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New heart for Johannesburg archdiocese BY CLAIRE MATHIESON
ITH the arrival of spring came the official opening of Johannesburg’s new chancery, a building that not only represents the administrative side of the Church in the archdiocese, but also one that has been the result of combined community efforts. “I am very pleased to report that our dream of building a new chancery and upgrading our cathedral halls and precinct is now a reality. I thank you all for your very kind generosity and determination throughout this period,” said Archbishop Buti Tlhagale of Johannesburg at the official opening. “Three years ago the archbishop invited all parishioners to join us in the building of a new chancery and enhancement of the cathedral precinct,” said Charles Rowlinson, chairman of the new chancery steering committee who was charged with raising R30 million for the building. To date, R28 million has been raised. “Archbishop Buti asked each parish to sign a commitment to raise their target and urged that a dedicated fundraising team be appointed in each parish. He asked every Catholic in the diocese to help ‘share the load’ and help make the dream a reality,” Mr Rowlinson said. The former chancery had become dilapidated and activities were outgrowing the facilities, he said. “The chancery is the heart of the Church within the archdiocese and needs to provide a welcoming atmosphere conducive to the spiritual growth and upliftment of the people it serves,” said Mr Rowlinson, adding that the new building does just that. “When the cathedral of Christ The King was built 50 years ago, we owned the property next door on which was an old Fiat factory. This was given a lick of paint and a few partitions inserted to serve as offices and this has served us as a chancery over the past 50 years,” said steering committee member Chubby Sonderup.
he former factory was a heritage site and could not be demolished, but “some clever architectural design gave us some land behind the factory which needed to be stepped as it was on a very steep slope, and we then had enough land to build the new chancery,” said Ms Sonderup. “Our diocese now has a chancery to be proud of,” she added. The committee also fixed up the old building and installed state-of-the-art halls, conference rooms, an auditorium and a number of boardrooms, as well as several large classrooms for the
catechism classes. “The soup kitchens at the cathedral feed hundreds of people each and every day out on the street, so there was a great need to build a large dining area as well as a large kitchen to cope with the ever-increasing numbers,” she said. “Now we have a converted Moth Hall that houses this facility— the people being fed can now sit down at a table and eat their meal with dignity and not be subjected to sitting on the pavement.” Ms Sonderup said the archdiocese has also built a number of interview rooms for counsellors working with refugees. “These were sensitively refurbished in meeting the needs of the cathedral parish and the archdiocese. This project has lifted our spirits and helped build our Catholic community in Johannesburg,” said Mr Rowlinson.
he project would not have been possible without the “Buy-a-Brick” initiative which saw individuals contributing to the project with the prospect of potentially winning prizes—all of which were awarded at the opening celebration. Ms Sonderup said the parishes raised in excess of R10 million from the campaign. “Without the involvement of all the parishes, this dream would never have become a reality,” said Ms Sonderup. For Mr Rowlinson, “this is a concrete expression of our ownership of the Church and a show of our determination and faith in making a dream a reality”. Project architect Franco Pellegrini said he designed the new chancery as something that all Catholics and all visitors will be proud of. He said he aimed to created an environment that “plays its part in uplifting the whole of Johannesburg, an environment that respects the sanctity of a place of prayer, quiet and celebration, a place to cultivate your soul”. When construction began, Archbishop Tlhagale said: “Our prayer is that by building our new chancery, we not only build the physical architecture, but by the laying of each brick, we strengthen and build our community.” And it did indeed bring the community together—not only in the financing of the building but the opening celebration saw the majority of the archdiocese’s priests take part in a special Mass which was broadcast to the 2 000 people inside the cathedral and nearly 3 000 outside. “This project shows what man with God’s help can do,” said Mr Rowlinson.
Cardinal Napier writes for us Look out in next week’s issue of The Southern Cross for the first in a series of monthly columns by Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, archbishop of Durban. The cardinal will seek to address issues of importance to Southern African Catholics. In his debut column, Cardinal Napier will explain why men cannot be blamed for all the world’s ills
Johannesburg Catholics celebrate the opening of the new archdiocesan chancery. To date, R28 million have been raised to finance its construction. (Photo: Judy Stockill)
Pope to Africa: Defend Christian values BY CINDY WOODEN
OPE Benedict has encouraged lay Catholics in Africa to defend Christian and traditional African values, share their faith in Jesus and transform African society. “The most valid traditional values of African culture are threatened today by secularisation,” unleashing confusion and tension, which are seen in new waves of “tribalism, violence, corruption in public life, the humiliation and exploitation of women and children, and the growth of poverty and hunger”, the pope said in a message to the 300 delegates to the Pan-African Congress of Lay Catholics, meeting in Yaounde, Cameroon.
The pope said lay Catholics have a responsibility to deepen their faith and allow the positive values of African culture and Christian teaching to inform their work in society. “If we look at the heart of the African people, we discover a great richness of spiritual resources that is precious for our age,” including the love for life and for the family, a spirit of joy and sharing, and enthusiasm for faith. The gift of Christian faith and the obligation to share it with others form a “virtuous cycle” in which individuals are changed and bring change to society, the pope said. “In the work of transforming society, which is so urgent for Africa today, the lay faithful have an irreplaceable role.”—CNS
US bishop in SA to look at Church’s Aids efforts STAFF REPORTER
US bishop visited South Africa to learn more about the local Church’s response to the HIV/Aids crisis in the region. Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, Arizona, chairman of the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) board, and Mary Hodem, head of the CRS’s Zambia-based Southern African regional office met with Sr Hermenegild Makoro CPS, secretary-general of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Bishop José Luis Ponce de León, the liaison bishop for Aids, and the heads of SACBC agencies supported by funding from CRS. At the Johannesburg meeting the SACBC staff painted a picture for the US visitors of the challenges facing the Church and society in Southern Africa regarding the cutbacks in PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief) funding to support Aids programmes, the escalating numbers of children orphaned and made vulnerable by Aids, Church-state relations, the position around education and health care in a post-apartheid South Africa, and the socio-economic and political realities facing the three SACBC countries and the countries in which the SACBC assists with programmes around good governance
From left: Mary Hodem, Bishop Kicanas (CRS), Sr Alison Munro, Bishop José Luis Ponce de León (SACBC Aids Office), Dr Ruth Stark and Karel Zelenka (CRS) and democracy. Earlier in the day Bishop Kicanas celebrated Mass in St Hubert’s parish, Alexandra, and met with Archbishop Buti Tlhagale of Johannesburg. CRS is committed to continue supporting the Church in Southern Africa in the areas of Aids, democracy and education. Funding is likely to be less than it was in the past because of the financial challenges facing the US and the global economy.
The Southern Cross, September 12 to September 18, 2012
Prayer jam rocks Cape youth BY CLAIRE MATHIESON
The new leadership of Birthright SA gathered at Botha’s Hill.
New leadership for Birthright SA BY CLAIRE MATHIESON
IRTHRIGHT South Africa has elected its new leadership at a convention in Botha’s Hill, KwaZulu-Natal. The non-denominational movement offers free support and practical assistance to distressed pregnant women, married or unmarried. It is run by volunteers who work to offer pregnant women alternatives to abortion. Representatives of the national board and Birthright chapters from Johannesburg and Durban were present at the convention which saw Marie-Eve Inghilterra elected director to the national board of Birthright South Africa. Moira Moody, whose term of office had ended, was commended and thanked for her dedication. The convention was also an opportune moment to reflect on the work Birthright was doing. Two guest speakers provided encouragement on the theme positivity with hope as well as an introduction to Blessed John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body”. “An atmosphere of goodwill, companionship and camaraderie prevailed at all times, shared by a group of loving women who over many years have kept the flag of Birthright flying,” said founding Birthright member Marguerita
Cochrane. Ms Inghilterra said the latest figures published by government show legal abortions have risen to 77 771 a year, a 31% increase since 2010, equating to approximately 250 abortions daily. “What an indictment for us Christians,” said the newly elected director. “As part of the pro-life movement, Birthright has a unique position in that, in order to save the baby, Birthright volunteers concentrate their efforts on the mother,” said Ms Inghilterra. “Every caller is greeted with unconditional love. Our aim is to be able to speak to all pregnant women, to give them a chance to hear us out. “Saving babies’ lives is God’s work and we are privileged to have a share in it. In Birthright we make the value of Jesus ours, for to him each person counts,” the director said, adding that Birthright believes that it is the “right of all mothers to give birth and the right of all babies to be born”. “Louise Summerhill, the foundress, was herself a convert to the Catholic faith but officially we are a nondenominational organisation and as such anyone who believes that abortion is never acceptable is welcome to join our organisation.” n Contact Birthright 079 742 8861 or 031 201 5471.
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APE Town’s Catholic youth came alive during August when the first ever “prayer jam” took place with international Catholic evangelist Jesse Manibusan. The inter-parish gathering was free and organisers were pleased with the turnout, with the Cape Town International Convention Centre almost at capacity. “It was a great response from the grassroots level of leaders,” said organiser Jon Jon San Juan. “It was a memorable, spiritual, informative, prayerful, yet high-spirited and fun event.” The event involved faithsharing, music from local and international acts and talks from the evangelist. Mr Manibusan said he particularly enjoyed the enthusiasm of the archdiocese’s youth. “The young people were from many parts of the archdiocese, but there was a ‘oneness’ in joy and energy that was contagious! Their youth ministers are a huge part of that energy too. There is definitely a joy and an excitement from youth about being Catholic, and about being the Church,” the American evangelist said. “Forget potential [of the youth]. It’s happening right now.” Mr Manibusan said events like the prayer jam give an experience of the Church that inspires and gives hope to the young Church unlike any other. “The music, the talks, the reflection and interactions are all delivered in a manner that the young Church can relate to and appreciate because the catechesis and evangelisation meets the youth right where they’re at —not where the adults hope they will be a week or a year
Youth gathered for an inter-parish “prayer-jam” at Cape Town International Convention Centre, hosted by US Catholic evangelist Jesse Manibusan (inset). from now.” While he believes other models of catechesis and evangelisation are helpful and beneficial, Mr Manibusan said it was of great benefit to an archdiocese to try new ways to evangelise and connect with the people that it seeks to serve. Mr San Juan said that he was pleased to find Cape Town has a proudly Catholic youth and events like the prayer jam are helping many of the youth connect with each other. He said the youth were embracing the theme of the event: “To Stand Up as Catholics, Walk as Catholics, and to Live as Catholic Youth”. While in the archdiocese, Mr Manibusan travelled to various parishes and parts of the city. He found Cape Town to be “beautiful, magnificent and humbling”, but added: “I can’t separate Gugulethu, Langa, and the other townships from the
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beauty of Cape Town. I found a heroic sense of hope, gratitude and faith at the Sunday morning Mass at St Gabriel church in Gugulethu. If Table Mountain and Lion’s Head are part of the physical body Cape Town, then what I found in Gugulethu and Robben Island must be the heart and soul.” But the highlight was spending time with the youth, he said. “If the only thing that the youth and adults who were able to attend the event walked away with was a beautiful memory of Church, that would be enough of a gift, because in the end, that’s what we do in Christ; we make memories that build hope, joy and connection to Jesus and the mission of the Church.” Mr San Juan said the very positive response suggested this would become a regular event. Mr Manibusan said he looked forward to returning and visiting more parts of the country.
Call to attend 60-year reunion BY CLAIRE MATHIESON
ORMER students of Notre Dame Convent in Constantia, Cape Town, are encouraged to reunite to celebrate the school’s 60th anniversary. The school, which was built in 1952 in Soetvlei Avenue Constantia, served the community for 22 years before closing. Notre Dame Convent catered for girls from pre-school to matric, and boys from pre-school to Grade 3. There was a boarding school and a chapel within the school building and at a later stage fundraising was done and a hall was added and then a swimming pool. The school closed its doors in 1974 and stood empty for a few years before becoming a girls’ reformatory. The school then stood empty for a few years and now the American International School owns it While short lived, the school made a big impact on many lives. Organiser Josephone Steyn said all former students—girls and boys—are welcome to attend, “even if they were only there for a few years we would love to see everyone,” she told The Southern Cross. The celebration will be in the form of a luncheon starting at 11am on October 6. Those interested are requested to contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Former students are encouraged to bring memorabilia along to the reunion which will also be attended by several of the nuns who taught at the school.
Conflicts in Africa not religious but political STAFF REPORTER
currently is a “negative” peace in Northern Uganda, with violence having been “exported” to the neighbouring countries of South Sudan, the DRC and the Central African Republic. “The presentations on reconciliation examined attempts to end impunity and reconcile people, and at the tension between traditional approaches to reconciliation
no genuine love of neighbour unless there is work for social jusSOUTH African delegation tice. “Much discussion followed travelled to Nairobi, Kenya, on what is perceived as a downto address the regional semiplaying of justice in the present nar of Catholic Theological Ethics pontificate, with a stronger in a World Church (CTEWC). emphasis on love; a tendency Fr Peter-John Pearson of the towards moving away from strucCatholic Parliamentary Office, Fr tural issues to charitable issues,” Peter Knox of the Jesuit Institute she said. and Sr Alison Munro of SACBC “There is no justice without Aids Office made presentaconversion, to which all are tions and engaged with the called. Justice is about dismanseminar participants who tling of power structures, included three bishops. addressing gender-based vioArchbishop John lence, informing our pastoral Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria, service by the social context in spoke of his experiences of which we operate,” she said. conflict and peace in Nigeria. Participants heard that in “Conflicts are often preorder to bring about peace peosented in the media as wars ple need to learn to live between Christians and Mustogether, be a voice of the lims, but it is in fact ethnic voiceless, and address violence differences and access to and corruption. scarce resources rather than “Africa is a paradox, with an religious differences that erosion of ubuntu values, and underlie the conflicts,” said with youth torn between modSr Munro. ern and traditional values. Bishop Eduardo Kussala of South Sudan and Bishop Eduardo Kussala of Ours needs to be the language Archbishop John Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria. South Sudan spoke of the of the family of God, not the enormous challenges facing language of ethnicity and xenoAfrica’s newest country, the most or restorative justice and a juridi- phobia. We ourselves are complicit privatised country in the world, cal/legal approach or retributive when we do not speak out and act and of practising justice in the justice,” said Sr Munro. “Reconcili- against violence against women context of conflict, oil disputes, ation cannot be reached in a cul- and children. Our silence is damlack of skills, corruption, inexperi- tural vacuum, and at the same aging,” Sr Munro said. ence and poor decision making. time the levels of violence faced Speakers at the seminar includBishop John Baptist Odama of on the continent are different ed some of the recipients of the Northern Uganda spoke of his per- from what was faced in the past. CTEWC scholarships aimed at sonal experiences of engaging with There is a real challenge to the helping to train a new generation the Lord’s Resistance Army and Church to be more credible than it of women theologians. One of the government of Uganda in is in places.” these sisters, a Kenyan, will enrol attempts to bring about peace in Sr Munro said the presentations for a PhD at the Nelson Mandela Northern Uganda. He said there on justice recognised that there is University in South Africa in 2013.
The Southern Cross, September 12 to September 18, 2012
A ‘wind blew from across Africa’ BY MICHAEL MAPULANGA
diocese of Durban. In his homily he talked about the image of the HE Missionaries of Africa Church in Africa as the family of and associates celebrated G o d , w h i c h i s a n i m a g e t h a t the official opening and emerged at the first African blessing of the new house in the Synod in 1994. fourth phase of formation in ‘‘I see this house not so much Merrivale, in the archdiocese of a s a h o u s e o f f o r m a t i o n b u t Durban, by Cardinal Wilfrid rather [as] a sanctuary lamp, Napier. shining out as an example, invitA m o n g t h o s e p r e s e n t w e r e ing the people. If you want to see Bishop Barry Wood, what the family of auxiliary in Durban, God in Africa looks superior-general Fr like, then come and Richard Baawobr, spend some time in Southern African the chapel in this comprovincial Fr Christomunity.” pher Chileshe, and Fr He urged those preSylvester David OMI, sent to pray for more president of St vocations. He also Joseph’s Theological emphasised the role of Institute in Cedara, family in promoting KwaZulu-Natal. vocations. Half an hour before Fr Bawoobr, the the beginning of the superior-general of the Mass and the blessing order which used to be of the new house, commonly known as Cardinal Lavigerie there was strong wind the White Fathers, on which continued up account of their robes, to the end of Mass. said that it was good “to have the People understood this wind theological training in a part of in different ways, with some say- Africa marked by the history of ing that it was the presence of racial discrimination and from t h e H o l y S p i r i t b l o w i n g a n d which we can learn because there blessing the new area. is now a new experience of recIn some ways, the wind could onciliation and communion of be interpreted as the spirit of Car- different communities and races, dinal Charles Lavigerie blowing w h i c h w e c a n b r i n g w i t h u s from Algiers, where he blessed wherever we are in Africa and the first formation of the Society other parts of the world”. of the Missionaries of Africa in The newly built centre of for1868, across the continent. mation in Merrivale has a capaciC a r d i n a l N a p i e r e x p r e s s e d ty of accommodating up to 32 delight at the presence of the students. It is expected to be Missionaries of Africa in the arch- extended to up to 40 students.
The Southern Cross, September 12 to September 18, 2012
Pope meets up with old students BY CINDY WOODEN
HE search for truth is the vocation of a theologian and the key to overcoming divisions within Christianity, Pope Benedict told a group of his former doctoral students. The pope celebrated Mass with his former students at the Focolare Centre in Castel Gandolfo as part of the annual meeting of the “Ratzinger Schülerkreis” (Ratzinger Student Circle), a group that has met since 1978 to discuss topics in theology and the life of the Church. The joy of faith comes from seeking the truth, not claiming to possess it, the pope said. However, the pope said, even claiming to have received the gift of truth through faith is difficult today because, in the eyes of many, claiming to know the truth has is labelled intolerance. Rather than claiming truth as a possession, he said, Christians must allow themselves to be led and
guided by the truth so that others will see how beautiful and beneficial it is and begin seeking the truth themselves, the pope said in the homily. The topic of this year’s meeting was Catholic relations with the Anglicans and with the Lutherans, which also was connected to a discussion about truth, said Fr Vincent Twomey SDV, an Irish moral theologian and founding member of the Schülerkreis. “Don’t forget, the dialogues in the context of the ecumenical movement aim at some form of unity in the truth. The truth will bring us there.” With many of the pope’s former students coming from Germany and other countries with large Lutheran populations and with the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation coming up in 2017, the group spent much of its time talking about Catholic-Lutheran relations. Salvatorian Father Stephen Horn,
who serves as the group’s president, told Vatican Radio the idea of a mutual mea culpa—a recognition of faults on both sides—was discussed during the meeting. Fr Twomey said: “The pope talked, like his predecessor, about the purification of memory, which happens through contrition. We must be sorry for what has happened.” “The Church is holy because of its divine nature, but those who make up the Church—as the pope himself acknowledges over and over again—are sinful; we’ve done terrible things in the name of religion,” he said. “The division between Christians, especially in Europe, has created havoc.” While acknowledging the faults of Church members, he said, there is also the recognition that “despite everything, the truth of Jesus Christ is present to us in our midst, he touches our lives through the Church no matter how sinful” any of its members may be.—CNS
Austrian priests want a Church ‘Bill of Rights’ BY SARAH MACDONALD
HE leader of the Austrian Priests’ Initiative has said the dissident group’s call to disobedience reflects the lack of accountability among those who exercise power and authority in the Catholic Church. Mgr Helmut Schüller told Catholic News Service that reform and substantive structural change are “essential for the future of the Church” in Europe and the wider world. The Priests’ Initiative, which now represents 500 clergy in Aus-
tria, wants the Vatican to revive the Lex Ecclesiae Fundamentalis project initiated by Pope Paul VI following the Second Vatican Council. The project, which sought to establish a common fundamental code or Church constitution similar to a Bill of Rights for Church members, was shelved by Pope John Paul II in 1981. “We are talking about providing basic rights for the people of God and a structure of participation in decision-making and feedback between the top, centre and base of the Church. We also want to estab-
lish a system of control for those who hold power and authority in the Church,” said Mgr Schüller, former vicar-general of the archdiocese of Vienna. The Priests’ Initiative was founded in 2006 and made international headlines in June 2011 when it issued its “Appeal to Disobedience” over its agenda, which includes making clerical celibacy optional, allowing divorced and remarried Catholics who did not receive an annulment to receive Communion, and advocating a softer line on homosexual partnerships.
CATHOLIC SCHOOLS BOARD (CSB) JOHANNESBURG/PRETORIA
The Board invites applications from suitably qualified and experienced individuals for the position of Deputy-Director of the Catholic Schools Office (CSO).
The CSO is the administrative arm of the CSB in the Archdiocese of Johannesburg and Pretoria and it is constituted to provide services, support and co-ordination of the Catholic education network in the region.
The successful candidate will have the following key qualities: c A sound understanding and commitment to the Ethos and Mission of Catholic Education c Have the leadership ability to work with Principals, RE Coordinators and Boards of Governors c Strong leadership, management, and communication skills c Ability to implement the strategic vision and direction of the Catholic Schools Board c Strong interpersonal and team skills c At least five years’ experience in a senior management position, with a track record of effective application of management skills c Relevant educational qualifications c An understanding of present developments in education
A worker sweeps in front of a burned door next to graffiti sprayed on a wall at a Trappist monastery outside Jerusalem. (Photo: Baz Ratner, Reuters/CNS)
Shock after attack on monastery BY JUDITH SUDILOVSKY
ANDALS burned the door of a Trappist monastery outside Jerusalem and spray-painted a wall with the names of illegal Israeli outposts, one of which had been evacuated two days earlier. In addition to the names of the outposts—Jewish enclaves not approved by the Israeli government—the vandals scrawled slogans against Christianity including “Jesus is a monkey” on the walls on the Latrun monastery, best known for its contemplative monks and wine-making. The monastery, about 35km west of Jerusalem, sits on a hill overlooking the road linking Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. “We were very surprised and can’t understand why this has happened,” said Fr Louis Wehbee, the monastery’s novice master. “Never in our 122-year history here has something like this happened to us. We are open to all people, we have good relations with everybody.
Bishops protest NZ gay marriage law BY PETER GRACE
EW ZEALAND’S Catholic bishops have expressed disappointment over parliament’s approval during the first reading of a bill that would legalise same-sex marriage. The bill amends New Zealand’s Marriage Act 1955 to redefine marriage as the union of two people, regardless of “their sex, sexual orientation or gender identity”. The bishops, representing New Zealand’s six dioceses, voiced their concerns about fundamentally changing the family structure on which New Zealand society is built.
Archbishop John Dew of Wellington, president of the bishops’ conference, said the Catholic Church affirms love, fidelity and commitment in all relationships, “but believes that marriage should be defined as being between a man and a woman”. “To propose any alternative definition will have implications in law, and in society, but also for education and the family structure which, throughout history, has been seen as the fundamental unit in every society,” Archbishop Dew said in a statement after the vote. “Society doesn’t have the
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What makes us sad is the graffiti which they wrote against our faith. If there are political tensions, why are they taking it out against our religion?” A day earlier, Israel authorities had evacuated residents from an unauthorised Jewish enclave in Migron. Migron was one of the names spray painted on the wall. Police said they had been preparing for such a so-called “price tag” attack against a Palestinian or Muslim target, which has been the recent modus operandi of a group of extremists following an outpost evacuation or other government action that they oppose. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the attack was “reprehensible” and those responsible needed to be “punished severely”. “These were a minority of extremists,” said Fr Wehbee. “Most Israelis are good people, but they are not powerful. The minority have the strength.”—CNS
right to deprive a child of both its father and mother, both equally significant in their upbringing. We’re concerned about children growing up without one or both parents as part of the primary parenting partnership. We also understand that, as humans, we have a real need to get to know both of our biological parents,” he said. “While there are families that include single parents and samesex couples raising children, there is a question to be asked about whether we want to legislate for a new norm for the family unit,” he added.—CNS
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Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan blesses the casket of Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini (inset) during the funeral Mass for the former archbishop of Milan. (Photo: Paolo Bona, Reuters/CNS) wider discussion and dialogue on some delicate and controversial Church positions. At various times, he expressed openness to the possibility of allowing married Latin-rite priests under certain circumstances, ordaining women as deacons and allowing Communion for some divorced Catholics in subsequent marriages not approved by the Church.
ven in retirement, the cardinal kept up with issues of importance in the life of the Church. He was sought after for interviews and frequently published opinion pieces in Italian newspapers. In an interview with the Milan newspaper Corriere della Sera, conducted last month but published after his death, Cardinal Martini said that the Church was “200 years behind” the times, with an “aged” culture enervated by its material wealth in Europe and America, and attached to “pompous” rites and externals, while suffering a lack of vocations and of “heroes” such as the late Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador. Asked what the Church could do to overcome these problems, Cardinal Martini recommended
that Pope Benedict make unconventional appointments—“men close to the poorest people and surrounded by young people and who experience new things”—to key leadership posts in the Vatican. Born in Orbassano, near Turin, on February 15, 1927, Carlo Maria Martini entered the Society of Jesus in 1944, was ordained a priest on July 13, 1952, and took his final vows as a Jesuit in 1962. The cardinal never held a parish post. With doctorates in theology and biblical studies, he was a seminary professor in Chieri, Italy, 1958-1961; professor and later rector of the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, 1969-1978; and rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University from July 1978 until his December 1979 appointment to Milan. After his retirement in 2002, he moved to Jerusalem and purchased a burial plot there but returned to Milan after his health worsened in 2008. When he was named archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Martini was the first Jesuit in 35 years to head an Italian archdiocese. Pope John Paul II ordained him an archbishop on January 6, 1980, in St Peter’s basilica and named him a cardinal in 1983.—CNS
First WYD pilgrim signs up BY CAROL GLATZ
G Pope Benedict was the first person registered for World Youth Day 2013 in Rio de Janeiro. He is pictured during WYD 2011 in Madrid. (Photo: Paul Haring, CNS)
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HE late Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini was a “generous and faithful pastor of the Church”, who not only studied the Bible, “but loved it intensely and made it the light of his life”, Pope Benedict has said. In a message read at Cardinal Martini’s funeral in Milan, where the cardinal had served as archbishop from 1979-2002, the pope said the Jesuit cardinal’s love of Scripture enabled him “to teach believers and those searching for truth that God’s word is the only word worthy of being listened to, accepted and followed”. Cardinal Martini, a renowned biblical scholar, died on August 31 at the age of 85 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. His body was transferred to the city’s cathedral where 200 000 people filed past his coffin to pay their respects. Pope Benedict’s message to mourners, read at the funeral by Cardinal Angelo Comastri, praised Cardinal Martini’s “great openness” and willingness to engage in dialogue with everyone, to explain the reasons for his faith and hope. Cardinal Martini’s funeral followed the Ambrosian rite, a liturgical tradition particular to Milan. Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan presided and Jesuit Father Adolfo Nicolas, superior general of the Jesuits, was among the concelebrants. The archdiocese said 6 000 people filled the cathedral for the Mass, while another 15 000 watched on big screens placed in the square outside the church. The cardinal was a prolific author whose books were bestsellers in Italy and included everything from scholarly biblical exegesis to poetry and prayer guides. He retired as archbishop of Milan in 2002, where he was known as a strong pastor and administrator, and as a very careful, thoughtful advocate of
The Southern Cross, September 12 to September 18, 2012
ERMANS are known for being punctual, so perhaps it should be no surprise that Pope Benedict was the first person signed up for World Youth Day 2013, which will be held in Rio de Janeiro July 23-28. Organisers said that more than 220 groups of young people from five continents signed up in the first 24 hours after registration opened.
Groups of up to 50 people are encouraged to book early, organisers said. Registration should be done online on the official WYD Rio 2013 website (www.rio2013.com). The opening Mass, the papal welcoming ceremony and the Way of the Cross celebration will be held at Copacabana beach, according to organisers. The youth vigil and closing Mass will be held at the Santa Cruz military air base.—CNS
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‘Land mafia’ behind girl’s framing
N imam who accused a Pakistani girl of blasphemy was arrested on suspicion of fabricating evidence against her. Khalid Jadoon Chishti, the imam or prayer leader who has accused Rimsha Masih of burning pages of the Muslim holy book, was arrested after witnesses claimed that he had torn pages from a Qur’an and planted them along with burned pieces of paper in the girl’s bag. Rimsha had been in police custody since August 18. Her parents said she is 11 years old and has Down syndrome; a court-appointed physician
found that she was about 14 and is developmentally delayed. The girl’s lawyer, Tahir Naveed, told Vatican Radio that with the arrest of the Muslim cleric, “it is no secret that Rimsha is innocent. This shows that there was a conspiracy.” Mr Naveed said Rimsha’s case is just the latest instance of someone misusing Pakistan’s strict anti-blasphemy laws to intimidate or persecute others. “After the arrest of Imam Jadoon, everyone is talking and reflecting on the fact that this law can be used improperly and even abused,” Mr Naveed said. Capuchin Father Francis Nadeem, coordinator of the National Council for Interreli-
gious Dialogue in Lahore, said the charges against the girl appeared to be part of a plot by a local “land mafia”. “Unscrupulous criminals intend to wrest land from Christians and drive them out from Mehrabadi, a suburb of Islamabad where Rimsha’s family lives,” Fr Nadeem told the Vatican’s missionary news agency Fides. “This is why they made up the case, blaming an innocent child.” Accusations that a Christian had burned the Qur’an drew an angry crowd, prompting hundreds of Christian families to flee the neighbourhood, Church and humanitarian agencies said.—CNS
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The Southern Cross, September 12 to September 18, 2012
LEADER PAGE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Editor: Günther Simmermacher
OUTH Africa is taking a lead in instituting boycotts of Israel over that country’s occupation of the West Bank, and the oppression and dispossession of Palestinians there. This month, the Student Council of the University of the Witwatersrand voted in favour of an academic and cultural boycott of Israel, and in August South Africa’s deputy foreign minister, Ebrahim Ebrahim, called on the country’s citizens not to visit Israel. He later clarified that he referred only to high-profile visits. Calls for boycotts against Israel, especially academic and cultural embargoes, have a special resonance in South Africa. Many believe that the boycott movement of the 1980s contributed to the fall of apartheid. Pop singers such as Madonna, Rihanna and Elton John have been criticised for performing in Israel, much as 1980s entertainers were criticised for performing at Sun City. The concerns expressed by the pro-boycott lobby are wellfounded. Israel is a serial offender against United Nations resolutions and international law. Israel continues to illegally occupy the West Bank and is illicitly building settlements in those territories. These not only exacerbate friction between Jews and Arabs, but also constitute brazen land theft and a concrete obstacle to peace. By encircling Bethlehem— the town where the Prince of Peace was born—with a wall twice as high as that which once divided Berlin, Israel has created a ghetto which stands as a symbol of injustice. The defenders of Israel rightly point out that on the scale of human rights abusers there are many worse offenders. Few of them, however, are being treated as anything but pariahs. Madonna is not planning concerts in North Korea, nor is Rihanna going to Sudan, nor Elton John to Iran. When these international celebrities take to the stage in Tel Aviv, they implicitly endorse an unjust political reality. For the same reason they should not appear in China. The boycott movement of Israel intends to highlight abuses which are being kept quiet,
especially in the West. This is an important issue for Christians: among those victimised by Israel’s draconian occupation are Palestinian Christians, with whom we should stand in solidarity. Indeed, the occupation is a leading cause of the drain of Christians from the land of our faith’s birth. It is necessary that public pressure be applied to Israel, which is acutely protective of its reputation, even if this means being labelled “antiSemitic” or “racist”. However, boycott initiatives must guard against visiting hardship upon ordinary Palestinians or the peace movement. For example, a travel boycott would destroy the Palestinian religious tourism industry, one of the few sources of steady revenue and employment. Palestinians remember well the devastating effects on tourism of the Second Intifada, or uprising, in the first years of the past decade, when tourism was reduced to a trickle. Instead of advocating a travel boycott, peace activists will serve the greater good by encouraging the use of services provided by Palestinian operators (Christian pilgrimage operators in the Holy Land usually are Christians). This would answer Mr Ebrahim’s concerns that visits by South Africans to Israel “would somehow endorse the occupation of Palestinian territory”. Indeed, using Palestinian services instead of those offered by Israel would represent explicit and material support for the oppressed—and a sign of the Christian solidarity with the oppressed which the Church’s leaders in the region and the Holy See have called for. It must be clearly understood: to criticise Israeli policies in the West Bank and Gaza is not intrinsically anti-Semitic, nor does it contradict Israel’s right to exist in peace or its right to defend itself by reasonable and proportionate means. But it must also be understood that Israel has no claim to the moral high ground it asserts for itself and is granted by much of the West. If boycotts are one way of communicating this, then they merit serious consideration.
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.
Restoring our humanity N the modern world so plagued having repeat abortions. I quote: Inewspaper by violence, it’s not often that a “Two women, each already having article still has the power had at least eight abortions, said it to shock. The September 3 abortion article in Beeld (“Aborsie, die nuwe verslawing”) shocked me into writing. The Volksblad launched an investigation in Free State to determine why so many young women were
Reviving the fire
HE windows opened by Vatican Council II brought vast renewal to the Catholic Church, with one of its immediate fruits being the formation of Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) in the 1960s. CCR worship is marked by vibrant Masses and vocal prayer meetings, including praying in tongues, interpretation of tongues, faith healing, prophecy and discernment of spirits. It stresses that the gifts of the Holy Spirit, bestowed on the Apostles at Pentecost and active in the early Church, should still be felt and practised today. The formation of a radical group cannot be without controversy. CCR critics claim it has no place in Catholic spirituality as it makes one manipulate the Holy Spirit, avoid going to Mass and confession or generally refraining from Catholic devotions. Such criticisms are questionable. As a charismatic member, I think charismatic spirituality primarily helps one to develop a deep appreciation of the Catholic faith, desire to know Jesus intimately and grow stronger in faith. CCR is creating fresh and strong roots in the Catholic Church, especially in the African Church where the Catholic liturgy is rooted in active celebration, dancing, joyous singing and playing of instruments. The spiritual openness of CCR gives it room to cooperate with Pentecostal Christians in the evangelisation of the Gospel. Pope John Paul II noted that CCR is a vital way of bringing renewal in evangelisation, which ought to be done firstly through a personal witness to the indwelling Spirit shining through one’s own works of holiness and solidarity. Br Isaac Mutelo OP, Pietermaritzburg
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READ the letter from “name withheld” regarding Church collections (August 22) with interest. Some years ago I taught catechism.
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was exciting to create life and then ‘legally’ take it.” I’m sure there are many who would cry that these young women should take contraception, when what they really need is healing and love. We are so desensitised by vioThe pupils paid a modest annual fee. Some of the money may have been spent on the First Communion and Confirmation pupils. I inherited class notes, textbooks and old crayons, and chalk was provided in the classroom. I provided anything else I needed. At the end of the year the catechism group gave all the remaining money from catechism fees to a local children’s home that was not Catholic. Also, a Catholic youth charity group had raised R20 000 (worth about R60 000 now). All of it was donated to four non-Catholic charities. A Catholic charity group in a certain town would give every resident in all the old age homes a Christmas gift of foodstuffs even though they presumably got three meals a day. A small minority of those residents were likely to be Catholic. In all these cases, Catholic institutions did not receive anything from the donor Catholic sodalities. Indeed, Catholics should help anyone in genuine need of assistance, where possible, but Catholic institutions should also be considered. Catholics comprise 7-10% of the South African population, and many of them are very poor. Jane Thompson, Johannesburg
Fight this Bill
HE Traditional Courts Bill as well as the Communal Land Rights Act received much negative reaction from civil society when introduced in Parliament. In fact, the Constitutional Court even declared the Communal Land Rights Act invalid and it is clear the Traditional Courts Bill is absolutely unconstitutional. 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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lence that we have lost our sense of humanity. This is where the local Church can and must play a bigger role. It has many successful programmes that could restore self-respect to young men and women. Courses like Pope John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body” should be compulsory during all Confirmation preparation and beyond. Anna Rust, Somerset West There is overall concern with this Bill, an example being that traditional leaders would have more power than they did under apartheid. The apartheid tribal boundaries would be made official again and autocratically powerful chiefs would unilaterally define customary law outside our legal system! It is almost unbelievable that a country with the most progressive Constitution ever is tabling this Bill which would prejudge against women and children and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. It would restrict access to our legal system as over 18 million rural, mostly poor, people would be trapped in a traditional justice system which belongs to the Middle Ages. Everyone needs to fight this all the way. Manny de Freitas MP, Democratic Alliance
HE churches, mosques, temples and synagogues have failed the people of this country. Why the bitter struggle for service delivery? Regarding healthcare, people are standing in long queues from as early as 4am and some sleep over to see the doctor. Education standards have dropped to suit the government. In some provinces there are no books, and shortages of schools or teachers. I am sure that previous leaders, and the late Archbishop Denis Hurley, would have stood up or spoken out against these social injustices. How long will it take for religious leaders to see the wrongs of this regime, which is corrupt to the core? Feeding schemes are mushrooming. People dig in bins to try to survive. Where are our leaders when everything around is falling apart? Where are they when our people are being massacred at Marikana? Eric Tate, Durban
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My year of hope and joy B EING told by your editor that you are going to write a year-long series on a subject you know little about is a daunting prospect, and hardly a cause for joy. “Vatican II? What do I know about Vatican II?” I thought when I was first assigned my part in the Hope&Joy series, which concluded last week. I instantly pictured myself trudging through archives armed with an EnglishLatin dictionary, sitting at a desk surrounded by mounds of documentation, prematurely greying from trying to understand the ins and outs of the most profound gathering of the world’s bishops some 50 years ago. But the trepidation of the unknown— and concerns of needing to invest in hair dye—were short-lived. The work, in theory, would prove quite simple once I realised that the Catholic world around us is the direct product of Vatican II. My entire life has been in a Church that was the direct result of that council, so I was actually proficient on the topic without even realising it. Quickly my apprehension turned to enthusiasm as it became clear the series would look at important themes in our lives as Catholics today, and discuss why our Church is a place of both hope and of joy. It would do so on 25 themes. Best of all, while research was done— and lots of it—the voices of the series would be from those on the ground: Southern Africa’s Church. And of course Anthony Egan SJ, my co-pilot in the series, would handle the real nitty gritty of the year-long project, presumably without graying prematurely. A total of 122 people were inter-
The youth of De Aar were pictured in the Hope&Joy feature on faith and tradition on January 18. (Photo from Sr Victoria Sibisi) viewed, from 27 dioceses in South Africa and Swaziland. I interviewed bishops, priests, religious sisters and brothers from all corners of the country, all of whom contributed to my ever-expanding knowledge and appreciation of the local Church. But the most profound contribution was by the laity of our Church. More than half the interviews conducted were with everyday Catholics. From school children to nurses, economists to ecologists, academics and housewives—the series stands as a representation of who we are: the Church as the People of God, as Vatican II’s dogmatic constitution Lumen Gentium put it. Finding these people was a challenge. The 888-page Catholic Directory is filled with all those closely associated with the Church, but I also wanted to give a voice to those who are unknown but still very
The Southern Cross, September 12 to September 18, 2012
A Church of Hope and Joy
much a part of the Church. Once found, these people were quick to share their stories. They could have been stories of disease, economic downturn, tumultuous governing, unemployment and general social issues that remind us the world is not a happy place. But their stories, while at times nit cheerful, each had a positive side. From the interviews I conducted, it was clear that the Church and her projects are abundant with hope and joy. The very objective of Vatican II, a concept I had mistakenly regarded as complicated, was present in countless ways all across the country. This discovery was quite awesome and a reason to be proud of the faith we follow. The Hope&Joy series ended up reaffirming my confidence, enthusiasm and respect for the Church. Even more inspiring is the fact that the examples that were covered represented a mere fraction of what is actually happening on the ground in South Africa today. The series could easily continue indefinitely—and in The Southern Cross’s regular coverage of the Church, in many ways it will. Sure, the Church is not perfect. We’re reminded of it all too often. But if you occasionally cast aside the negativity that overshadows what is happening every day in the Church, you realise that this is a Church that changes lives. And 50 years ago when Vatican II took place, the world witnessed the start of a revolution. It was a revolution of change and of hope and of joy—one that I have had the pleasure of learning and writing about over the past year.
Unravelling the mystery of crime and corruption Emmanuel Ngara
HERE is no other species on earth that has the capacity that humans have to develop themselves and transform their environment. Just imagine what this world would be like if humans did not have the intelligence and skill to transform their environment: there would be no roads, no skyscrapers, no street lights at night and no decent clothes to wear. Of all the species that inhabit Mother Earth, only humans can transform their environment, build nations and develop civilisations. This is because humans alone in our world are made in the image of an all-powerful and highly intelligent God, and because of this, humans continue to develop while other species remain at practically the same level of development as the Creator made them. The development of the human race has been a preoccupation of the human mind since time immemorial. When the Romans conquered much of Europe and the Mediterranean regions of Africa, for example, they considered themselves to be bringing civilisation, peace and decent living to the peoples they conquered. Similarly, when European powers acquired colonies in Africa, the Americas, Asia and Australasia, they believed they were harbingers of civilisation and progress in all these regions of the world. In many ways this was true: In Western Europe, the process of modernisation was accelerated by three 16th century movements: the Renaissance, the Reformation and the Scientific Revolution; and colonisation speeded up the same process of modernisation in Africa and elsewhere. Today the symbols of modernisation and development are visible everywhere. We no longer fear the beasts of the jun-
A protester during a March Against Corruption in Brasilia, Brazil. (Photo/Ueslei Marcelino, Reuters/CNS) gle because we have subdued the earth, tamed wild animals in zoos, and erected beautiful modern houses for our comfort and safety; everywhere we go in our cities we see skyscrapers that pierce the skies; the fear of disease has been greatly reduced by advances in medicine; journeys that in the past took months or years now take a matter of hours as science and technology have empowered us to traverse oceans and continents by air; Internet communication has done away with the limitations of space and distance so much so that people living as far away as China can see in an instant what is happening in America. Indeed our minds have been so developed it is amazing what we know about humanity and the cosmos. So clever have we become that some of us even scoff at the idea that we are made in the image of God, arguing that there is no being that is superior to humans— meaning that there is no God! However, there is a tragic side to human development. True, we have overcome the fear of wild animals and of many diseases, but we have exacerbated the fear of a most unnatural and
unlikely enemy. Let me put it this way: most species are not afraid of their own kind, but for our kind it is true to say that the worst enemy of human beings is fellow humans; and it is also true to say that there is a sense in which the more “developed” human beings are, the more they are a threat to one another. Consider the following: Millions of people die in wars. Any modern woman who does not want a baby can get rid of her pregnancy and kill the foetus. No doubt rape did take place in traditional societies, but the extent to which women are violated in our modern democracies is so alarming that no woman, no matter how old, can guarantee her own safety in her own home! We can spend years and years fighting heroic wars of liberation, but wake up the following day to find that the heroes of our liberation struggle are the worst enemies of our freedom. Yes, oppression, murder, theft, corruption and crime have become our daily bread in our “civilised” societies. The question then is: why is it that human development is not balanced? Why do we enjoy the symbols of modernity and development, but find that developed human beings are not any better, and are in many ways even worse, than our primitive forebears? This article is the first in a series that seeks to unravel the puzzle, and to find answers to the problematic of unbalanced human development.
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Anglican Communion Please give an answer to whether we may receive Holy Communion at an Anglican eucharistic service. G Delange
ING Henry VIII, the effective founder of the Church of England from which Anglicanism derives, in the 16th century rejected the authority of the Catholic Church including the pope, and made himself the head of his own church. He ensured that this new church would be essentially Protestant. The Mass was suppressed together with some other sacraments and practices but the role of bishops and priests was retained. Shortly afterwards, Pope Paul IV declared that the bishops of this new church intended to ordain its clergy in the Protestant rather than the Catholic sense, with the result that their ordinations were invalid. In other words, men ordained as bishops and priests according to Henry’s Protestant ordinals remained unordained and were not priests in the traditional sense. This declaration was reaffirmed in 1896 by Pope Leo XIII in his letter Apostolicae Curae. Consequently, as they evolved with British imperialism and expansionism around the globe, Anglican church structures were planted far and wide. Both extreme Protestant fundamentalism and High Church Catholicism found their place among them, and much of the characteristic beauty of worship and song in the Anglican liturgy has drawn many to appreciate Anglicanism’s positive role in evangelisation. Anglicanism has produced some great and holy Christians, and Catholics have not failed to recognise and appreciate this. In recent years, Anglicans and Catholics have met at the highest levels to find common ground towards mutual acceptance of their ministries but progress is sporadic. Anglicans permit Christians of other denominations to receive their Eucharist, usually on the grounds of encouraging ecumenical unity. However, the Catholic Church does not accept that celebrating and sharing the Eucharist is an ecumenical exercise. It is a liturgical action in which the faithful who share the same faith, hierarchical authority, sacramental system and solidarity of the People of God, express their communion with Christ and with one another. So, even if you attend an Anglican service in which the participants all believe that Christ is really present in the Eucharist, the Catholic Church’s discipline prevents you from accepting a sacrament that is invalid, dubiously valid or even certainly valid, while it is celebrated outside the organic unity of the Catholic Church.
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The Southern Cross, September 12 to September 18, 2012
Parishioners of St Joseph’s church in Ebuhleni, KwaZuluNatal, with Fr Solomon Sekabata Mphela 0FM.
St Peter’s parish, Montebello in rural KwaZulu-Natal, thanked the Dominican Sisters, who grew up in the parish, and presented them with gifts on the occasion of the opening of their Marian grotto. With the Sisters are Fr Nkosingiphile Sithole, parish priest, and Bishop Barry Wood, auxiliary of Durban.
Kriste Lesedi La Ditjhaba parish in Bloemfontein, Free State, celebrated Corpus Christi with a procession to the church.
A group of former residents of St Mary’s Children’s Home in George held a reunion with the Pallottine Sisters at St Joseph’s Home, Cape Town.
Mass was celebrated at St Henry’s Marist College by Bishop Barry Wood auxiliary of Durban. to commemorate the feast day of St Marcellin Champagnat, founder of the Marist Brothers. Bishop Wood also celebrated his 70th birthday and the 50th anniversary of his final profession as an Oblate. He is pictured with a framed cross made by St Henry’s pupil Alaric Theophilus.
A Justice and Peace regional conference took place at Mariannhill Retreat House. Diocesan representatives came from Mariannhill, Durban, Umzimkulu, Kokstad, Dundee, Ingwavuma and Eshowe. The parish of the Blessed Sacrament and Star Of The Sea in Virginia, Durban, celebrated their parish feast day with a tridiium of events. Pictured are Fr Neil Frank OMI and his family from Pietermaritzburg.
The children of Piet Retief Holy Cross parish in Dundee, made their First Holy Communion in June.
Youth from Christ the King parish in Worcester, Oudtshoorn diocese, were confirmed by Archbishop Stephen Brislin of Cape Town. (Back from left) Vaughan Royce Kildaire, Fr Emil Blaser OP, Archbishop Stephen Brislin, Fr Enrico Parry, Sherwin Jeftha. (Front from left) Guido Fransman, Terry-Lee Williams, Sarah Pasierbek, Ivanca Noble, Terri-Ann de Jager, Yolande Clothier, catechist Gisele Velloza Kildaire.
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The Catholic Women's League of Durban celebrated its diamond jubilee. (Back from left) Pauline LeClezio, Pauline Lotter, Eileen Chapson, Ellen Mokoena and Alisande Bradshaw. (Front) Nancy Chapson, Lizzie Govender, Anna Accolla and Margaret Larkins.
The youth of St Anne’s mission in Mpophomeni, Hilton, KwaZulu-Natal, participated in the Indoni School culture camp. They are pictured with their certificates of performance. (Back row centre) Fr Jude Fernando TOR, Deacon Seraficus Nzimande TOR and Mr Beyelo.
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New members were professed into the secular Franciscan order, St Mary of the Angels Fraternity in Athlone, Cape Town. (From right) Brenda Kloosman, Vanessa Choonoo, Sylvia Mack and (front) Glynis Josephs.
Parents, pupils, staff and friends of St Dominic’s Priory, Port Elizabeth, held their successful annual Priory fair.
The Southern Cross, September 12 to September 18, 2012
SA monk helps found new order An East Londoner has been part of the establishment of the Congregation of the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer on the island of Papa Stronsay, as MARY LEVESON reports.
N August 15, for the first time in several centuries, a new order of monks was founded in Scotland. The order is called the Congregation of the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer and was established according to canon law by the bishop of Aberdeen. In 1972 a little boy was adopted by an East London couple and named Ryan Scott Whyte, and on August 15 this same boy—now Br Nicodemus Mary—was privileged to be part of this monastic foundation. Br Nicodemus grew up in the very sheltered environment of the Eastern Cape of the 70s and 80s. “If you had told me when I was ten that when I was 40 I would be living on a monastic island in the North Sea, I think I would have been shocked,” he said. But he believes God plants incomprehensible seeds in the heart of every human creature, seeds that later become clear, and he hopes his little life has a message for other souls who find themselves in a quandary about what is really going on inside them. Br Nicodemus received many seeds, very personal ones. “Of course from my parents, I received their love and an esteem for virtue and uprighteousness even though I surely failed in this respect many a time,” he said. “I remember seeking consolation from my father after reading something scary about the devil or some such evil—hoping he would tell me not to worry, there was no danger. On the contrary, he told me I was quite right to be afraid and I should never tamper with such things, and keep well away from the devil, his pomp and works.’’
As a Selbornian he particularly remembers two of his teachers planting those seeds. Both Mr Brummer—“a fine educator who knew how to instil the best instincts in his pupils in a way that was never patronising or pejorative’’—and Mrs Edie—“who treated the boys with a respect and regard that were uncommon”— were little people in the system, he says, but in his mind nearly 30 years later stand high. Br Nicodemus also received a love of the Slavonic world from members of East London’s Polish community—Sofia Grobicka, Olenka De Sas Kropownicka, Andrzei and Krystyna Kowalski— through stories of the Warsaw uprising, of the war, of sufferings, the camps, of “the simple tragedy and beauty of growing up in Poland”. “One of the most exciting moments of my life was crossing the bridge from Warsaw to Praga and remembering all that Krystyna had told me of how much that bridge had meant to her,” he said. A love of the Catholic faith was also sown in him by priests, parishioners and nuns. They included “excellent priests who had given their lives, their homelands and their all to serve us in East London, Fr Seamus Sheeran and Fr Thomas Larkin in particular, and the fine parishoners of my parish church, Flora (Virginia) Mnykiso, Lorraine Dennison and Chick Abdo”. He singled out the Dominican nuns, especially Sr Rosalie VernonJones, whom he recalled as a woman of great breadth and culture. “Every morning after Mass at Mater Dei I would wait for her and always received a word of encouragement, a prayer or something to uplift me for the day. She could so easily have told me she was busy, and she was, but no. Our town never knew the jewels we possessed in our Dominican nuns.” Not least, those seeds were sown in Br Nicodemus by the once-thriving Jewish community, the Belikoffs, Tepers, Kahns, Karps, Aufrichtigs.
Br Nicodemus Mary, standing, with the Congregation’s two priests. “I never understood that there was such a thing as anti-Semitism until I was about 15. Having now visited the devastated homes and synagogues in Ukraine, I thank God that I grew up with many Jewish friends, the intellectual pillars of our schools, people who had get-up-and-go, for whom I have the greatest respect.”
he seeds God had planted in his soul grew. “Why was it that this boy just didn’t feel comfortable, just always sought something further, something he instinctively knew was there in the Catholic faith. It was the call of the monastic life and the call of holy tradition.’’ In 1987 he moved to Johannesburg. “There I met for the first time with really modern liturgy which I had never seen before and there I met the Society of St Pius X,” he said. “This would involve the next 21 years of my life and in 1990 I entered a monastery founded in 1988 with the blessing of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre”, who was excommunicated in 1988 by Pope John Paul II for illicitly ordaining bishops. With hindsight, Br Nicodemus
says, he believes the archbishop should have done what he did within the Church. “I regret that I hurt the Church with disunion,” he said, “but I also rejoice that the great Pope Benedict XVI in 2007 decreed that the old Latin Mass had never been abrogated, that every priest could still say it, that every Catholic could still request it and that their requests must be granted.” In 2008 his Congregation was reconciled with the Church. “The Holy See granted us permission to live the old rule of the Redemptorists which we had professed, to retain our old Mass and all the monastic observances in a new religious order called the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer.” Now, last month, it was decreed that the community be established as a religious institute of diocesan right, and its monastery has been built on the ruins of the most northerly early Christian monastery ever discovered by archaeologists, on the Orkney Island of Papa Stronsay. “I once heard the expression ‘Tradition is like a stone lying in the road, it is only waiting for us to pick it up and make it live,’ ” Br
Nicodemus said. “Our island is a symbol of what I have been so enormously privileged to take part in in the life of the Church, to rebuild the ancient ruins, to work in a humble way for the restoration of the traditional Mass and the traditional monastic life.” On August 22 he had the joy of renewing his vows, now in a public and formal way within the Church, united truly to the chain of monks coming down to us from St Antony in the desert. Br Nicodemus hopes that other young people will take courage from his story. He says God calls us; he wishes to surpass our desires...but we have to cooperate and that’s so often the downfall. “Before I entered the monastery I underwent a great struggle,” he said. “There seemed to me two roads before me. The one I wished to walk with the soul I loved dearly whom I had met in Johannesburg and whom to this day I believe would have made a perfect wife, the other the monastic, the life of the monk coming from Greek monachos, the one, the alone. “I ended up providentially in Queenstown sitting in my aunt’s antique shop. I saw going past the window an old nun whom I knew from Cathcart, Sr Agnesina, a holy woman, a living saint. She spoke very slowly in her beautiful German lilt and invited me to come to Cathcart for a few days. “There I went to pray with her before the shrine of Our Lady Thrice Admirable. There she began to pray aloud and in that moment I knew what I must do.” Now, Br Nicodemus says, he has reached a milestone, but is excited about the long road ahead. He asks pardon for his youthful faults from all who may have a vague memory of him. “Please pray for me,” he said. “I pray for you, and most of all if you are that unknown soul at a crossroads...pray, ask and you shall receive...and you will do so infallibly.”
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The Southern Cross, September 12 to September 18, 2012
More tips for raising Catholic kids saint of good parking spots” when she is in a hurry: “Mother Cabrini, Mother Cabrini, please find a spot for my little machiney.” Margaret, a teacher and mother of two pre-schoolers, suggests using visuals and other tangible props to help children pray. She created a small photo album for her children, and many nights they open the album and pray for whichever friend or family member they chance upon. Of course, nothing is more powerful than a parent’s example. Patrick told me his father passed away a few years ago, but his eyes shone as he recalled his father’s example decades earlier. On weekend mornings, his father would get up very early and sit in a certain chair in the living room and just be quiet. He was having his “meditation” he told his young son. Patrick asked his father if he could sit beside him if he was very still. His father agreed, and Patrick sat beside him many mornings. Patrick now meditates daily. He credits his father’s example for his adult practice, and he says he sometimes senses his father’s presence when he meditates, which is especially comforting during tough times. Do any of these ideas sound interesting to you? If so, try introducing one of them to your children or grandchildren. Also, consider asking another parent to share his or her prayer ideas with you.
There are creative ways of bringing up children with faith. In the second of her two articles, ALICIA VON STAMWITZ shares four more great parenting tips.
AST week we looked at how parents can transmit values by living these themselves, how family rituals are important, and how we must use our talents and be creative when communicating with children. Here are four more tips.
4. Pray always and everywhere
A grandma—I’ll call her Grace— told me the most important thing she thought she did for her children, and now does for her grandchildren, is to model “everyday” prayers. She handed me a slightly stained piece of paper with a quote by G K Chesterton, the British apologist and spiritual writer: “You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.” Grace told me she prays with the grandchildren whenever an ambulance passes, both for whoever is sick or hurt and for the police and medics rushing to help. She traces a tiny sign of the cross in the air and says a blessing whenever she sees something disturbing on television or out in public, and she has taught the children to do the same. Grace has a particular devotion to the saints, and prays aloud to St Anthony when she’s lost her glasses, to St Jude when she’s anxious about something, and even “the
5. Tell and show
Words and prayers are important, but so is how we live and who we love and serve. A Chinese proverb says it best: I hear—I forget. I see—I remember. I do—I understand. If you take hikes together as a family and recycle at home, your children will learn to respect and protect the environment. If you have friends of different backgrounds and ethnicities, your children will naturally be at ease
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7. Never stop talking – and listening
Pray with your kids, talk with them, set them a good example—and show your imperfections. These are some of the words of advice offered by author Alicia von Stamwitz. among diverse populations. If you want your children to value community, you will take time to cultivate your own social relationships and help your children find strong peer groups of their own. Finally, if you want to teach your children to be compassionate and giving, there’s no better way to teach this than by serving others yourself and inviting the children to come along when appropriate. Young children can accompany parents on visits to a nursing home; older children can help serve clients at a soup kitchen. Research your local charitable agencies and call ahead to find out how and when children can help.
6. Be imperfect
As children mature, we need to let them see us struggling, even making mistakes. They need to see how we handle the curve balls life throws at us: sometimes gracefully, sometimes not. When our children were
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young, my husband and I fought a lot. Brief summer storms, mostly. They cleared the air and passed as quickly as they’d blown in. Our children’ ears would perk up if they were nearby; at one point we agreed that we didn’t always need to stuff it when they were around. Those enormous ears in the next room forced us to fight fair and taught them about relationships and reconciliation. People get mad. People screw up. That’s why we have forgiveness. Soon, your children will be off on their own. Those moments when you let them see you with your hair down or your guard down will serve them just as well—perhaps better—than those moments when you tried to model perfection. Your life is God’s blackboard: every single thing that happens can be used by God and by you to help your children learn and grow “in wisdom and in stature and in favour with God”.
Keep the conversation going, even when your children disappoint you (and they will, just as we will disappoint them); even when they embarrass you, even when they rebel against you and hurt you. You must never, ever, close them out. It will be painful some days. You will lose your words when anger or frustration gets the best of you. Maybe sometimes things will get so scary you’ll both agree you need a little time apart to cool down. That’s okay. But later, as soon as you can, get back in there. Remember, too, that your children can teach you a thing or two, especially as they mature. Don’t be afraid to ask them for advice and to bounce ideas off them. When you disagree about something, try to ask questions that help you understand their views. Years ago, I read a line in a Catholic magazine that stuck: “The further someone may be from us, the more closely we need to listen.” Finally, don’t knock technology. Sometimes, to keep the conversation going with your children and grandchildren, you have to accept change and maybe even learn new ways of communicating. For example, my mother-inlaw, Jean, is 80 years old and she just this week sent her first text message to my daughter. My daughter was floored. She texted her grandma right back. I wrote to Jean and asked her about it. She didn’t exactly rave about the experience (“I text slowly” was her droll reply), but obviously she thinks it’s worth doing to keep up with the grandchildren. It’s just like St Francis of Assisi said: “Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, text.” n This is the second and final part of Alicia von Stamwitz’s tips for raising Christian children. The first part ran last week. To order back-issues, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Southern Cross, September 12 to September 18, 2012
Word of the Week CHRISM: (Greek, chrisma, “anointing”), the oil of olives mixed with perfume. Chrism is used in the post-baptismal anointing, in confirmation, in priestly and episcopal ordinations and during the dedication of churches and altars. Treated with reverence by the Church, chrism is often reserved in a special place in the church sanctuary with the Oil of the Sick and the Oil of Catechumens. The strengthening effect and fragrance of the oil reflect the presence of the Holy Spirit. Chrism has also been associated with the coronation of kings. Its symbolism is both royal and priestly. Traditionally it was made from the oil of the olive, but since the 1990s vegetable, seed or coconut oil may be used. PRESBYTER: An “elder” or priest, a member of the order of priesthood; the presbyterate is one of the three degrees of the Sacrament of Holy Orders (CCC 1536, 1554). Presbyters or priests are co-workers with their bishops and form a unique sacerdotal college or “presbyterium” dedicated to assist their bishops in priestly service to the People of God (1567). Through the ministry of priests, the unique sacrifice of Christ on the cross is made present in the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Church (CCC 1554, 1562)
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abortion clinic in Bree Street. For further information contact Colette Thomas on 083 412 4836 or 021 593 9875 or Br Daniel Manuel on 083 544 3375 NELSPRUIT: Adoration of the blessed sacrament at St Peter’s parish. Every Tuesday from 8am to 4:45pm followed by Rosary Divine Mercy prayers, then a Mass/Communion service at 5:30pm.
Cry the changes
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
HEN I was a boy, catechism taught us that one of the marks of Catholic unity was Latin. Wherever one went, Mass was in that universal language. Now some priests go into decline if they hear the word ‘declension’! There have been several versions of the Mass in English since Vatican II. One priest I know of dropped the word ‘men’ from the Creed because he thought it was sexist. The Inquisition would have given him a warm reception. So it appears that several Moses’ have come down from the mountain and smashed the tablets and woe to any who alter them. However, music written for the other texts must now be discarded and all we are left with is a full version of medieval plainsong. By contrast, we still use the beautiful language of the King James Bible for the Our Father. Peter Onesta, Johannesburg
Liturgical Calendar Year B Weekdays Year 2
Sunday, September 16, 23rd Sunday Isaiah 50:5-9, Psalm 116: 1-6,8-9, James 2:14-18, Mark 8:27-35 Monday, September 17, St Robert Bellarmine 1 Corinthians 11:17-26,33, Psalm 40: 7-10, Luke 7:1-10 Tuesday, September 18, feria 1 Corinthians 12:12-14,27-31, Psalm 100, Luke 7:11-17 Wednesday, September 19, St Januarius 1 Corinthians 12:31-13,13, Psalm 33: 2-5,12,22 Luke 7:31-35 Thursday, September 20, St Andrew Kim Taegon & Comps 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, Psalm 118: 1-2, 16-17. 28, Luke 7:3650 Friday, September 21, St Matthew Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-13, Psalm 19: 2-5, Matthew 9:9-13 Saturday, September 22, St Maurice 1 Corinthians 15:35-37, 42-49, Psalm 56: 10-14, Luke 8:4-15 Sunday, September 23, 24th Sunday Wisdom 2:12, 17-20, Psalm 54: 3-6,8, James 3:164,3, Mark 9:30-37
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RENSBURG—Valerie. HAPPY 80th Birthday Val! Wishing God’s abundant grace and blessings on you always. With much love, appreciation and gratitude, your sisters Bridget, Heather and their families.
KANE—John. Beloved husband of Pauline and dearest father, grandfather and great-grandfather, passed away peacefully on September 3. We will miss you, Mary, Athol, Bridget, Brent and Mackenzie. Bryan and Francesca, Patrick, Janette, Warren and Alison. Sister Charbel (Veronica) and Peter.
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SAINT THERESA, the Little Flower of Jesus, please pick a rose from the heavenly garden and send it to me with a message of love. I beseech you to obtain for me the favours that I seek. (mention here your request) Recommended my request to Mary, Queen of heaven, so that she may intercede for me with you before her Son, Jesus Christ. If this favour is granted I will love you more and more and be better prepared to spend eternal happiness with you in heaven. Saint Theresa of the Little Flower pray for me. Feast Day, October 1st. JC.
FORSHAW—Geoffrey, b. 20/08/1912. Education Stonyhurst College, UK. Principal bellringer of CT Latinists and devotees of Immemorial Mass. Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus Dominus Deus Saboath. Pleni sunt Caeli et terra gloria tua. Hosanna in excelsis. Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini. Hosanna in excelsis. LETORD—In loving memory of Edna Madeline who passed away ten years ago on September 19, 2002. Will always be remembered and loved by her family Helen, Stephen, Matthew, Thérèse and Kieran, Janet, Dean, Michael and Kyle, Anne, Basil, Sarah, Warren and Jessica and her sister Joan Swanson. May her dear soul rest in peace.
ALL GLORY to the Lord and grateful thanks to Our Lady, St Jude, St Anthony, Padre Pio and intercession through the Holy Spirit for prayers answered. Hendricks family.
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25th Sunday: September 23 Readings: Wisdom 2:12, 17-20, Psalm 54:3-6, 8, James 3:16-4:3, Mark 9:30-37
T will not win you many friends, it seems, following the Lord along the path to which he calls us. That is the message from next Sunday’s readings. In the first reading , written for devout Greek-speaking Jews living in Egypt at some time around the birth of Jesus, we hear the permissive society reacting to God’s invitation, and listen to them threatening to “ambush the just person, because he is ill-disposed to us and opposes what we do and reproaches us for our sins against the Law” (so the opponents are clearly fellow-Jews); and then we hear them planning their tactics against the just person: “Let’s put him to the test with insults and torture, to grasp this ‘decency’ of his...let’s condemn him to a disgraceful death, because on his account [God] will visit him”. That kind of rage is visited on those who stand up for God, in all cultures, and all through history. Just remember the fate of some of those who fought for justice in this country of ours, and recognise that they shared in what happened to Jesus. In the p salm for next Sunday, we are allowed to overhear the poet invoking God to protect him against precisely that sort
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Following the Lord’s chosen path
Nicholas King SJ
of arrogance: “God, save me by your name, and by your strength vindicate me, for strangers have risen against me.” The real problem with his opponents is that “they do not place God before them”. But he is not going to lose his faith: “Look! God is my helper, the Lord supports my life” he prays, and then gets a glimpse of the Lord’s deliverance: “I shall praise your name, O Lord, for it is good.” What more do you need to keep going along the path? The second reading is likewise aware of the dangers of trouble coming from within the believing community, “where there is jealousy and strife, there is disorder and every kind of evil thing” (an observation that has been scarcely heeded by Chris-
tians down the ages, it must be said); what James offers, by contrast is “the wisdom that comes from above”, which he describes as “chaste...peaceful...forbearing...malleable”, and contrasts with “wars and battles among you”, which come “from the pleasures that do battle in your limbs”. We might reflect on this reading in the coming week. The g ospel for next Sunday is the second of Jesus’ predictions of his passion in Mark’s gospel; we are now in that part of the gospel where Jesus is giving private instruction to his disciples, too uncomfortable for the crowds to cope with (and clearly not immediately attractive to his disciples!). “For he was teaching his disciples and was telling them that the Son of Man is being handed over into the power of human beings; and they will kill him, and when he has been killed, after three days he will be raised up.” How do these privileged disciples react to this revelation? With acute discomfort, it seems: “They did not know the thing, and [like schoolboys down the ages] they were afraid to ask him.”
The laws: What would Jesus do? S EVERAL years ago, I was at a church meeting where we were discussing liturgical rubrics. There was heated discussion over a number of issues: Should the congregation be standing or kneeling during the Eucharistic prayer? What is the most reverent way to receive Communion? Should laypersons be allowed to cleanse the chalice and cups after Communion? At one point, a woman made a rather pious interjection, inviting us to ask ourselves: “What would Jesus do?” The man chairing the meeting, already drained of patience by the disagreements in the room, responded in irritation: “Jesus has nothing to do with this! We’re talking about liturgical norms!” The words were barely out his mouth when, to his credit, he realised that somehow that didn’t sound right. We all realised it too, and have reminded this good man many times of his faux pas; but, in honesty, his remark voiced the feeling of 95% of the room. Allow me a second story to illustrate the same point. I am part of a theological faculty that is helping over one hundred young men prepare for ordination and is helping several hundred laypersons deepen their spiritual lives and prepare to serve in various forms of ministry. Who could ask for a higher task? But the sacredness of the task is not always front and centre. A couple of years ago, we came to an executive meeting and the two salient items on the agenda were “cups and cats”. Our school, not with complete unanimity, was phasing
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Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
out all disposable cups. As well, we were debating as to whether to open up our campus as a certain sanctuary for feral cats. As he introduced the agenda, our dean of theology asked the question: “How did we get to this? We’re a theological institute preparing people for ministry—and the big-ticket items on our agenda are ‘cups and cats’?” What these two stories have to teach us is that we struggle, still, with the same issues that beset the scribes and Pharisees in Jesus’ time. And I say this sympathetically. We’re human and invariably we lose perspective, just as the scribes and Pharisees did. Jesus regularly chided them for, as he put it, “abandoning the commandment of God and holding to human traditions” and consequently getting overly-focused on rituals to do with “the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles”. We generally stand under this same indictment. We too tend to lose the centre for the periphery. What is the centre? The great commandment of God, that Jesus chides the scribes and Pharisees for losing sight of, is the invitation to love God above all else
and to love your neighbour as yourself. That is the one, great, central law. But in order to live that out practically, we need many ancillary laws, about everything from liturgical rubrics to cups and cats. And these laws are good, providing that they never stand alone, autonomous, not bending to the one great commandment to love God and neighbour. In both society and in our churches, we have made many laws: civil laws, criminal laws, church laws, canon laws, liturgical laws, and all kinds of laws and guidelines inside our families and within the venues where we work. It is naïve to believe, idealistically, that we can live without laws. St Augustine once proposed that we could live without laws: “Love and do as you wish!” But, love, as he defined it in this context, meant the highest level of altruistic love. In other words, if you are already a saint you don’t need laws. Sadly, our world, our churches, and we ourselves, don’t measure up to that criterion. We still need laws. But our laws, all of them, and at every level, are not meant to stand alone, to have their own autonomy. They must bend towards and give acquiescence to a centre, and that centre is the one great law that relativises all others: Love God above all else and love your neighbour as yourself. There is a principle central in all moral theology that in part encapsulates this, the principle of Epikeia (from the Greek epieikes, meaning reasonable). Laws are meant to be reasonable and are meant to be obeyed in a way that doesn’t violate rationality and common sense. Epikeia is what St Paul had in mind when he taught that the letter of the law kills while the spirit of the law brings life. In essence, what Epikeia asks of us is that, as we apply a given law in any circumstance of our lives, we ask ourselves the question: “If the law-maker were here, given the intent of this law, what would he or she want me to do in this situation?” That would bend the law to its centre, to its sacred intent, to its spirit, and ensure that all our disagreements about pots, bronze kettles, liturgical rubrics, cups and cats would remain loyal to the question: “What would Jesus do?”
So, as they walked to Capernaum, Jesus’ headquarters for the mission, they had evidently changed the subject to something that was a bit more their cup of tea: “Who’s the Top Dog among us, then?” Jesus asks them what they had been talking about, and their embarrassed silence makes it clear that they knew they had got things badly wrong. So he summons a meeting of the Twelve, who are, after all, supposed to be the most clued-up, and tries to present the message in a different way. If Jesus is on his way to certain death, then it is no good Jesus’ followers plotting to be Mr Big. So he gives them the message about discipleship: “If someone wants to be Number One, they must be last of all and the servant of all.” Then he uses a little child as a visual aid, taking it in his arms, and saying: “Anyone who welcomes just one little child like this in my name is welcoming me. And anyone who welcomes me is not welcoming me but the One who sent me.” There are grave matters here, and we need to reflect uncomfortably on them this week.
Southern Crossword #515 1
13 14 16
1. Monk’s hood (4) 3. Gift taken up to the altar (8) 7. Mythological complex king? (7) 8. Their singing voices are highly regarded in choir (5) 10. I counter Dan for being a prosecutor (11) 11. An apt name for a hatched chick (6) 13. An angel opened its gates (Ac 5) (6) 15. One of the Twelve (Mt 10) (11) 17. State flavour (5) 18. One who's tolerant in the ward (7) 19. Lamp soon displays public ridicule (8) 20. Ruse about the employer (4)
1. Could this have obscured sight of Jesus ascending? (5,2,4) 2. Scandinavian god of agriculture (5) 4. It’s the remains of prehistoric organism (6) 5. How you take it alternately (2,5) 6. Exhausted physical energy and now useless? (5,5) 8. It drapes the place of the eucharistic sacrifice (5,5) 9. Is it used for only seasonal baptism? (6,5) 12. Get if off your chest on moon bus (7) 14. Composer has a meat cut in (6) 16. Encounters (5)
Solutions on page 11
COLLECTOR of rare books ran into an acquaintance who told him he had just thrown away an old bible that he found in a dusty old box. He happened to mention that Guten-somebody-or-other had printed it. “Not Gutenberg?” gasped the collector. “Yes, that was it!” “You idiot! You’ve thrown away one of the first books ever printed. A copy recently sold at auction for half a million dollars!” “Oh, I don’t think this book would have been worth anything close to that much,” replied the man. “It was scribbled all over in the margins by some guy named Martin Luther.” Send us your favourite Catholic joke, preferably clean and brief, to The Southern Cross, Church Chuckle, PO Box 2372, Cape Town, 8000.