the Catholic Church “is wonderful at highlighting marginalisation of women in society and standing up for vulnerable women in the social and political sphere”, but that “does not translate in to the Church where women are not sufficiently valued”. She said that if there is to be a meaningful process of Catholic renewal in Ireland, “the voice of women must be acknowledged, listened to and valued”. The research confirmed anecdotal evidence and reports from various diocesan “listening sessions” around the country, where Catholic women expressed frustration about feelings of exclusion. In the diocese of Ossory, where more than 800 people participated in the session, the final report noted: “It was strongly felt that, while women make up two-thirds of the congregation, they have little say or role within the Church and its structures. “It was felt that if more people, particularly women, had been involved in leadership roles in the church the manner in which the abuse allegations were dealt with would have been different,” it added. In Kerry, where more than 500 people participated, many people expressed strong views that the Church is marginalising lay people, particularly women. Some said the Irish Church’s introduction of the permanent diaconate further excluded women from playing a “real role” in the Church.—CNS
The Southern Cross, November 17 to November 23, 2010
Vatican confirms Anglican bishops’ move BY SARAH DELANEY & SIMON CALDWELL
HE Vatican has confirmed that five Anglican bishops have decided to join the Catholic Church and step down from their current positions with the Church of England. Fr Federico Lombardi SJ, director of the Vatican press office, confirmed to reporters a statement issued by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales welcoming the five bishops. Fr Lombardi said that a “constitution” that would govern the entry of former bishops of the Anglican Communion was being studied. One year ago, Pope Benedict
established a special structure for Anglicans who want to be in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church while preserving aspects of their Anglican spiritual and liturgical heritage. The move was seen as a bridge to those unhappy with recent Anglican decisions on the ordination of women and the acceptance of homosexuality in some areas. Fr Lombardi said: “Regarding the declaration of five bishops until now belonging to the Anglican Communion who have decided to join the Catholic Church and who therefore are obliged by conscience to resign from their current pastoral duties in the Church of England, we can confirm that the constitution of a first
ordinariate is under study, according to the norms established by the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, and that any further decisions regarding this will be communicated at the proper moment.” Under the arrangement Anglicans can be received into the Catholic Church as a group while retaining their distinctive patrimony and liturgical practices, including married priests. Fr Lombardi was referring to a statement issued by the Episcopal Commission of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales that said: “We welcome the decision of Bishops Andrew Burnham, Keith Newton, John Broadhurst, Edwin Barnes and David Silk
to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church through the ordinariate for England and Wales, which will be established under the provisions of the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum coetibus.” The statement was signed by Auxiliary Bishop Alan Hopes of Westminster, the highest-ranking former Anglican priest in England and Wales. He joined the Catholic Church in 1994 after the Church of England agreed to ordain women as priests. A statement from Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury said he would initiate the process for filling the vacant sees. In a joint statement, the five bishops, who resigned their posts
effective as of December 31, said that despite ecumenical efforts, they had been “dismayed, over the last 30 years, to see Anglicans and Catholics move further apart on some of the issues of the day”. They said they were particularly “distressed by developments in faith and order in Anglicanism which we believe to be incompatible with the historic vocation of Anglicanism and the tradition of the church for nearly 2 000 years”. The bishops said they were “very grateful for all that the Church of England has meant for us and given to us all these years, and we hope to maintain close and warm relationships, praying and working together for the coming of God’s Kingdom.”—CNS
Pope: Laity must evangelise for social justice worldwide BY SARAH DELANEY
OPE Benedict has said that lay Catholics have a responsibility to promote social justice and charity in a globalised world often marked by injustice and inequality. Addressing the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, the pope called for “renewed evangelisation of the church’s social doctrine”. Lay people, the pope said, as “free and responsible citizens”, are invested with “the immediate task of working for a just social order”. The pope made his remarks in a message to Cardinal Peter Turkson,
the council president, as he welcomed council members at the beginning of their plenary meeting at the Vatican. He praised the council for promoting the formation of the laity through the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church and Pope Benedict’s own Caritas in Veritate (“Charity in Truth”), the 2009 encyclical that addressed social justice issues. But lay Catholics cannot carry out the Church’s message alone, the pope said. “They must find priests and bishops able to offer untiring support for purification of
the conscience, as well as indispensable support for the coherent witness of the social doctrine of the Church.” Victims of injustice and inequality expect “words of hope” from the Church and signs that God “can save humanity from its radical evils”, the pope said. Pope Benedict said Catholics had their work cut out for them in a world where “lies often trap men and society” and undermine solidarity. Only through charity, “sustained by hope and illuminated by the light of faith and reason” can
the objectives of humanity’s liberation and universal justice be reached”. Efforts by governments to address social, economic and technological imbalances are inadequate because nations “are oriented towards a balance of power, rather than solidarity,” the pope said. Globalisation has not resolved these problems, only shifted them, leaving “new forms of inequality; the danger of economic and financial groups that dictate the political agenda—and intend to continue to do so—to the detriment of
the universal good”. To meet the challenge, the pope said that the Church, at all levels, needs to work for a “globalisation of the social doctrine of the Church”. He suggested the establishment of new centres for its study and promotion throughout the world. In a closing message, Cardinal Turkson pledged that as members of the council and of their own local churches, they would “rededicate ourselves to the renewed evangelisation of the social and the globalisation of the Church’s social doctrine”.—CNS
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The Southern Cross, November 17 to November 23, 2010
LEADER PAGE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
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
In all things charity
ATHOLICS are prone to lament that they do not always receive sufficient respect from those outside the Church, especially from those in the secular world. One reason for that doubtless involves those teachings and disciplines of the Catholic Church that run counter to the prevailing mood. Another reason for the lack of external respect may reside in the internal deficit in respect. The manner of discourse in the Church often is deprived entirely of Christian love. How can we, the Church, demand respect from nonCatholics when we cannot even show respect to one another? We sinfully fail to communicate Christ’s love when we denounce, deride, insult, denigrate, scorn, misrepresent, ridicule, suspect, slander, doubt and label one another— or even tolerate such behaviour when we observe it. It is a bitter irony that in the supposed defence of Christ, his commandment—“that you love one another as I have loved you” (Jn 13:34-35)— often is arbitrarily violated. Disagreement need not mean discord. The followers of Christ have differed over all manner of subjects, even in apostolic times. Peter and Paul had fundamental disagreements and debated these vigorously. But in disagreement they did not occupy adversarial positions, or question the other’s good faith. Catholics will always differ with one another, even at the highest hierarchical levels. They will have diverging views on what Our Lord expects of us, on how to interpret and apply particular doctrines and teachings, and on how to understand the Church and its structures. It is arrogant to believe that one’s conclusions on such matters—if they do not involve the deposits of our faith—are invariably beyond
deliberation and to be held by everybody. If there was no debate, then there would be no room for the Church to grow; it would be static and lifeless. The principle of “Ecclesia semper reformanda est” (“The Church is always in need of reform”) did not perish with the last renewal of the Church. At some points, reforms were seismic: the apostles’ reception of gentiles, the Gregorian reforms of the 11th century, the Council of Trent, Vatican II. At other times, reforms evolve as the Church reads the signs of the times and adapts accordingly, where it is possible. This requires a patient and open dialogue that acknowledges the presence of the Holy Spirit in all we do. Healthy debate—conducted in a spirit of charity and love for the faith—does not damage the Church, but helps nourish the living body of Christ. Some of our greatest saints in their time posed uncomfortable questions of the Church. How different our Church might be if not for the questioning, in love and loyalty, by St Francis of Assisi? It is not admissible to attack the good faith of fellow Catholics, regardless of the depth of disagreement. Whether conservative or progressive (in as far as these labels are at all meaningful), Catholics have the right to appeal to the teaching authority of the Church to reconsider matters that are not essential to our faith. That in itself does not exclude them from being in good standing with the Church—whereas to claim that they are may be an act of error itself. Catholic discourse must be governed by the maxim often misattributed to St Augustine of Hippo but quoted approvingly by Pope John XXIII in his first encyclical, Ad Petri cathedram (1959): “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”
A more honest perspective and courage AM responding to Günther Simmermacher’s editorial comment (November 3) regarding my reaction to the concluding statement of the special synod of bishops on the Middle East. If Mr Simmermacher would have read the text of my own presentation to the synod given on October 13 (it may be found on the Vatican’s website covering the synod) he would know that I myself raised the importance of addressing the plight of Palestinians and also referred to my own role as a founder of Rabbis for Human Rights which has pulled no punches in criticising Israeli policies where appropriate. Of course it is not anti-Semitc to criticise particular positions or actions of any Israeli government, like any other government. However, when Israel is used as a scapegoat for other problems and issues, then something much more problematic is revealed.
The primary reason for the diminution of the Christian presence in the Middle East (incidentally except for in Israel, where inter alia various demographic factors have led to very substantial increase in the Christian presence in the last decades) is an increasing exclusionary Islamicism (as opposed to the traditional inclusionary spirit of authentic Islam towards Christians and Jews.) My point simply was that if Israel did not exist, Christians in the Middle East would still be facing this challenge. Moreover, the majority of the most destructive conflicts in the Middle East in recent times, from the millions killed in the IranIraq war to the tens of thousands killed in Algeria, with their multifaceted consequences, have had nothing to do with the IsraeliPalestinian conflict. Accordingly to almost hide the principal challenge and to place
the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the top of the list of problems relating to the diminution of the Christian presence in the Middle East, is at best disingenouous if not downright dishonest. Again I reiterate that no such disingenuity is an excuse to avoid seeking to resolve the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and bring dignity, security, justice and peace for all involved. All I was calling for was a little more honest perspective and courage from the Arab bishops, whose task I do not minimise and whose fidelity to their faith is generally most admirable. Nevertheless in very many cases they allow political considerations to vitiate their theology and to remain in a pre-Vatican II mindset as far as Jews, Judaism and a Jewish polity are concerned. Rabbi David Rosen, International Director of Interreligious Affairs, AJC, Jerusalem
Questions need answers
hood and must be ordained unconditionally. The norm of clerical celibacy still holds, but married men may be accepted on a case by case basis. The document’s scope is restricted to members of the Anglican Communion and has no bearing on the canonical status of laicised Catholic priests—Editor
This reality is unknown to most of its users. Thus, these persons, provided that they act without culpable ignorance, cannot be adjudged morally responsible for the many unborn human deaths which result from this usage. This moral responsibility lies at the door of those individuals who have a duty to, but do not, speak out on this issue. Any such silence is morally equivalent to that which perpetuated the child sex abuse scandal within the Church. Damian McLeish, Johannesburg
UNDERSTAND that the Vatican has made provision for m ar r i e d Angl i c an c l e r gy t o convert to Catholicism and continue to practise the ministry of the priesthood. Is this dispensation conditional upon the following: • Are they required to take a vow of celibacy? • Are they required to submit to the full sacrament of priestly ordination? • I suspect that pensions and medical aids would probably have to be revisited. • I would also suspect that a fully ordained Anglican female minister would not be covered by this dispensation. • Would an ex-Catholic priest (married and subsequently widowed) be eligible to fully practise his priesthood again? Over the years due to the dire shortage of priests I have frequently been called upon to “help out” by holding Communion services in a number of parishes—and yet I am forbidden to celebrate Mass for the faithful. Don Kelly, Cape Town
Pope Benedict opened the way for Anglicans to join in full communion with the Catholic Church in his letter Anglicanorum coetibus of November, 2009. Only male Anglican priests may be admitted to the Catholic priest-
The write stuff
ONGRATULATIONS on the 90th Anniversary edition of The Southern Cross. I found it very interesting, especially as my father was a writer for The Southern Cross in the 1950s and 60s. Ad multos annos! Gideon Goosen, Sydney, Australia
The Pill killer
T is an estasblished medical fact which can be verified at several sources that the pill (the collective term for all birth control drugs) can be abortive as well as contraceptive. 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.
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The good old days!
OW! The photograph that accompanied Chris Moerdyk’s column “The great thurible swinger” (November 3) takes many of us back to the early years in our lives. Judging from the size of the boys, I am inclined to think that the photograph was taken a year or even two before 1957. St Pius X parish used Nazareth House chapel before the church on the corner of Pienaar and Main Streets was built. The sanctuary was added by Fr Ken Spargo in 1968. I would say that all operators of the thurible at one time or another tried an illegal 360° loop—I know, I did. Fr Kevin Reynolds, Pretoria
PERSPECTIVES Simeon Banda FSS
Point of Reflection
Our elderly are a great resource
WESTERN friend asked me recently: “Simeon, what is the view of old age among the Chewa people of Malawi?” It is an anthropological question which involves a Bantu perception of old age. Old age is not an issue in the Chewa community—though I am speaking of just a little section in a very small country in the vast continent of Africa. I had the privilege of being looked after by an old woman, my grandmother Martha, who died in 1982 at the age of 100 years. To tell the truth and shame the devil, the old woman reached so ripe an age that she could not walk, fetch water or firewood alone, or do the washing—but we felt blessed for having her with us. She was our point of reference and she could take our jokes with great humour. She remained a permanent member, with us and among us. She was not taken to a home for the aged because Malawi has no provision for such a service. The idea of an infirmary was unknown among my people, and I do not remember of having taken her to a modern hospital. When I once suffered from an acute headache, she took leaves from luni, a bush vegetable, and smeared the veins around my forehead. I was cured. She taught me medicine to cure diverse diseases of children. Today some people in my culture see old people as experts in witchcraft. Whenever a young person dies, they are the first victims of suspicion. I see this mentality growing increasingly in the rural area. It is very unfortunate. Old people live in fear among their children and grandchildren. We sadly see our traditional value of respecting our elders being ignored. It is a shame to lose such a time-tested value which ought to be considered as an African treasure of all times. My people have always known old age as a blessing. I wonder why now the very same people see old age as a curse. Don’t we all aspire for old age? Our dignity does not diminish with old age. Let us go back to our roots and discover the beauty of respecting old people. I learned good fables while sitting around the fire with my grandmother, stories with lessons for good and harmonious living in the community. We do not lose anything in our respect for elders—if anything, we gain more by listening to their accumulated wisdom. Br Simeon Banda is a Marist Brother born in Malawi and currently based in Mozambique.
Read more Perspectives at scross.co.za/category/perspectives
The Southern Cross, November 17 to November 23, 2010
The Holy Eucharist: medicine of immortality
PROMINENT Canadian politician was recently alleged to have received a Communion wafer at a Catholic Mass, put it into his pocket, and returned to his pew, to the horror of parishioners and media alike. Presumably he was a Calvinist, because the liturgical churches (Eastern Orthodox, Ethiopians, Anglicans, Lutherans, and both Byzantine and Latin rite Catholics) hold the Eucharist in great reverence and maintain strict regulations as to how Communion elements are to be treated and to whom they may be distributed, if only to prevent disrespectful handling. These regulations are not modern inventions, nor did they originate with superstitious monks in the Dark Ages. The present article looks at Christian regard for the Eucharist before 250AD to show how the earliest believers shared the same practices as liturgical denominations today. In the earliest Christian centuries, extremely respectful treatment was shown towards the bread and wine— body and blood of Christ. The reason appears in Justin, a Christian writer in the mid-2nd century who was later martyred for the faith: “Not as common bread and common drink do we receive these…we have been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of his word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh.” Half a century earlier another martyr, Bishop Ignatius of Antioch, described the Eucharist as “the medicine of immortality, and the antidote to prevent us from dying but which causes that we should live forever in Jesus Christ”. In 217, Bishop Hippolytus in central Italy set out existing Church practice as to how clergy were to continue to conduct worship services. He wrote that the consecrated elements are not to be allowed to fall to the floor or treated carelessly; this is corroborated in the same era in Tunisia by the Church father Tertullian. The bread and wine were to be consecrated only according to a prescribed rite, which must be in an orderly manner, without unnecessary talking, and such that Christian worship practices not be ridiculed by non-Christians. Shortly afterwards, the Church father Origen wrote that people are not to receive them “in haphazard fashion”. These, of course, are echoes of St Paul that church services must be conducted “decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40).
rigen illustrated better than anyone else the great reverence Christians in the 240s held the sacramental elements. Unlike Ignatius or Hippolytus, he was not urging his hearers to show respect, but was using one existing Church practice as the grounds or analogy for other spiritual exercises. Origen was taking the example of the treatment of the Eucharist as a standard practice on which to build his argument to encourage them to adopt an additional soul-building activity. Both he and his congregations took high respect for the sacramental elements for granted and as well-established: “You who are accustomed to take part in divine mysteries know, when you receive the body of the Lord, how you protect it with all caution and veneration lest any small part fall from it, lest anything of the consecrated gift be lost. For you believe, and correctly, that you are answerable if anything falls from there by neglect.” Because he travelled much throughout the eastern Mediterranean at the request of local bishops, and once to Rome, his statements probably describe universal practice.
David W T Brattston
Point of Ethics Partly because outsiders might not know how to demonstrate proper respect, it was forbidden to give Holy Communion to them—as witness the allegations about the Canadian politician. From biblical times, it was considered sinful to consume the sacrament in any unworthy manner. According to the Apostle Paul, “whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord” and “he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body” (1 Corinthians 11: 27, 29). This was repeated almost two centuries later by Origen when he warned that Christians who partake unworthily will receive the Lord’s judgment, again as a proposition accepted as a given by all his hearers.
he Didache was a Church manual and guide to the Christian life written in the late 1st century, when some apostles were still alive. It limited participation in the Eucharist to people who had been baptised. Half a century or more later, Justin similarly confined Communion to people who believe Christian doctrine, had been baptised, and live as Christ had taught. Another 60 years later Hippolytus’ Church manual would also admit to Holy Communion only people who had received Christian baptism. One of his charges against the leadership of a rival party within Christianity was that they accepted into membership people rejected by other sects, allowed clergy to marry after ordination, permitted abortion, and indiscriminately gave Communion to everybody. To further safeguard against disrespect of the sacrament and prevent people from eating and drinking unworthily, there were restrictions even on the baptised. In the 1st century St Paul required examination of conscience prior to receiving (1 Corinthians 11:28) while the Didache not long afterwards mandated confession of sins. It also required resolution of disputes with other people before participating. Liturgical denominations have always provided further protection by requiring communicants to come to the front of the church and to receive the sacrament only from the hand of a duly authorised minister commissioned for this purpose. In 212 Tertullian referred to this procedure as already ancient and universally accepted. The sacrament is not put into trays as among Calvinists and passed along the pews like a collection plate where anyone can serve themselves—even an unbaptised visitor who has never been in church before. Considering the veneration some churches accord the Eucharistic elements—as witness the protections surrounding them—Christians of all denominations should show great respect for the sacrament and due consideration for the consciences of their hosts when Communion is being dispensed in a church other than their own. Further reading: Gospel of John 6:4858 and 1 Corinthians 11:20-36. The quotation of Origen is from pages 380 and 381 of Origen: Homilies on Genesis and Exodus, translated by Ronald E Heine (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 1982).
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Eat my cassock: The Simpsons and church
T’S not every day that the Vatican newspaper declares that a fictional character from the world of television is a Catholic—and a cartoon character at that. But that’s precisely what L’Osservatore Romano did last month when it asserted that Homer Simpson, the patriarch The Simpsons, is a Catholic. Oh, and bratty son Bart, too. The Vatican’s fascination with The Simpsons began last December, when L’Osservatore said that “the relationship between man and God” is one of its most important themes and that it often mirrored the “religious and spiritual confusion of our times”. In October 16, La Civiltà Catolica, a Jesuit weekly, published an article which said the series “is one of the few television shows for kids in which the Christian faith, religion and questions about God are recurring themes”. Then came the L’Osservatore opinion piece. “Few people know it, and he does everything he can to hide it, but it is true: Homer J Simpson is a Catholic,” the Vatican newspaper said in the article, headlined “Homer and Bart are Catholic”. Faithful followers of the series know Homer and family go to Springfield Community Church, which series executive producer Al Jean says is “presbylutheran”. Mark Pinsky in 2001 wrote the book The Gospel According to the Simpsons. As the series has become TV’s current prime-time entertainment programme marathon winner, he has updated his book as well as a companion guide for leaders of study groups. Homer being a Catholic is “mostly a case of wishful thinking on the part of L’Osservatore Romano,” Mr Pinsky said. Mr Pinsky alluded to some spats writers for The Simpsons have had with Bill Donohue, head of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. Mr Donahue told the Catholic News Service that the arguments were legitimate, but “I would hardly regard the show as anti-Catholic, if it’s been around for 20 years. It would hardly raise my ire”. Mr Donohue laughed as he was asked whether he would welcome Homer Simpson into the Catholic faith with open arms. “It’s really rather silly,” he said. “What this smacks of to me is the craven need on the part of some Catholics for the bouquets that may be bestowed on them by the secular media. This is not the way to improve relations, if my hunch is right.” T h e S i m p s o n s h a s t ou c h e d on ma i n stream Protestantism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Judaism in its long run. “The group that comes in for the most ribbing are the Unitarians, and that’s maybe because they [writers] know they won’t complain,” Mr Pinsky said, noting that in an episode where Homer is a missionary in the South Pacific and is asked: “What’s the one true faith?” He responds: “If it’s Unitarians I’ll eat my hat.” He also recalled a scene in another of the show’s 400 episodes that had a backyard ice cream social. “There’s a table for toppings, each one with a denominational name on it, The Unitarians? It’s empty, there’s nothing there.” Mr Pinsky said The Simpsons “is a show that rewards intelligence. The smarter you are, the more funny you will find it”.
The Southern Cross, November 17 to November 23, 2010
This advertisement is placed by Paul Goller and ten other Johannesburg laypeople in the interests of open discussion in the Church
Bishop Kevin Dowling: The Church today BISHOP KEVIN DOWLING’S LUNCH TIME ADDRESS TO CATHOLIC LAITY IN CAPE TOWN, 1 JUNE 2010 [The bishop referred to an article in the US weekly National Catholic Reporter by Jerry Filteau, its Washington correspondent, on a Tridentine Mass – see sidebar] The Southern Cross about three or four weeks ago published a picture of Bishop Edward Slattery of Tulsa with his “cappa magna” – in colour, nogal! For me, such a display of what amounts to triumphalism in a Church torn apart by the sexual abuse scandal, is most unfortunate. What happened there bore the marks of a medieval royal court, not the humble, servant leadership modelled by Jesus. But it seems to me that this is also a symbol of what has been happening in the Church especially since Pope John Paul II became the Bishop of Rome and up till today - and that is “restorationism”, the carefully planned dismantling of the theology, ecclesiology, pastoral vision, indeed the “opening of the windows” of Vatican II – in order to “restore” a previous, or more controllable model of Church through an increasingly centralised power structure; a structure which now controls everything in the life of the Church through a network of Vatican Congregations led by Cardinals who ensure strict compliance with what is deemed by them to be “orthodox”. Those who do not comply face censure and punishment, e.g. theologians who are forbidden to teach in Catholic faculties. Lest we do not highlight sufficiently this important fact. Vatican II was an Ecumenical Council, i.e. a solemn exercise of the magisterium of the Church, i.e. the college of bishops gathered together with the Bishop of Rome and exercising a teaching function for the whole Church. In other words, its vision, its principles and the direction it gave are to be followed and implemented by all, from the Pope to the peasant farmer in the fields of Honduras. Since Vatican II there has been no such similar exercise of teaching authority by the magisterium. Instead, a series of decrees, pronouncements and decisions which have been given various “labels” stating, for example, that they must be firmly held to with “internal assent” by the Catholic faithful, but in reality are simply the theological or pastoral interpretations or opinions of those who have power at the centre of the Church. They have not been solemnly defined as belonging to the “deposit of the faith” to be believed and followed, therefore, by all Catholics, as with other solemnly proclaimed dogmas. For example, the issues of celibacy for the priesthood and the ordination of women, withdrawn even from the realm of discussion. Therefore, such pronouncements are open to scrutiny – to discern whether they are in accord, for example, with the fundamental theological vision of Vatican II, or whether there is indeed a case to be made for a different interpretation or opinion. When I worked internationally from my Religious Congregation’s base in Rome from 1985 to 1990, before I came back here as bishop of Rustenburg, one of my responsibilities was the building up of young adult ministry with our communities in the countries of Europe where so many of the young people were alienated
from the Church. I developed relationships with many hundreds of sincere, searching Catholic young adults, very open to issues of injustice, poverty and misery in the world, aware of structural injustice in the political and economic systems which dominated the world…but who increasingly felt that the “official” Church was not only out of touch with reality, but a counter-witness to the aspirations of thinking and aware Catholics who sought a different experience of Church. In other words, an experience which enabled them to believe that the Church they belonged to had something relevant to say and to witness to in the very challenging world in which they lived. Many, many of these young adults have since left the Church entirely. On the other hand, it has to be recognised that for a significant number of young Catholics, adult Catholics, priests and religious around the world, the “restorationist” model of Church which has been implemented over the past 30-40 years is sought after and valued; it meets a need in them; it gives them a feeling of belonging to something with very clear parameters and guidelines for living, thus giving them a sense of security and clarity about what is truth and what is morally right or wrong, because there is a clear and strong authority structure which decides definitively on all such questions, and which they trust absolutely as being of divine origin. The rise of conservative groups and organisations in the Church over the past 40 years and more, which attract significant numbers of adherents, has led to a phenomenon which I find difficult to deal with, viz. an inward looking Church, fearful of if not antagonistic towards a secularist world with its concomitant danger of relativism especially in terms of truth and morality – frequently referred to by Pope Benedict XVI; a Church which gives an impression of “retreating behind the wagons”, and relying on a strong central authority to ensure unity through uniformity in belief and praxis in the face of such dangers. The fear is that without such supervision and control, and that if any freedom in decision-making is allowed, even in less important matters, this will open the door to division and a breakdown in the unity of the Church. This is all about a fundamentally different “vision” in the Church and “vision” of the Church. Where today can we find the great theological leaders and thinkers of the past, like Cardinal Frings and Alfrink in Europe, and the great prophetic bishops whose voice and witness was a clarion call to justice, human rights and a global community of equitable sharing – the witness of Archbishop Romero of El Salvador, the voices of Cardinals Arns and Lorscheider, and Bishops Helder Camara and Casadaliga of Brazil? Again, who in today’s world “out there” even listens to, much less appreciates and allows themselves to be challenged by the leadership of the Church at the present time? I think the moral authority of the Church’s leadership today has never been weaker. It is, therefore, important in my view that Church leadership, instead of giving an impression of its power, privilege and prestige, should rather be experienced as a humble, searching ministry together with its people in order to discern the most appropriate or viable responses which can be made to complex ethical and
moral questions – a leadership, therefore, which does not presume to have all the answers all the time… But to change focus a bit. One of the truly significant contributions of the Church to the building up of a world in which people and communities can live in peace and dignity, with a quality of life which befits those made in God’s image, has been the body of what has been called “Catholic Social Teaching”, a compendium of which has been released during the past few years. These social teaching principles are: The Common Good, Solidarity, The Option for the Poor, Subsidiarity, The Common Destiny of Goods, The Integrity of Creation, and People-Centredness – all based on and flowing out of the values of the Gospel. Here we have very relevant principles and guidelines to engage with complex social, economic, cultural and political realities, especially as these affect the poorest and most vulnerable members of societies everywhere. These principles should enable us, as Church, to critique constructively all socio-political-economic systems and policies - and especially from that viewpoint, viz. their effect on the poorest and most vulnerable in society. However, if Church leadership anywhere presumes to criticise or critique sociopolitical-economic policies and policy makers, or Governments, it must also allow itself to be critiqued in the same way in terms of its policies, its internal life, and especially its modus operandi. A democratic culture and praxis, with its focus on the participation of citizens and holding accountable those who are elected to govern, is increasingly appreciated in spite of inevitable human shortcomings. When thinking people of all persuasions look at Church leadership, they raise questions about, for example, real participation of the membership in its governance and how in fact Church leadership is to be held accountable, and to whom. If the Church, and its leadership, professes to follow the values of the Gospel and the principles of Catholic Social Teaching, then its internal life, its methods of governing and its use of authority will be scrutinised on the basis of what we profess. Let us take one social teaching principle, vitally important for ensuring participative democracy in the socio-political domain, viz. subsidiarity. I worked with the Bishops’ Conference Justice and Peace Department for 17 years. After our political liberation in 1994, we discerned that political liberation in itself would have little relevance to the reality of the poor and marginalised unless it resulted in their economic emancipation. We therefore decided that a fundamental issue for post-1994 South Africa was economic justice. After a great deal of discussion at all levels we issued a Pastoral Statement in 1999, which we entitled “Economic Justice in South Africa”. Its primary focus was necessarily on the economy. Among other things, it dealt with each of the Catholic Social Teaching principles, and I give a quotation now from part of its treatment of subsidiarity: “The principle of subsidiarity protects the rights of individuals and groups in the face of the powerful, especially the state.
Continued on the opposite page
Report by Jerry Filteau from the National Catholic Reporter On April 24, 2010 Edward James Slattery, bishop of Tulsa, Oklahoma, celebrated the Mass in Latin in the extraordinary form – that is, in the Tridentine Rite – in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. He delivered his homily in English. More than 3 000 people attended the liturgy. More relevant to me in the April 24 event in Washington were several elements: First, there were no demonstrations outside or inside the shrine by clergy sex abuse victims after retired Colombian Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos withdrew as principal celebrant of the Mass. Castrillon, former prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy and former president of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei,” which oversees and promotes use of the Latin Tridentine rite in the Roman Church, made major news just a week before the shrine Mass when a French newspaper revealed that in 2001 he had praised a French bishop for breaking the law and refusing to turn over to civil authorities a priest engaged in sexual abuse of minors. Castrillon not only did not apologize for his letter; he reaffirmed it and said John Paul II had urged him to send it to bishops around the world. Second, for the first time in my life – although as an altar boy in the 1950s into the late ’60s and as a seminarian for nearly 12 years I participated in numerous pontifical liturgies in the Upper Midwest and in Washington – on April 24 this year I finally saw the grandiose display of the cappa magna, the 20-yard-long brilliant red train behind a bishop or cardinal that has come to be one of the symbols of the revival of the Tridentine Mass. Fifteen minutes before the Mass, Slattery processed up the shrine’s main aisle wearing the extravagant cloak, held up in the back by a young altar server; before the main altar, there was a magnificent turn to exit stage left, at which point the cappa magna stretched almost the entire width of the sanctuary in front of the main altar. Throughout more than half an hour of pre-Mass entertainment with beautiful Latin music by an a capella choir (including Giovanni Pierluigi Palestrina’s Tu Es Petrus and Thomas Tallis’s O Sacrum Convivium) and into the full first half-hour of the Mass, the entire basilica congregation of more than 3,000 sat passively as an audience to a musical concert, with nary a word to say in the liturgy. The shrine’s magnificent pipe organ played instrumental accompaniment to the nearly 20-minute processional as altar servers of all ages (but only males), knights of various Catholic organizations, deacons, priests and a variety of other ministers processed to the altar. Many of the priests and deacons bore pomped birettas, the stiff square black caps once worn by all priests and seminarians in choir. It wasn’t until the Collect that any of the 3,000-plus Catholics filling the shrine’s pews and aisles actually heard a voice from somewhere near the altar. By that point I had come to realize that this Tridentine liturgy was an elaborate ritual manifestation of ecclesiastical rank, not a Mass in conformity with the fundamental Vatican II mandate for full, active participation by the faithful. The Mass marked the fifth anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s formal inauguration into his ministry as pope.”
The Southern Cross, November 17 to November 23, 2010
Advertisement Continued from the opposite page It holds that those things which can be done or decided at a lower level of society should not be taken over by a higher level. As such, it reaffirms our right and our capacity to decide for ourselves how to organise our relationships and how to enter into agreements with others… We can and should take steps to encourage decision-making at lower levels of the economy, and to empower the greatest number of people to participate as fully as possible in economic life” (Economic Justice in South Africa, page 14). Applied to the Church, the principle of subsidiarity requires of its leadership to actively promote and encourage participation, personal responsibility and effective engagement by everyone in terms of their particular calling and ministry in the Church and world according to their opportunities and gifts. However, I think that today we have a leadership in the Church which actually undermines the very notion of subsidiarity; where the minutiae of Church life and praxis “at the lower level” are subject to examination and authentication being given by the “higher level”, in fact the highest level, e.g. the approval of liturgical language and texts; where one of the key Vatican II principles, collegiality in decision-making, is virtually non-existent. The eminent emeritus Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Franz König, wrote the following in 1999 – almost 35 years after Vatican II: “In fact, however, de facto and not de jure, intentionally or unintentionally, the curial authorities working in conjunction with the Pope have appropriated the tasks of the episcopal college. It is they who now carry out almost all of them” (“My Vision of the Church of the Future”, The Tablet, March 27, 1999, p. 434).
What compounds this, for me, is the mystique which has in increasing measure surrounded the person of the Pope in the last 30 years, such that any hint of critique or questioning of his policies, his way of thinking, his exercise of authority etc. is equated with disloyalty. There is more than a perception, because of this mystique, that unquestioning obedience by the faithful to the Pope is required and is a sign of the ethos and fidelity of a true Catholic. When the Pope’s authority is then intentionally extended to the Vatican Curia, there exists a real possibility that unquestioning obedience to very human decisions about a whole range of issues by the Curial Departments and Cardinals also becomes a mark of one’s fidelity as a Catholic, and anything less is interpreted as being disloyal to the Pope who is charged with steering the bark of Peter. It has become more and more difficult over the past years, therefore, for the College of Bishops as a whole, or in a particular territory, to exercise their theologically-based servant leadership to discern appropriate responses to their particular socio-economic, cultural, liturgical, spiritual and other pastoral realities and needs; much less to disagree with or seek alternatives to policies and decisions taken in Rome. And what appears to be more and more the policy of appointing “safe”, unquestionably orthodox and even very conservative bishops to fill vacant dioceses over the past 30 years, only makes it less and less likely that the College of Bishops – even in powerful Conferences like the United States – will question what comes out of Rome, and certainly not publicly. Instead, there will be every effort to try and find an accommodation with those in power, which means that the Roman position will prevail in the end. And, taking this further, when an individ-
ual bishop takes issue with something, especially in public, the impression or judgement will be that he is “breaking ranks” with the other bishops and will only cause confusion to the lay faithful – so it is said - because it will appear that the Bishops are not united in their teaching and leadership role. The pressure, therefore, to conform. What we should have, in my view, is a Church where the leadership recognises and empowers decision-making at the appropriate levels in the local Church; where local leadership listens to and discerns with the people of God of that area what “the Spirit is saying to the Church” and then articulates that as a consensus of the believing, praying, serving community. It needs faith in God and trust in the people of God to take what may seem to some or many as a risk. The Church could be enriched as a result through a diversity which truly integrates socio-cultural values and insights into a living and developing faith, together with a discernment of how such diversity can promote unity in the Church – and not, therefore, require uniformity to be truly authentic. Diversity in living and praxis, as an expression of the principle of subsidiarity, has been taken away from the local Churches everywhere by the centralisation of decision-making at the level of the Vatican. In addition, orthodoxy is more and more identified with conservative opinions and outlook, with the corresponding judgement that what is perceived to be “liberal” is both suspect and not orthodox, and therefore to be rejected as a danger to the faith of the people. Is there a way forward? I have grappled with this question especially in the light of the apparent division of aspiration and vision in the Church. How do you reconcile such very different visions of Church,
or models of Church? I do not have the answer, except that somewhere we must find an attitude of respect and reverence for difference and diversity as we search for a living unity in the Church; that people be allowed, indeed enabled, to find or create the type of community which is expressive of their faith and aspirations concerning their Christian and Catholic lives and engagement in Church and world… and which strives to hold in legitimate and constructive tension the uncertainties and ambiguities that all this will bring, trusting in the presence of the Holy Spirit. At the heart of this is the question of conscience. As Catholics, we need to be trusted enough to make informed decisions about our life, our witness, our expressions of faith, spirituality, prayer, and involvement in the world on the basis of a developed conscience. And, as an invitation to an appreciation of conscience and conscientious decisions about life and participation in what is a very human Church, I close with the formulation or understanding given by none other than the theologian, Father Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope, when he was a peritus, or expert, at Vatican II: “Over the Pope as expression of the binding claim of ecclesiastical authority, there stands one’s own conscience which must be obeyed before all else, even if necessary against the requirement of ecclesiastical authority. This emphasis on the individual, whose conscience confronts him with a supreme and ultimate tribunal, and one which in the last resort is beyond the claim of external social groups, even the official Church, also establishes a principle in opposition to increasing totalitarianism” (Joseph Ratzinger in: Commentary on the Documents of Vatican II ,Vol. V., pg. 134 (Ed) H. Vorgrimler, New York, Herder and Herder, 1967).
The response of the Bishops of Southern Africa The presentation of Bishop Kevin Dowling at the Cape Town Club Lunch warrants a response by his fellow bishops. As the Bishops’ Conference we want to make some general statements rather than to answer in detail each particular issue raised by Bishop Dowling. EXERCISING THE AUTHORITY TO TEACH Forty-five years ago when the Second Vatican Council ended the Church was enthused by the many positive changes that came into its life. Among these we particularly mention the participation of the laity in the Church, collegiality among the bishops throughout the world and the reforms of the liturgy notably the use of the vernacular in worship. In recent years some have expressed concern that there is an attempt to turn the clock back and undo the changes of the Vatican Council. Others within the Catholic community feel that the changes brought about went too far. It is important to recognise that the changes cannot be undone. It is nonetheless true that the council itself must be interpreted and applied in the light of the history of the Church’s teaching and cannot be divorced from it. There are tensions that exist in the life of the Church. The teaching authority strives to build unity in the midst of these tensions. This authority rests with the College of Bishops as the successors of the apostles in communion with and under the leadership of the Pope who is the successor of St. Peter. Even between councils the successor of
Peter in collaboration with his immediate consultors, the Cardinals, and the college of bishops exercises teaching authority and governs the church. Synods of bishops are one means of consultation and listening to one another. Indeed, the Curia appreciates and requests the advice of local bishops’ conferences. Likewise we as local bishops consult in dialogue with the faithful in our own territories. So for example in Southern Africa we are already engaged in the first phase of a widespread Inter-diocesan Consultation which will have its climax in 2012. In his own diocese the local bishop is the teaching authority in concordance with the teaching of the Church. He exercises this role in collaboration with the priests, deacons, religious and the laity through such structures as the Presbyteral Council, Diocesan Pastoral Council and Parish Pastoral Councils. DIALOGUE IN THE CHURCH When interpreting the signs of the times and discerning God’s will under the guidance of the Holy Spirit tensions and disagreements can arise even among bishops. This calls for tolerance and sensitivity. Above all care should be taken not to label bishops e.g. as “restorationists”, conservatives or progressives but rather to address the issues. We are confident that the leaders of the Church, whether the Curia in Rome or the local bishops of a country, are people of integrity who are striving to be faithful to the Gospel, despite human frailty and in some exceptional cases great human failure. The bishops’ conferences of the various coun-
tries are the forum for open, sincere and honest dialogue as we discern what discipleship to Jesus means in our world. An important part of this dialogue is the consultation of the bishops with various experts, other Episcopal conferences and most especially the priests, deacons religious and laity as noted above. It is most important that the Church is a listening Church being aware and empathetic to the struggles and choices that people have to make in their everyday life. It is the responsibility of the Church’s authority to call continually all its members to live the Gospel values and virtues in our times, especially in the face of powerful forces such as secularism, materialism and other forces with their vested interests which lure and lead people away from the Gospel. It is precisely through such dialogue that the Church is not inward looking as sometimes claimed. It sincerely seeks guidance and solutions to questions of morality, economic justice, poverty and the many other crises that people face in their lives. We are deeply concerned by all these issues as is evident from the matters that regularly come up for discussion at bishops’ plenary sessions. It is clear that the higher church authority is equally concerned as the Papal encyclical Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth) shows which has solicited widespread response from people in the political and economic fields. THE PRINCIPLE OF SUBSIDIARITY This principle is an asset of the social teaching of the Church. It holds that “those things which can be done or decid-
ed on the lower level of society should not be taken over by a higher level”. The very structure of the church beginning with parishes, leading to deaneries, dioceses, episcopal conferences and culminating in the office of the Supreme Pontiff is evidence of the principle of subsidiarity in the Church. CONSCIENCE Subsidiarity must be counterbalanced with our faithfulness to discipleship. Through our baptism we have given our lives to Christ and therefore subject our individual choices to the Gospel and the always developing teaching of the Church. While everybody is bound to their conscience it is important to remember that “an upright and true moral conscience is formed by education and by assimilating the Word of God and teaching of the Church” (Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church # 374). Certainly at times tensions can arise. In such a case it is essential that humble discourse continues. IN CONCLUSION: EVANGELIZATION NEEDS BOLD WITNESS The radical nature of the teaching of Christ often causes us to go against the main stream of human thinking as it did in biblical times and throughout Church history. Nonetheless we your bishops must be bold in our fidelity to the Gospel. We call upon all Catholics to be equally bold in standing up for the doctrinal, social and the moral teaching of the Church. Doing so is a crucial part of the evangelizing mission of the Church for transforming society.
The texts in this paid advertisement are reproduced with the kind and express permissions of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Kevin Dowling CSsR and the National Catholic Reporter in Kansas City, Mo.
The Southern Cross, November 17 to November 23, 2010
Members of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association of the Sacred Heart gathered at Matjieskloof for their three-yearly national meeting. Delegates from three regions chose a new executive at the meeting. SUBMITTED BY DAVID JOHANNES
The vicariate of Ingwavuma celebrated the golden jubilee of vicar-general Fr Declan Doherty (centre). With Fr Doherty are Frs Raphael Mthembu and Vusi Mthembu.
Srs Margaret McCann MSA and Rosaire Belford MSA leave Hartebeespoort after attending the 13th general chapter of the Missionary Sisters of the Assumption.
Members of various churches in the diocese of Eshowe who were born between August 24 and September 23, the date for the zodiac sign Virgo, had a joint birthday celebration at Empangeni Protea Hotel. With some of the church members is Sr Irene Zitha, who also celebrated her birthday. SUBMITTED BY DR CLOTILDA ZONDO
Fr Teboho Mohlakoana, parish priest at Our Lady of Fatima parish in Sea Park, KwaZulu-Natal, blessed pets and their owners on St Francis’ feast day.
IN FOCUS Edited by Nadine Christians
Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli (second from left), president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, with South African delegates Fr Chris Townsend, Rob Riedlinger and Fr Russell Pollitt SJ during the recent Congress of the Catholic Press, which was organised by the council in Rome. More than 200 delegates from 83 countries gathered at the Vatican to look at the impact and challenges new media has had on traditional communication.
Four young members of St James parish in Port Alfred received their First Communion. Pictured are: Danica Kukard, Fr David Barnard OFM, Cameron Reeder, Bethany Bouah, Danyel Keet, Siobhan Kukard and John Ahern.
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Eddie and Charlotte Benjamin celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary at Holy Redeemer parish in Bergvliet, Cape Town. SUBMITTED BY THELMA HING
Kyle Jones from St Luke parish in Factreton, Cape Town, receives his Confirmation certificate from Archbishop Stephen Brislin of Cape Town and Fr Mark Foster.
The Southern Cross, November 17 to November 23, 2010
150 years of Indian Christians in SA The first Indians arrived in South Africa 150 years ago this week. CLAIRE MATHIESON looks at the community's history.
ROM humble beginnings as indentured workers to holding top positions in government and upholding a stalwart education system—the Indian community has become highly influential in South Africa today. To mark the 150 years since the first migrant workers arrived on South African shores from India, the contribution made by these men and women will be commemorated through events and festivals. According to historian Dr Joy Brain, Natal’s white settlers had mostly failed to successfully cultivate the region, until 1855 with the successful introduction of sugar farming. Not only was the area very heavily cultivated, but the crop was also labour intensive. “The settlers were struggling. There were very few white settlers in the area and the Zulus were warriors,” said Dr Brain. The options were to bring in labourers from other parts of the country, but sugar plantations would require more Africans to settle for long periods in the colony—something that the Native Administrator of Natal, Theophilus Shepstone, wanted to avoid. Sir George Grey, governor of the Cape Colony was petitioned to find labour. Dr Brain said by this time the Indian diaspora had spread to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and the island of Mauritius. When the Indians were invited to South Africa they did so with an indenture—a legal contract that stipulated very specific working conditions for the labourers. Indentured labour was instrumental in avoiding labour shortages that might have occurred as a result of freed slaves returning to their homes. With the abolition of slavery and the need for labour, workers from India were seen as the most suitable because they had worked under the same system elsewhere. These workers came to the country, cultivated the land and started farming the now famous sugar fields of the region. “Parts of India were experiencing desperate poverty. Indians made the sacrifice to come to Natal, work for five years and send money home to their struggling families,” Dr Brain said. More money was sent to India from Natal than from any other place in the world. The first ship, the SS Truro, brought 342 indentured labourers from Madras on November 16, 1860. A further 342 from Calcutta arrived in Durban ten days later on board the SS Belvedere. Famine in Calcutta resulted in 17 899 people immigrating and between 1874-78. Altogether 428 929 people left from Madras on account of the severe famine in South India. These migrants moved across the world in search of relief, and the Indian diaspora became a well-established international entity. In total 152 184 migrants came to South Africa between 1860 and 1911. “These labourers were both skilled and unskilled,” Dr Brain said. “Some worked on the
Celebrate Indian Christians in South Africa 1860-2010 commemorates 150 years of Indians in the country.
plantations, others helped build the railway and some mined.” She added that the indentured labourers helped build much of the original infrastructure in the Natal area. While many of these migrants would eventually return to India— nearly 50 000—many stayed.
150 years ago 61 Indian Christians arrived in South Africa. Today the Indian Catholic Church is one of the most active of the communities in the country, representing not only direct descendants of the 1860 migrant workers but the greater South African Catholic community. Pictured is a group of First Communion candidates from the Indian community from Durban.
ROM early on, the Catholic Church was involved in providing support and spiritual care for the migrant workers. Among the Truro’s 340 passengers, there were 61 Christians. “But it wasn’t only the Christians that the Church looked after,” Dr Brain said. “The journey itself was not easy. Many died before reaching our shores. Coming to a foreign country, leaving family and home with the possibility of not returning—these were all issues the migrants had to deal with. The Church was involved from the very beginning.” French missionary priest Fr Sabon of Durban was known to be particularly supportive of the indentured workers. “Fr Sabon welcomed the Indians straight off the ships. He welcomed and treated them like family,” Dr Brain said. During her research of the era, she came across many stories of Fr Sabon’s kindness. He was known to borrow a horse to visit farms across the area. As there was not yet a community established, due to the labourers being spread out, “Fr Sabon provided that sense of community through his counselling and visits to the migrants, regardless of their religion”. Fr Sabon performed many baptisms during his time on the farms. From 1870, along with indentured workers, “free” or “passenger” Indians, who paid their own passage, were allowed to come to the country. This second wave of immigrants searched for work, many becoming small traders, hawkers and servants. The last ship arrived in 1911 and by the 1930s, indentures were no longer allowed. Indian immigration would not be permitted again until the late 20th century, so the prominent Indian communities in the country today are direct descendants of the early migrants. With the formation of communities came the establishment of schools and churches. Dr Brain said the first schools were primitive, but the Indian community has “always revered education—a fact that remains true today”. According to a new book published to commemorate the jubilee—Celebrate Indian Christians in South Africa 1860-2010, edited by GK Nair and Gabrielle Naidoo—the first Indian teacher who came from India was a woman, SP Vedamuthu. “She came in 1895 and worked with the St Aidan’s mission in Durban where Indian girls were able to get an education,” a statement on the book’s November 21 launch said. The first schools were on farms, but by the 1920s a programme to start building more formal schools was started with resources “begged and bor-
rowed”. Following the end of the indenture movement, many poor Indian settlements emerged. The government encouraged many to return home. Some areas, such as the Free State, did not allow any Indians entry without special permission. The apartheid Group Areas Act also forcibly moved Indians into restricted townships in 1950. The Indian community, already active in education and religion, also became active in politics. The most prominent organisation was the Natal Indian Congress, which was established by Mohandas Gandhi (the later Mahatma) in 1894, and the Transvaal and Cape Indian Congress, which became instrumental in building cross-racial alliances. Rhana Naicker, public affairs director for the 1860 Legacy Foundation, said: “We, the third, fourth, fifth and sixth generation Indians of South Africa, have to honour our forefathers and bestow on them their dignity, which they have fought so hard to obtain and uphold against all elements.” Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban said it is appropriate that we remember the “significant contribution made by the Christian men and women among them to the remarkable progress that they have made over the years”. Celebrations of the anniversary will culminate with a grand finale event at Durban’s Moses Mabida stadium on November 21. The coffee table’s book editors, Dr Nair and Dr Naidoo, said it recognises those who “ignited the fire of God’s love and left a legacy of eternal values. Their example of faith, fortitude and perseverance compels us to salute and pay homage to our early settlers; our fathers in the faith—our pioneers of destiny”. Dr Brain said the community has been very influential since arriving in the country. Today, said the Catholic historian, ”the Indian community is one of the most active in the Catholic Church”. According to South Africa’s last census, there are 20 670 Indian Catholics in South Africa. South Africa as a whole has the largest population of Indians in Africa, and approximately 30% are Christian. Cardinal Napier said the celebratory time was to be a jubilee of thanksgiving to God for “what he enabled those Indian pioneers and their descendents to cotribute to the growth and develoment of the entire South African community”.
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The Southern Cross, November 17 to November 23, 2010
Built by Barluzzi: The church of All Nations in Jerusalem, the church of the Beatitudes, Dominus Flevit in Jerusalem, Shepherd’s Fields in Bethlehem, the church of the Visitation in Ein Karem. PHOTOS: GÜNTHER SIMMERMACHER
The line between being a tourist and a pilgrim B F OR most people, going on a Holy Land pilgrimage is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. With that in mind, planning an itinerary is a balancing act: on the one hand, the pilgrim rightly expects to see as many holy sites as time allows; on the other hand, a pilgrimage is not a tourist package tour, but a journey of prayer. Invariably there will be some complaints. If a pilgrimage takes place in a compressed space of time (and for financial reasons, it usually is), some will say that everything was too rushed, with too little time for on-site prayer and reflection. But if such time is made, then important sites need to be cut from the programme, giving cause to other grievances. On tour, there is always a tension between spiritual imperatives and the inevitable elements of tourism. Our Southern Cross Passion Pilgrimage group in September experienced these. Prayer and reflection were important, but so was the shopping—because most pilgrims will never return to the Holy Land—and having fun together. Above everything, a pilgrimage must be joyful. An itinerary in the Holy Land is tightly packed and organised around deadlines to meet bookings for Mass or other events, such as a boatride on the Sea of Galilee. So sometimes there simply is no time to dwell at a place that invites quiet reflection (or, indeed, shopping). The trick is to be prepared. If one already knows a lot about a holy site that is being visited—particularly its history and scriptural significance—one’s attention can be diverted to prayer and reflection. Our second day on pilgrimage, in the area around the Sea of Galilee, was one of those packed days. The itinerary included the two sites at Tabgha, Capernaum, a
The Pilgrim’s Trek
boatride on the Sea of Galilee, Magdala, Yardenit on the Jordan river, the Mount of Beatitudes (where we conveniently stayed), and Mount Tabor. It used to be quite an adventure to reach the top of Mount Tabor, the traditional site of the transfiguration. Buses cannot navigate the road’s hairpin bends, so pilgrims must use taxis. These are now commodious minibuses that handle the sharp curves easily. But just a few years ago, most taxis were sedans in various states of roadworthiness, operated by men of idiosyncratic disposition. Among those I had previously experienced was the chap who would celebrate every successfully manoeuvered corner (some seemingly with two wheels off the ground) with an emphatic exclamation of “hallelujah!”. And then there was the slightly sullen but dexterous one-armed driver whose habit of smoking while taking the bends could inspire fevered prayer. For pilgrims, Mount Tabor is a profoundly symbolic place: a pilgrimage is a life changing experience; not necessarily in the way of a sudden epiphany, but certainly as a process. In the Holy Land, the pilgrim is spiritually transfigured. And if the metaphor and the idea of Jesus being in the company of Moses and Elijah is not enough, there is also the impressive architecture. The church on Mount Tabor, like several in the Holy Land we would visit, was built by the Italian architect Antonio Barluzzi (1884-1960).
arluzzi came from a Roman family with long connections of working in the Vatican. His grandfather was an architect whose job it was to maintain St Peter’s basilica. Antonio himself showed an early talent for architecture, and studied the art before hearing the call to the priesthood as a Franciscan friar. So he went to Jerusalem to discern his vocation (after a brief stint in the seminary, he would decided against the priesthood). While he was working on a hospital for the Italian Missionary Society there, the Franciscan custodian of the Holy Land asked him to draw up plans for a church on Mount Tabor. Barluzzi submitted these, but then was called back to Italy to fight in World War I.
The church of the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor, the first of several churches in the Holy Land designed by the Italian architect Antonio Barluzzi.
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As a soldier, he was part of a regiment that helped defeat the Ottomans in Palestine. After his regiment marched into Jerusalem, the new custodian, Fr Ferdinando Diotallevi OFM, called on Barluzzi, the pre-war plans for the church on Mount Tabor in hand. Fr Diotallevi asked Barluzzi to finally build that church, and added the commission for a church in Jerusalem’s Garden of Gethsemane. Barluzzi, who initially was intimidated by the scale of the assignment, finished both in 1924. The church of All Nations (so called because of its international funding) probably is his masterpiece. But Barluzzi was just getting started. Among the many churches and other structures he built in the
Fr Urs Fischer Bro Crispin Mrs N Qupa
Middle East, our group visited Dominus Flevit on the Mount of Olives, the church of the Visitation in Ein Karem, Shepherds’ Fields in Bethelehem (all of which were completed in 1954), and the church on the Mount of Beatitudes. The latter stands next to our hotel, the Beatitudes Hotel run by Italian Franciscan sisters. The church was built in 1937/38, thanks to funding by the fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. A plaque at the entrance used to commemorate Il Duce’s largesse. After World War II, however, that association was an embarrassment, so the custodians would cover the plaque with a mat. Still, tour guides would lift the mat, for a bit of a laugh. Eventually, the plaque was wisely removed. The church is not accurately appointed. Jesus most probably did not preach the beatitudes on top of the bluff. The 4th-century pilgrim Egeria noted, after visiting Tabgha (the site of the miracle of the Loaves and Fishes): “Near there on a mountain is the cave to which the Saviour climbed and spoke the Beatitudes.” In other words, Jesus addressed the crowds from halfway up the mount. The Southern Cross’ 2005 pilgrimage tested how that scene might have played out. The spiritual director, Mgr Clifford Stokes, spoke from outside a cave halfway up the mount as we stood at its foot. Despite the distance, we could hear the speaker well. Our group did not repeat the experiment, but was privileged to make a private, after-hours visit to the church of the Beatitudes, at last enjoying some quiet time for prayer and reflection. The next day, we would leave the lush fields of Galilee and enter the desert.
The Southern Cross, November 17 to November 23, 2010
The pope in Spain “Art needs transcendent values to be complete.” Pope Benedict said at the consecration of the basilica of the Sagrada Familia. CAROL GLATZ looks at the pope’s two-day visit to Spain in November.
OPE Benedict warned countries of the danger of no longer being at the loving service of their citizens as he urged the faithful to bring Christ’s message of hope to all people. During a two-day journey to a once-staunchly Catholic Spain, the pope sought to bolster and renew people’s faith in God and convince an increasingly secular society that the Church wants dialogue, not confrontation. The pope’s visit, his 18th trip abroad, brought him first to one of Catholicism’s most popular and ancient pilgrimage sites, Santiago de Compostela, and then Barcelona, where he consecrated the basilica of the Sagrada Familia. During the Mass, in which he blessed and anointed the altar of the church dedicated to the Holy Family of Nazareth, he said Christians must resist every attack on human life and promote the natural institution of the family. Under the government of Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who came to power in 2004, Spain has relaxed its divorce laws, eased restrictions on abortion, legalised same-sex marriage and allowed gay couples to adopt. In his homily, the pope praised the technical, social and cultural progress made over the years. However, he said, a country must also advance morally. He asked that courts, legislative bodies and society respect and defend the sacred and inviolable life of the child from the moment of conception. “For this reason, the Church resists every form of denial of human life and gives its support to everything that would promote the natural order in the sphere of the institution of the family” based on marriage between a man and a woman, he said. More than 6 000 people filled the church, which the pope elevated to a minor basilica during the Mass. Another 50 000 people followed the event outside on 33 jumbo screens that dotted the surrounding streets and squares. A “kiss-in” protest of about 200 people happened along the pope’s motorcade route, as gay rights advocates kissed while the vehicle passed. At least 200 000 people lined the streets of the city to see the pope, according to city authorities. The church, begun in 1882 and expected to be finished by 2026, is the masterpiece of Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, a Catholic whose beatification cause is under way. The pope sprinkled the main altar with holy water and rubbed chrism oil into the immense, roughly hewn block of rosecoloured stone. The basilica’s interior was bathed in golden light as Spanish bishops anointed some of the white tree-like columns branching out to support the 60m-high vaulted ceilings. The minor basilica is a splendid example of the natural synthesis of tradition and novelty as well as of faith and art, the pope said in response to journalists’ questions aboard the papal plane from Rome.
The “certain dissonance” between the world of art and religion “hurts both art and faith”, he said. Art and faith need to be brought back together again and be in dialogue, he said, because truth is expressed in beauty and in beauty one finds the truth. He told reporters that in Spain the trend towards “anti-clericalism and secularism” was especially marked in the 1930s, which created “a clash between society and faith that also exists today”. He said faith and society must come together, too, and not be wedged apart. While the papal trip was not an official state visit, the pope was greeted upon landing in heavy fog in Santiago de Compostela by Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia of Asturias, Spanish cardinals and bishops, and government authorities from the local, regional and national levels. During an outdoor Mass celebrated in front of the 12th-century cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, the pope said when societies and governments are no longer at the loving service of all people, then arrogance and exploitation risk snuffing out true human development and fulfillment. Only by loving and serving others like Jesus did, even with the simplest of gestures, will humanity regain a sense of happiness and hope, he said.
bout 6 000 people filled the tiny square to capacity and 200 000 more were present in the small city, lining the streets and squares, according to local authorities. The cathedral bells tolled and pilgrims cheered and screamed: “Viva el papa!” For the past century, a growing belief has taken hold of Europe suggesting that God is an “antagonist and enemy” of human freedom, he said in his homily in Compostela’s Plaza del Obradoiro. As a result, he said, human dignity is threatened because it has been stripped of its “essential values and riches” and “the weakest and poorest” in the world are marginalised and left to die. Even Jesus knew that when the rulers of nations no longer serve the best interests of others, “there arise forms of arrogance and exploitation that leave no room for an authentic integral human promotion”, the pope said.
The pope came as a pilgrim to commemorate the holy year of St James, which occurs every time the feast of St James—July 25— falls on a Sunday. To go on pilgrimage is a chance to “step out of ourselves in order to encounter God” and experience conversion, he said in remarks earlier in the day inside the city’s cathedral. He took part in some of the traditional pilgrim rituals such as kneeling in prayer in the small crypt housing the apostle’s tomb, walking through the holy door and admiring the immense stone and silver-plated statue of St James that most pilgrims embrace. The pope also lit a large silver incense burner, called a “botafumeiro” in Galician. Nine men pulled on thick ropes attached to a pulley that made the large burner swing across the church at impressive speed. After the Mass in Barcelona, the pope visited Obra BeneficoSocial Nen Deu, a centre run by the Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart for children with mental disabilities. The pope urged Christians to keep offering financial support for charitable works even at a time of economic crisis. Precisely because so many more people are facing economic hardship, Christians “must multiply concrete gestures of effective and constant solidarity”, he said. New scientific and medical advancements must always respect human life and dignity, he said. Those who suffer from illness and physical or mental challenges need love and attention, not marginalisation because of their limitations. The pope met in Barcelona with King Juan Carlos of Spain and Queen Sofia and held a brief private meeting with Prime Minister Zapatero at the Barcelona airport before taking off for Rome. During a farewell ceremony on the tarmac, the pope asked that faith in humanity’s common bond be revitalised in Europe and give rise to increased solidarity towards everyone, especially those in the greatest need. He praised the “openness and hospitality” shown to him by the Spanish people and noted that the preservation of their rich spiritual heritage was a sign of their love for their nation and its history and culture.—CNS
Pope Benedict celebrates Mass outside the 12th century cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain. PHOTO: MIGUEL VIDAL, REUTERS/CNS
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People cheer as Pope Benedict arrives in his popemobile for a Mass to consecrate the Church of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain. In his homily, the pope spoke out against abortion and gay marriage, both recently legalised in Spain. PHOTO: ALBERT GEA, REUTERS/CNS
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The Southern Cross, November 17 to November 23, 2010
Two different books on Nazism’s rise CATHOLICISM & THE ROOTS OF NAZISM: Religious Identity & National Socialism, by Derek Hastings. Oxford University Press (New York, 2010). 290 pp. SIX MILLION CRUCIFIXIONS: How Christian Teaching about Jews Paved the Road to the Holocaust, by Gabriel Wilensky. QWERTY Publishers, San Diego. 2010. 390 pp. Reviewed by Eugene Fisher EREK Hastings’ book Catholicism & the Roots of Nazism should be read by anyone interested in the history of the Christian churches, Nazism and the Shoah. Hastings studies in depth the events, movements and personalities in Bavaria, and especially Munich, from 1919 to the Beer Hall Putsch of 1923, and the radical change in Nazi ideology that followed it. While most readers will be aware of the antagonistic relationship between the Catholic Church and Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich, the early Nazi movement was formed in a city and region that was largely Catholic, with
both the supporters and opponents of National Socialism identifying themselves as Catholics. Hastings begins his study by evoking the “peculiarities” of Munich’s Catholic tradition. Unlike in the rest of Germany, the Catholic community in Munich was the large majority, giving it a relative openness to interconfessional cooperation and a certain distance from the way the Catholic Centre Party and its local branch, the Bavarian Volks Party, operated. Also, while Catholics in the rest of Germany, and indeed throughout Europe, had looked since the early 19th century increasingly to the pope, who lived ultra montes (over the mountains) in Italy, to resist efforts of secular state regimes to control religious affairs, there was a resistance to ultramontanism in Munich among Catholics who felt they did not need such “foreign” assistance or guidance. In Munich, the German Völkische chauvinism, with its anti-ultramontanism implica-
tions, extended itself to “foreign” Jews, establishing a particularly fertile ground for what would become core to the ideology of the nascent Nazi party. The sense of Nordic-Aryan superiority and imagery was blended with explicitly Catholic images and themes. The racial theories of Houston Chamberlain and Arthur de Gobineau were popularly accepted, laying the groundwork for the racial anti-Semitism that would ultimately rationalise the Holocaust. Catholics, including a number of priests, were originally attracted to and involved in these developments. Hitler, in this period, actively cultivated Catholics and made (as it turned out a cynical) show of being one. This ended at the time of the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch, which ended in violence. Hitler came out of prison feeling he was the apocalyptic leader of a new world order and joined with other movements, many of which were vocally anti-Catholic. The bishops of Bavaria banned
participation by Catholics in the movement, with Munich’s Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber issuing a stern condemnation of antiSemitism.
hough I agree with the subtitle of Gabriel Wilensky’s book, Six Million Crucifixions: How Christian Teaching about Jews Paved the Road to the Holocaust, and with his major thesis that Christians in general and Catholics in particular need to come fully to grips with the fact that the Christian teaching of contempt for Jews and Judaism over the centuries prepared the ground and laid the seeds for Nazi racial genocide, I cannot recommend his wellintentioned but deeply flawed book. Wilensky presents what has been called by Jewish scholars a lachrymose view of Jewish-Christian history, emphasising the negatives and ignoring or writing off the positive aspects of our twomillennium-long encounter. Where shades of grey are called for, he sees only black. He states, for example, that
“just the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles combined have approximately 450 explicit antiSemitic verses”. There are, of course, problematic texts in the New Testament that later Christian polemicists used, or rather misused, to indict the Jews collectively of the death of Jesus. But at the time of their writing, few of these can be called anti-Judaic, much less anti-Semitic. Wilensky’s book is an indictment of the churches, particularly the Catholic Church and Popes Pius XI and XII, both of whom he calls, without sufficient evidence, anti-Semites. That is not scholarship. It is polemic. Eugene Fisher is the retired associate director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs at the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Seeking – and finding – God in almost everything T HE JESUIT GUIDE TO (ALMOST) EVERYTHING: A Spirituality for Real Life, by James Martin SJ. HarperOne, San Francisco. 2010. 406 pp. Reviewed by Allan Wright ATHER James Martin, the Jesuit author of numerous books including the best-seller My Life with the Saints, draws primarily from the writings of St Ignatius of Loyola and the wisdom of other Jesuits to bring to life an abundance of spiritual and practical insights for living in today’s world full of complexities and confusion. In The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything, the insights of St Ignatius, a 16th-century mystic and saint, are presented as relevant today as they ever were. Through the skillful writing and pastoral nature of Fr Martin, the Ignatian way of “finding God in all things” is made accessible to
scholar and layperson, believer and non-believer alike on each page of this book. Fr Martin’s gift as a writer and storyteller allows the reader to feel right at home with the writings and thought of St Ignatius, who becomes a friend on the journey rather than an archaic, antiquated saint whose spirituality is out of touch with the 21st-century thinker. Quite the opposite. Questions that confront all people are addressed in this book including: how do I know what I’m supposed to do in life? How do I make good decisions? How can I face suffering? How can I find God? How do I pray? How do I love? All these questions and many more are discussed through the lens of Ignatian spirituality, which is at its core very practical and useful no matter what the generation or century. The Jesuit Guide to (Almost)
Everything does not shy away from naming the foundation of St Ignatius’ life, after his army injury, which was his relationship and commitment to follow Jesus Christ and the teachings in the Gospel. Fr Martin does an excellent job of repeatedly going back to the underpinning of all Catholic theology and spirituality which is Jesus himself. In the chapter titled “The Six Paths”, Fr Martin examines the different paths people choose to take in life concerning their relationship or lack of relationship to God. People are often in transition between these paths, but he is insightful about the popular credo that a person can be “spiritual but
not religious”. He aptly points out: “While ‘spiritual’ is obviously healthy, ‘not religious’ may be another way of saying that faith is something between you and God. And while faith is a question of you and God, it’s not just a question of you and God. Because this would mean that you, alone, are relating to God. And that means there’s no one to suggest when you might be off track.” Throughout the book, Fr Martin writes about aspects of Ignatian spirituality (the importance of listening, for example), including various quotes from St Ignatius himself. He also inserts quotes from the gospels or another Jesuit saint, writer or colleague and then
draws from his life experience to make the story come alive. These life experiences are common to us all and the gift in reading this book is that in relating to the real-life stories, we connect our sometimes ordinary daily lives with the life of faith that connects us to God. The wealth of spiritual insight this book provides is enormous. Although its more than 400 pages might seem intimidating for the average layperson, this userfriendly book responds to the multitude of questions that people ask regarding faith, incorporating the wealth of Scripture, tradition and personal stories to make it an enjoyable journey. Those who are accustomed to the ways of St Francis, St Thérèse of Lisieux or Bl Teresa of Calcutta will find a friend in St Ignatius. Wright is the author of Jesus in the House and The Bible’s Best Love Stories.
Delightful portraits of heaven HEAVEN: Our Enduring Fascination With the Afterlife, by Lisa Miller. Harper Collins, New York. 2010). 331 pp. Reviewed by Peggy Weber HEN my son was about 7, he asked me the compelling question: “Are there cheese curls in heaven?” Well, Lisa Miller, the religion editor at Newsweek magazine, does not answer that particular question. However, she does present an incredibly well-researched body of work in her book Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination With the Afterlife. She truly provides a broad and comprehensive look at what people and religions believe about life after death. The author’s notes, bibliography and index are 71 pages long. This certainly should make one aware of the depth of Miller’s research. However, even though her book has scholarly merit, it also has a human touch. Miller inserts delightful portraits of the people she interviews amid a lot of information. For example, speaking with a visual artist in New York City she asks: “Do you believe in heaven?” “Oh no,” he replies, “I would like to believe in, like, karmic retribution or divine justice, some of which is
implied by heaven. I would like to believe that the people who cut in line will get their just desserts, but I don’t think they will.” She also interviews a Trappist monk and Yale professor Pete Hawkins who described heaven as “a Bach concert that fills you up to brimming—no matter how little you know about classical music.” Jesuit Father James Martin’s interview is compelling and Miller is impressed. She notes “Jim Martin is living proof that you can believe in heaven— and that you can believe that heaven is unbelievable at the same time.” Miller spoke with Muslims, Jews, fundamentalist Christians, Mormons and nonbelievers. She includes information about Zoroastrianism and the ancient Greeks. One learns a lot by reading this book. But some of the research is subject to interpretation. For example, Catholics might quibble a bit with some of her statements. For example, she writes that “the Church was—and is—seen as both the conduit for God’s
love in the world and a kind of intermediary institution, like a bank, to which sinners make payments in the form of prayers and penance—and receive credit in the afterlife as indulgences.” She concludes that purgatory brought about the Protestant Reformation. Clearly, Miller has taken on a monumental task. She has delved into a deep theological question and emerged with a readable and well-documented book. And the reader will especially enjoy the personal journey of Miller as she looks into the question of heaven. She writes: “At the beginning of this book, I said I believed that heaven was hope. I would now amend that to say ‘radical hope’—a constant home for unimaginable perfection even as we fail to achieve it. As Emily Dickinson said, heaven is what we cannot reach. But it is worth a human life to try.” Miller’s book makes one hope for heaven. And it makes one appreciate all the people who are on the heavenly journey—even those in search of cheese curls.
The Southern Cross, November 17 to November 23, 2010
Br Anthony Docherty FMS
ROTHER Anthony (Lawrence) Docherty, Marist Brother,who died on October 30, was born on Armistice Day, November 11, 1928, in Glasgow, to John Docherty and Mary Caker. He did his novitiate in Ireland and a short scholasticate in Dumfries, Scotland, during 1946-47. He arrived in South Africa in 1948 and was posted to Sacred Heart College, Observatory, Johannesburg. In 1952 he was appointed to St Joseph’s Marist College in Rondebosch. It was in that year that he made his final profession. Two years later, at the age of 26, he started his long career in administration at Bird Street in Port
Elizabeth. After returning for a short spell to Observatory, Br Docherty was appointed to St David’s College, first as a teacher (during which time he did his second novitiate in French at St-Paul-troisChateaux), then from 1960 and for the next fifteen years as principal. His Scottish common sense was also needed in the provincial council in the 1970s and 1980s. The turning point of his life came after the visit of Br Charles Howard and the 1977 Provincial Chapter, when the Brothers decided on a “two-stream” policy of continuing with the traditional schools as well as undertaking a new initiative for the poor. The Brothers decided
Provincial rethink Continued from page 1 suggested the provinces have not demonstrated ideal governance. Proposals were made in the document for a way forward which included the scrapping of the provinces, leaving only local and national government. The Democratic Alliance (DA) has said that the reason why provincial government does not work is largely due to the red tape that hampers service delivery, adding there is a need to professionalise the public service to make it more efficient. Both arguments come back to a power struggle issue where, Ms Taderera said, the DA has a “vested interest in maintaining the status quo as they control the Western Cape, and abolishing the provinces would disturb their stronghold”. Change was needed in the provincial structures, but what form that would come in, was not yet clear, Ms Taderera said. However, she added, the debate needs to be addressed as it is “only common sense to analyse the successes and failures of provincial government in order to strengthen the current system and make the necessary changes to augment what is already there”.
COMMUNIT Y CALENDAR CAPE TOWN: Holy Redeemer, Bergvliet, Padre Pio Prayer group, November 21 15:30. Adoration Chapel, Corpus Christi Church, Wynberg: Mon-Thurs 6am to 12pm; Fri-Sun 6am to 8pm. Adorers welcome 021-761 3337 Good Shepherd, Bothasig. Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration in our chapel. All hours. All welcome. 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 Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament: first Friday of the month at 09:20 followed by Holy Mass at 10:30. Holy Hour: first Saturday of each month at 15:00. At Our Lady of the Angels, Little Eden, Edenvale. Tel: 011 609 7246. To place your event, call Claire Allen on 021 465 5007, or e-mail email@example.com
to work in the then homeland of Bophuthatswana at Slough. The area was basically a dumping ground for the Tswana people who had been evicted from areas designated as “white”. Br Docherty worked with great passion and compassion in the mission at Slough and surrounding villages. He used his great gift of working with local people, and by the time he could no longer continue, there were no fewer than 15 new schools, 200 classrooms, nine clinics, a school for handicapped children, 12 gardens and many sewing groups in place in the Moshaweng Valley of Bophuthatswana. Br Docherty also managed to procure tons of maize meal, tinned food and clothing from nongovernmental groups, the Marist schools in Johannesburg, and more especially from overseas donors whom he won over through true Scottish blood! Not only did the local people benefit from such infrastructures, but Br Docherty also found funds to have many local women trained as nurses or healthcare workers in various clinics. Br Docherty spent several years working with people at Vrygrond and
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Langa on the Cape Flats where, once again, his outreach and efforts among the poor were radical responses to the call of the Gospel. He also built a nutrition centre there. Towards the end of his active years, Br Docherty worked in KwaZulu-Natal helping with the renovation of several of the diocesan mission schools on the south coast. Br Docherty finally joined the Observatory community, and from there he visited Slough regularly, but when his advancing years and ill health caught up with him, he was unable to continue. Br Docherty died just short of his 82nd birthday. A concelebrated requiem Mass, presided over by Fr David Dryden SJ, was celebrated in the new chapel at St David’s Marist College. He was laid to rest among his deceased Marist confreres in Westpark cemetery.
Thoughts for the Week on the Family
CONGRATULATIONS to The Southern Cross on their 90th Anniversary. May God Bless you. From Mary da Silva who loves reading the Catholic Newspaper.
IN MEMORIAM CLOETE—In loving memory of Samuel, who passed away 19 years ago on November 20, 1991. Still greatly missed and loved by his wife Catherine, children Agnes and Martin, Bernadette and Keith, Gregory and Carol. Grandchildren Leon, Celeste, Lyle, Grant and Mandy. May his soul rest in peace. WILLIAMS—Andrew. In loving memory of my husband Andrew, our father and grandfather who passed away November 14, 1996. Beautiful memories silently kept, to love and to cherish and never forget. Forever loved and remembered by Sylvia, children and their families.
PERSONAL ABORTION WARNING: ‘The Pill’ can abort, undetected, soon after conception (a medical fact). See website: www.human life.org/abortion_does_ the_pill.php
FAMILY CALENDAR 2010 FAMILY THEME: “Families Play the Game.” NOVEMBER – GOOD LOSER, BAD LOSER Introduction: It is in families from very early days, playing catch or hide-and-seek that children learn how to be good losers rather than bad losers. Parents may have to work hard with some children that sulk or throw tantrums, while others don’t want to try for fear of losing. Loss in life is inevitable and games and sport are some of the best ways to learn the skills to cope with the big and little losses of life. How do you practice the skills of being a good loser? November 21—Christ the King. In today’s readings we find Jesus as King, having overcome his suffering and death. In doing so he made reconciliation and peace possible. While we celebrate his victory, we acknowledge that the fullness of the Kingdom is still to be brought about and our response to him has a part to play. It is important but not easy to make our families understand this challenge and also look forward to a time when all suffering is ended and all hurt is healed.
Mass readings for the week Sundays year C, weekdays cycle 2
Sun November 21, Christ the King: 2 Sm 5:1-3; Ps 122:1-2; 4-5; Col 1:12-20; Lk 23:35-43 Mon November 22, St Cecilia: Rv 14:1-5; Ps 24:1-6; Lk 21:1-4 Tue November 23, St Clement & St Columban: Rv 14:14-19; Ps 96:10-13; Lk 21:5-11 Wed November 24, Ss Andrew Dung-Lac & Comps: Rv 4:1-11; Ps 150:1-6; Lk 19:11-28 Thurs November 25, St Catherine of Alexandria: Rv 18:1-2,21-23; 19:1-3,9; Ps 100:1-3,5; Lk 19:45-48 Fri November 26, feria: Rv 20:1-4,11-21,2; Ps 84:3-6,8; Lk 21:29-33 Sat November 27, feria: Rv 22:-1-7; Ps 95:1-7; Lk 21:34-36 Sun November 28, Ist Sunday of Advent: Is 2:1-5; Ps 122:1-2; 4-5,6-9; Rom 13:11-14; Mt 24:37-44
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Painting of St Jude by Van Dyk 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. Grateful thanks to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Our Lady and St Jude for prayers answered. Roy.
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Time to prepare for Advent
1st Sunday of Advent—Year A (Nov 28) Readings: Isaiah 2:1-5, Psalm 122 Romans 13:11-14, Matthew 24:37-44
HAT time is it? Well, next Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent, and the beginning of the Church’s year. This is therefore a time when we might be expecting to listen with fresh ears to what the Lord is saying to us. That, I suspect, is the message of the readings for next Sunday. The first reading is from a place early in Isaiah’s prophecy; Israel was about to go to war, at the time of writing, and the prophet wanted them to get the Lord’s message. It is a lovely vision, that: “At the end of time, the mountain of the House of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, shall be raised above the hills.” And any visitor to Jerusalem can tell you that the Temple Mount is in fact lower than the surrounding eminences—but that is not the point. The time is now, and even with the country trembling on the verge of war, we can hear the confidence in God: “Many peoples shall come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the House of the God of Jacob’.” Then comes the wonderful vision of a world without war: “They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, their spears into pruning hooks...nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they teach war any more.” That is the time of day,
Fr Nicholas King SJ
Scriptural Reflections the time to “walk in the light of the Lord”. In the psalm, the time is pilgrimage-time, as the pilgrims sing their way up into Jerusalem for the festival. Notice how the singer goes from “I” in the first line to “we” in the subsequent verses: “Our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem.” Coming together for the celebration has turned individuals into a community, and we hear the tourists walking around the great city and admiring it, “Jerusalem, built as a city”; and they find themselves praying for peace in Jerusalem. In the second reading, when Paul is telling the Christians in Rome about the practical implications for them of the gospel that he has been preaching, he tells them what time it is, “It is already the hour for you to wake up from sleep—for now your salvation is nearer than when we first came to faith.” That sense
of urgency needs to be ours as Advent goes its way, and Paul makes them think of a long dark night (rather easier to conjure up in the northern hemisphere at this time of the year, perhaps). “The night is far advanced, and day has come near,” so that it is time to “put away the deeds of darkness, and put on the weapons of light”. Then there is a list of inappropriate behaviours (you will have to look at these for yourselves—this is a family periodical) which we are to avoid at this time, and “instead put on the Lord Jesus Christ”. That is what time it is. Advent means “coming”, and that is the time of day in the gospel reading for next Sunday; we are reminded of our forebears who got things badly wrong because they did not know what time it was: “In the days of Noah...they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah went into the Ark. And they had no idea until the Flood came and took them all away.” And (here’s the point) that time is now, “the coming of the Son of Man”, a phrase that we hear twice in the gospel, just in case we had missed it the first time. It is going to be, we learn, an alarming time: “There’ll be two men in the field, one is
Christmas conundrum A
S we move towards Christmas, I have no doubt that the usual e-mail chain letters will start doing the rounds again on the subject of governments wanting to remove from their public holiday lists the Christian celebrations of Christmas and Good Friday. Is this another attack on Christianity? Or is it perhaps not? Let us assume for the moment that in the spirit of the Vatican’s policy of reaching out to and engaging with other religions, we Catholics were instructed by the Holy See to show our respect for those religions by observing their sacred holidays. I have no doubt that Catholic businessmen would be outraged at having to be away from work so often and that conservative Catholic laity would be incensed to the point of apoplexy. My reason for presenting this unlikely and somewhat absurd scenario is because right now, this is precisely what Christians expect other religions to do. Many Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Rastafarians, Shintos and others have no option but to stop working on the two main Christian public holidays: Christmas and Good Friday. In past years, at roughly this time of the year, there have been flurries of e-mails doing the rounds in reaction to a Sunday newspaper report some time back about unconfirmed government plans all over the world to abolish national public holidays such as Christmas and Good Friday. Interestingly enough, there has been
The Last Word not a word from any of the churches, and these e-mails seem to have been written, sometimes completely hysterically, by informal groups of concerned Christians asking their brethren to rise up and fight this notion. I suppose one can understand that the more conservative among us will take umbrage at any government messing with such sacred religious feast days. After all, they might argue, South Africa, for example, is a predominantly Christian country and the other religions should simply respect the will of the majority. But I suspect the very people who are so incensed with the prospect of removing Christians religious days from the official national holiday list are the very same people who every year scream blue murder about how Christmas has become so commercialised and how other religions insult us by getting in on the act of exchanging gifts without the foggiest idea of why they’re doing it. What it boils down to is that these Christian soldiers basically want everyone in the world, irrespective of colour, race,
ANOTHER ROBBERY IN PROGRESS.. ELECTIONS WITH NO CONSTITUTION IN PLACE!!
creed, age or gender to down tools take Christmas Day off—but not to sing Christmas carols, put decorations up in their lounges or support non-Christian shops flogging soap on a rope and other yuletide gifts that nobody ever seems to want. It seems to me that a Christian who is serious about wanting to do something about reducing the crass commercialisation of Christmas should give serious consideration to what the first logical step should be. And surely that is to restore Christmas as an essentially Christian celebration? The reason why Jewish, Muslim and Hindu holidays have not been commercialised to anything like the extent of Christmas is simply because they are celebrated only by those specific religions. In South Africa, Christians and all other religions are protected by the Constitution from government attempts to completely do away with religious holidays. Some of those e-mails seem to assume the government wants to ban Christmas—which they certainly don’t. But South Africans are also protected by the Constitution from being forced in any way to participate in any group activities— political, sporting and religious—against their will. So it seems to me that in terms of our Constitution, which is considered to among the finest in the world (and particularly so in terms of the Church’s teaching to respect other religions), it makes no sense for us to continue to force nonChristians to take the day off work on our holy days. I must admit, however, that if every Christian country in the world were to cut out all that crass commercialisation of Christmas, it would greatly exacerbate the problem of poverty, because it has been shown that the tradition of exchanging gifts at Christmas has sustained billions of jobs in every country in the world throughout the entire year. So it is probably safe to assume that Jesus Christ would not take offence at so many billions of non-Christians celebrating his birth without knowing it, because by doing so they are keeping billions more poor people in jobs. But getting back to the flurry of e-mails doing the rounds: when you think about it, they are not only untruthful, but decidedly un-Christian.
taken, and one is left, two women grinding at the mill, one woman is taken, and one woman is left.” So what time is it? We hardly know. “So—stay awake; for you have no idea on what day your Lord is coming.” But you can look at your watches: “If the householder knew at what time the burglar would be coming, he would stay awake, and not permit his house to be broken into.” That is what time it is: “Because of this, be on the alert—because you have no idea at what time the Son of Man is coming”. That is what time it is—a time to be thoroughly awake, a time to read the signs, a time to be ready for action. Meanwhile, of course, out there in the shops they are singing you a quite different story about what time it is. They are telling you that it is time to buy what you cannot afford, a time to drink more than you really should, and a time to get in food that your family does not really want. So as this time of the Lord’s Coming goes on its way, your task is to choose what time it is. What is your answer going to be, this week?
Southern Crossword #419
ACROSS 1. Altar bread (4) 3. Holy Land of the future (8) 9. Makes changes, like Luther (7) 10. Remains of the building (5) 11. In nice stuff I am not adequate (12) 13. Beat harshly (6) 15. Way out (6) 17. Worth that a good hymn has (7,5) 20. Fruit of a big tree (5) 21. Kind of alley for the cricketer (7) 22. Doles tea out and is unhappy (8) 23. Social creatures with stings (4)
DOWN 1. Angelic instrumentalists? (8) 2. They can open in combinations (5) 4. Having country charm (6) 5. They are taken at the altar (8,4) 6. Study from the scenic East (7) 7. Find us there inside with ash (4) 8. One qualified for the occupation (12) 12. See grasp for holy water sprinkling (8) 14. Loud and harsh (7) 16. Creature with the hops (6) 18. Hello, Ireland features French river (5) 19. How aeroplane will come into country (4)
SOLUTIONS TO #418. ACROSS: 3 Short cuts, 8 Riot, 9 Blessings, 10 Joyful, 11 Impel, 14 Domes, 15 Deal, 16 Enter, 18 Cake, 20 Osier, 21 Extra, 24 Verity, 25 Solicitor, 26 Aura, 27 Underside. DOWN: 1 Prejudice, 2 Holy smoke, 4 Hell, 5 Assam, 6 Chimed, 7 Toga, 9 Burse, 11 Intra, 12 Leviticus, 13 Clergyman, 17 Roger, 19 Excite, 22 Rails, 23 Noun, 24 Void.
t the time for intercessions, the priest prayed every Sunday: “Lord, remove the cobwebs from my eyes, the cobwebs from my ears and the cobwebs from my heart.” A regular congregant got tired of this, so she prayed loudly: “Good God, would you please remove the spider!” Send us your favourite Catholic joke, preferably clean and brief, to The Southern Cross, Church Chuckle, PO Box 2372, Cape Town, 8000.