October 10 to October 16, 2012
Is there a ‘Catholic vote’ in US elections?
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Rosary ‘key to evangelisation’
Introducing some Vatican II key players
‘Friendship’ key to Year of Faith BY CLAIRE MATHIESON
done by friends. It is as friends that we praise the Lord.” Bishop Wüstenberg called on priests, parish pastoral councils and parish finance committees to ensure the spirit of friendship is passed on through our churches and through the generations. “I call on all our Small Christian Communities, the sodalities and our families to become schools of faith. Each of us needs to do something special this year of faith to strengthen our faith. Make this year of faith an opportunity to becoming more and more the image of Christ,” he said.
SOUTH AFRICAN bishop has echoed the words of Pope Benedict and called for Catholics to renew their faith as the Year of Faith begins worldwide. “Indeed we need a renewal of faith,” Bishop Michael Wüstenberg of Aliwal North said in a pastoral letter on the year of Faith. “This is not about learning books and formulas. Faith is much more: faith is powerful; faith transforms; faith is the important mystery that leads us to life. It is the driving force that makes us keep our relationship with God alive. It is that which gives us conviction that Christ lives in us and we in him,” he wrote. “Faith is about a living relationship with God that changes our life to the best of our potential.” The most simple and most effective thing one can do to learn about faith, said the bishop, is extending the friendship that Jesus called us to. “You are meant to make friends” as Jesus did, Bishop Wüstenberg said. “Friendship is our very first catechism, our school of faith. So trust and simply follow Jesus: Make yourself a friend of others in particular of the poor, the aged, the disabled and the disadvantaged, of those who ‘don’t deserve it’. They need an experience of new life, of dignity, respect, of hope and love. They need an experience of resurrection. This is a faith one can really experience,” said Bishop Wüstenberg, adding that the act will be seen by others as an act of love. Friendship is an act we all know, from the greatest of Christians to those who are unsure of their faith, the bishop said. The saints were able to bring change because God needed them—just as he needs every one of us, the faithful Church-goers and the resting Catholics, said the bishop. “Some may think that they don’t know enough” to communicate the faith, he said. “But it is very easy, very practical. It is about doing something we all already
Bishop Michael Wüstenberg of Aliwal North celebrated the international solidarity of the "Holy Childhood" with children of Teresa mission. Aware of the help they receive from children somewhere else in the world they handed over the envelopes with their contribution to support other children. In a pastoral letter to his diocese on the Year of Faith, Bishop Wüstenberg said that the key to communicating the Gospel in the Year of Faith is through friendship.
ife is not about how many rosaries were prayed or how well one sang on Sundays. “[God] will ask about our friendship and love,” Bishop Wüstenberg said. “True Christians make friends with poor people not because they are good and will reward you. The poor can be as bad as many other people. But our love for them is purest: No hidden agenda, nothing to expect in return. We don’t just preach about love, we don’t write and read about
love, but we live and reveal love.” The bishop said exercising one’s faith in its purest form, friendship, can be an “extraordinary experience” as we can become friends even with people whom we do not like or despise. “Just pause for a moment and think what could have gone differently in Marikana if all parties would have tried to befriend one another: the managers the workers, the miners the police, the trade unions and others. Just to sing, ‘Alleluia, praise the Lord’, is not enough if it is not
er and they were against it,” he said. “It’s to do with having the freedom to be outside the political system.” Asked if the pope had personally blocked him from becoming a Lord, the cardinal answered: “Yeah, more or less.” The British constitution allows Anglican bishops to sit as “lords spiritual” or “spiritual peer” in the House of Lords in a practice that pre-dates the Reformation. It would be normal for the archbishop of Canterbury to join the House of Lords on retirement as leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor said he was tempted to become a spiritual peer, in which he would have been given the title “Lord”, after his 2009 retirement from Westminster because he saw the need for Christians to be active in public life.
A stamp issued by the Vatican commemorates the 100th anniversary of the October 17, 1912, birth of Pope John Paul I, who served only 34 days as pontiff. Born Albino Luciani, he was the cardinal of Venice, Italy, when he was elected pope on August 26, 1978. He died on September 28 that year. He had taken the name John Paul in honour of his two predecessors, Popes John XXIII and Paul VI, but was often known as “The Smiling Pope”. Upon his election, Pope John Paul immediately introduced a new style of papacy, more simple and less formal than many at the Vatican were used to. He asked Catholics to “have mercy on the poor new pope who never really expected to rise to this post”. In one of his most quoted remarks, he said God “is a father, but even more, a mother” in the way he loves humanity. (Image courtesy of Vatican's stamp and coin office)
know: It is about making friends.”
Cardinal: Pope stopped me from joining House of Lords BY SIMON CALDWELL
OPE Benedict personally intervened to prevent a British cardinal from occupying political office when he retired from active ministry. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor (pictured), retired archbishop of Westminster, London, said the British government was considering appointing him as a member of the House of Lords after he reached 75, the retirement age for bishops and cardinals. However, Pope Benedict opposed the idea because he did not wish to set a precedent that might have been copied by bishops in South America and Africa who wished to join the governments of their countries, the cardinal said in an interview published by the London-based Sunday Telegraph. Under Church law, Canon 285 prohibits clerics from holding political office except by special dispensation from the priest’s bishop (Canon 287), “for the defence of the rights of the Church or to promote the common good”. “The idea was quite attractive,” Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, 80, told the newspaper. “I consulted the pope and his chief advis-
he bishop said friendship through Christ would transform us into people of faith, people of friendship, into people of hospitality, into people who love the poor whom Jesus loved so much. Bishop Wüstenberg said reading the Bible meditatively every day is a good way to discover God’s will, as well as reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church. On a national level the bishops have encouraged parishes to incorporate the Year of Faith theme into parish life. The same will be seen in national programmes, such as Education for Life. “The year of faith is a platform to bring to the people the highlights of the Second Vatican Council, especially the emphasis that was placed there on the role of the laity in the building of the Kingdom, that is, in the transformation of society, that is, bringing the values of Jesus into the political, social, cultural and economic domains of life,” said Fr Barney McAleer of the Department for Evangelisation at the bishops’ conference. “Diocesan pilgrimages or all night vigils in parishes or special centres; prayer cards, a study of the Catechism; the hymn of Faith of Benedict XVI; the introduction of Lectio Divina; retreats; and special programmes for catechists for deepening their faith and commitment are all part of the many themed activities that will take place around the country,” said Fr McAleer.
The Southern Cross, October 10 to October 16, 2012
Bishop Rowland laid to rest BY SYDNEY DUVAL
HE final journey of Bishop Paschal Rowland OFM began with an open-air requiem mass at Maria Ratschitz mission and ended when his coffin was carried in procession up an embankment and laid in the earth at the front of the old Trappist church, Our Lady of Sorrows, at the foot of Hlatikulu Mountain—both so beloved by him that he chose this as his final resting place, the place he had restored through the magnificent efforts of the Nardini Sisters. Part of the final journey had begun some weeks earlier when the retired bishop of Dundee was preparing for death, knowing that he would not see Christmas. In his homily, Archbishop William Slattery of Pretoria had described his confrere’s preparation as worthy of a Franciscan: “Like St Francis he welcomed Sister Death in the knowledge he would be meeting Christ.” A large gathering of bishops, priests, religious and laity attended the concelebrated Requiem Mass, with Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, archbishop of Durban and
also a Franciscan, the presiding celebrant. In a tribute, Bishop Graham Rose of Dundee recalled his predecessor as “a man of great love; a man who loved deeply and in turn evoked deep love”. Bishop Rose said he had received a number of letters from the bishops expressing great affection for Bishop Rowland. He had also received messages from Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, on behalf of Pope Benedict, and Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for Evangelisation. Bishop Rose also paid tribute to Bishop Rowland’s long-serving secretary Isabel Seady and to her family “who shared a deep friendship and love with him and who cared so well for him in his illness”. In his tribute Cardinal Napier said he first came to know Bishop Rowland when the three Franciscan groupings in South Africa began the process of toenadering, which instrumentally led to the formation of the South African Province of Our Lady Queen of Peace. He described Bishop Rowland
as one of the driving forces behind what turned out to be a very good example of how ecumenism can work beginning within the Catholic Church itself. “The deep fraternal bond between us was sealed a good number of years later when, out of the blue, he asked me to be the principal consecrator at his ordination as bishop in 1983,” Cardinal Napier recalled. “Fraternal love led him to do this even though at the time I was a ‘baby bishop’, having myself been ordained [bishop of Kokstad] a mere two years earlier. That action made us brothers in every sense of the word!” Archbishop Jabulani Nxumalo of Bloemfontein spoke on behalf of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference, of which he is a vice-president. “[Bishop Rowland] had a perpetually broad smile, was friendly and was ever a bundle of charity. He was indeed a pontifex, not because he had some qualification as a builder, but as a person who engaged himself in building bridges among people in his vast diocese and was involved in the struggle of forced removals from
Bishop Graham Rose of Dundee begins the final commendation at the requiem of his predecessor Bishop Michael Paschal Rowland. (Photo: Sydney Duval) the Maria Ratchitz area to Limehill in the late 1960s. “And he helped in the resettlement of those who returned in the 1990s. He indeed designed a lot of building plans in the development of the diocese.” The tributes began with Inkatha Freedom Party president Mangosuthu Buthelezi remembering the missionary and pastor who “served his way into our hearts—he was a servant of God whom we loved, who uplifted us when we needed it most”. He recalled how Bishop Rowland had been a source of solidarity during the worst days of apartheid. He had stood firm in
the midst of it all, during the forced removals, in living out his understanding of Christ’s mandate to meet the people at their point of need. There were also tributes from Mgr Gordon Reid, from the diocese of Brentwod, England, who praised the twinning programme Bishop Rowland established between Brentwood and Dundee; and John Rowland, who described the mischievous and adventurous brother he and his siblings had known in their youth as “Mad Mike”. Earlier during the Mass, Bishop Rowland’s sister, Carmel Ballard, had shared the Second Reading.
Charismatic Renewal celebrates 40 years BY CLAIRE MATHIESON
HE Family of God, based at St Charles parish, Victory Park, Johannesburg, celebrates its 40th anniversary on October 16. The Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement was started in 1972 when Val HalleyWright was overcome by the Holy Spirit while praying a novena, a similar experience to a group of students who attended a retreat at Duchesne University in Pittsburgh, Pensylvania in 1967. She investigated further, studying literature on the movement and decided to start a group in her home parish. She was encouraged by literature on charismatic renewal which started in the US in 1967. Since then the numbers of participants and followers has grown steadily with groups forming in various parishes across the country. The movement is for anyone interested in a closer relationship with Jesus. Many members join after attending a Life in the Spirit seminar. Family of God also conducts other seminars throughout the year including healing seminars. The 40th anniversary celebrations will start with a special Mass at St Charles at 18:30, celebrated by Archbishop Buti Tlhagale followed by a bring and share. n For more information contact Ron 083 782 2622.
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The Southern Cross, October 10 to October 16, 2012
90 years for CBC Mount Edmund CLAIRE MATHIESON
S Pretoria’s Christian Brothers’ College Mount Edmund turns 90, the school has committed itself to remain “real and relevant in the ever changing society where values are becoming replaceable and society is motivated more by entertainment than by true reality”, said school principal Peter Ross. The co-educational school was established in 1922 and today serves boys and girls from Grade RRR to Grade 12. “Although it has changed significantly during the past 90 years the value-based education offered by this college has transcended time,” said Mr Ross. Mr Ross said the school is committed to offering a lasting alternative to the impressionable youth of today. Over the past eight years the college has expanded to the needs of the learners. The original foundation phase section and the original main building both underwent a complete face-lift, and the old hostel facilities were transformed into modern classrooms and a state-of-the-art library. This was named St Gabriel’s after the original college in Hatfield. “A complete nursery school section was also added in 2009 named Little Mount and now a
As CBC Mount Edmund turns 90, the school strives to uphold values in its learners there. Urslee Norris (Grade 10) reads to a youngster at the Plastic-View daycare centre. child can truly walk through life with us from four years through to 18,” Mr Ross said. “In an effort to live Jesus in our hearts forever through the charism of Edmund Rice [the founder of the Christian Brothers], we strive to instil a sense of social responsibility in our learners,” said Mr Ross. Learners at the college are
very involved in the Holy Cross community in Shoshanguve, a township in the north of Pretoria. “Throughout the year and specifically during our annual theme week the college immerses itself in reaching out to those less fortunate than our own college community. This year some of our students translated children’s story books into mother tongue languages of the Plastic-View daycare centre and then spent the morning reading to them.” Learners also visited old age homes, the SPCA and various children’s homes. “The main focus of the college is to assist all pupils, irrespective of persuasion or denomination, to develop and strengthen their own unique, personal relationship with God. Through the cultivation of servant leadership we seek to educate our learners for justice in order to build the Kingdom of God,” Mr Ross said. He said the school strives to provide parents with the necessary skills to ensure that the values instilled at the college are also reenforced at home. “Through a deep sense of belonging we create and sustain a true family experience at the college.” n For further information visit www.cbcpretoria.co.za or follow the school on Twitter @CBCPretoria
100 years serving an international community BY CLAIRE MATHIESON
HE parish of St Francis of Assisi will celebrate 100 years of serving the community of Yeoville, Johannesburg, on October 14. “This has always been a migrant community,” said Fr Stanley Masilompana. A century ago it was the Italians and Portuguese that were moving into the area. Today, the city centre parish sees migrants from all over Africa. “We are a very diverse community. We are represented by 13 countries in the parish,” Fr Masilompana said. “There are many different cultures here. We are rich in culture.” The parish is home away from home and a place of refuge for those who find themselves in Yeoville, said Fr Masilompana. “St Francis of Assisi offers a sense of direction to those who
are lost,” he told The Southern Cross. The parish works closely with Jesuit Refugee Services, helping displaced people with basic services and making referrals to appropriate migrant service providers. It is also home to a soup kitchen on the weekends which serves 200 people daily. “My hope for the parish is that people are able to find a home here. My hope is that people are able to break the barriers and issues of trust that are found between people of different countries,” said Fr Masilompana. “People need to see others as being people, not representatives of a particular country,” he added. Fr Masilompana said that his hope for the parish’s next 100 years is that it will have a great social impact in the community. “The Church shouldn’t just look to serve those whom we see on Sundays, but also the community
at large. The Church can reach out and make people feel at home and give them a sense of assurance.” The centenary celebrations started on the feast day of the parish’s patron saint on October 4. A special Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Buti Tlhagale of Johannesburg and a commemorative plaque was laid. But the big celebration on October 14 will see the various cultures in the church come together for “a day of feast and food”, said Fr Masilompana. The parish has its annual big fundraising event around this time of year, and the 100 year celebration will be no exception, the priest said, adding that a special Mass starts at 10:00 followed by activities into the afternoon. n For more information contact 011 487 2299.
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The South African Parliamentary Advocacy Training programme hosted by the Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office. Pictured here are some of the training participants with ACDP MP, Cheryllyn Dudley and a member of the parliamentary portfolio committee for health.
World Vision learns from CPLO BY CLAIRE MATHIESON
HE experience and knowledge of the Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office’s (CPLO) advocacy work has once again garnered attention outside of the Catholic Church when the office of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) was asked to train members of the World Vision South Africa network in public participation. World Vision South Africa was put in touch with the CPLO by a former employee, Anthony Ambrose, who had also at one time worked at the SACBC Aids Office. “Mr Ambrose had heard about the African Exposure and Training Programme we had conducted and thought it might be something World Vision would be interested in,” said CPLO programme coordinator Karen Morris. As a relief and development organisation, World Vision and its partners from the South African Council of Churches (SACC) and the Methodist Church of South Africa would benefit from training in public participation and advocacy work, said Mrs Morris. “We recognised that the CPLO were specialists in parliamentary advocacy and we wanted to expose our partners to this kind of work,” said Stanley Maphosa, World Vision advocacy and external engagements advisor. “We feel the Christian Church needs to take a serious role in engaging in policy and needs to participate in forums at a policy level,” Mr Maphosa told The Southern Cross. World Vision is predominantly concerned with health care, education and the rights of the vulnerable. “We saw this training as a game changer,” he said. “Besides disaster management and social development that World Vision does, we
Men’s Pilgrimage to Ngome 2012
see advocacy work being another area of growth,” said Mr Maphosa. The CPLO training covered both spiritual reasoning behind advocacy work and practical tools as to how to go about engaging government. “We learnt that we all speak the same language,” said Mr Maphosa. “[CPLO director] Fr Peter-John Pearson explained to us the biblical framework of advocacy. We learnt that we, as Christians, must not surrender legislation to government. Instead, the Church must help mould the legislation that government puts into place.” The group was also taught practical ways on how to engage parliament. “We learnt how the system works and how to participate. We learnt that the Constitution gives us the right to get involved and how to do exactly that,” said Mr Maphosa. In addition to the learning aspect of the training, the ecumenical group toured parliament and participated in a round table with MPs. “I found the round table very beneficial. The bringing together of thought leaders, the answering of questions, the sharing of knowledge was very helpful,” the World Vision advisor said. “The round table discussion gave participants from World Vision’s network first-hand experience of the level of advocacy, where CPLO creates a safe space for voices from government and civil society, to engage in dialogue,” said Mrs Morris. “The training showed us what can be done through active engagement with parliament,” Mr Maphosa said. “This has really opened the door for our partners to get involved in policy and be more effective in their work to protect children and those vulnerable in society.”
“WILL YOU WALK WITH ME” 9-11 November 2012
‘Catholic Men Together’ invites all men from the Archdiocese of Durban and beyond, to join the Men’s Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Ngome from 9th to 11th November 2012. The cost for meals and accommodation is R400. Transport costs are separate.
Our plan is for all pilgrims to gather at the bottom of the road leading to the Shrine at 15h00 on Friday the 9th. From there we will walk in procession, singing and praying, to the Shrine. A full program, designed speciﬁcally for men, will run from Friday afternoon until Sunday morning. This will include Confession; oneon-ones; and spiritual counseling on request. We pray the Lord will make straight the way for Cardinal Napier and Bishop Wood to join us on this pilgrimage.
For further information please contact Hugo Hayes (Coordinator) on 031 468 7811 / 084 680 0086 or email: email@example.com
40th Anniversary of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal and The Family of God Community 40th Birthday VENUE: St Charles Church 35 Road No 3, Victory Park
DATE: Tuesday 16 October, 2012 Praise & Worship: 6.30pm • Mass: 7.00pm Celebrant: Archbishop Buti Tlhagale Refreshments in the hall (bring & share)
Secure parking Contact Ron 083 782 2622
The Southern Cross, October 10 to October 16, 2012
Where’s the Catholic vote in US election? BY PATRICIA ZAPOR
HE influential US columnist E J Dionne is fond of saying: “There’s no such thing as ‘the Catholic vote’ and it’s going to decide the election.” What Mr Dionne’s seeming non sequitur hints at is that the Catholic vote is no longer the solid voting bloc it was in the past. However, though now it’s more amorphous, it does serve as an indicator of outcome. For generations, Catholics were a firmly Democratic vote, with more than 50% sticking with the party’s presidential candidate. Then, beginning with President Richard Nixon’s re-election in 1972, Catholics have often provided the vote on which the course of an election could turn for either party, with a majority voting for the winner, whether he was a Republican or a Democrat. More recently, Catholic voters have become less concretely definable by religious affiliation. The bottom line: Most American Catholics do not vote primarily on the basis of issues that unite them as a faith group; however, the vote of the majority of Catholics does mirror the popular vote. A panel of Catholic University of America professors of politics and religious studies agreed that there’s really no monolithic Catholic vote the way there was in 1928 when Al Smith became the first Catholic to be a major party’s nominee, bringing the overwhelming majority of his co-religionists to the polls in supporting what was ultimately a losing bid. Nor does the Catholic vote resemble the 1960 campaign, when
Mitt Romney (left) and President Barack Obama on the campaign trail. According to experts, Catholics no longer vote as a bloc in US elections, though Catholic voting patterns reflect electoral trends of the general public. (Photos: Brian Snyder/Jason Reed, Reuters/CNS) John F Kennedy felt compelled to distance himself from the pope to convince wary Protestants that he would not let the Vatican run the White House. That year the 78% of Catholics who voted for Kennedy helped him eke out his two-tenths of a percent winning margin over Nixon. With a bit more than a month to the 2012 presidential election, both major campaigns are concentrating on the small sliver of the electorate in a handful of swing states that might still be “persuadable”. Several of those states have large Catholic populations and recent polls by Pew and Gallup tilt Catholics nationwide toward President Barack Obama. The Pew Research Center in a mid-September poll found 54% of Catholic voters nationwide support Mr Obama, compared to 39% who support his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney. In the 2008 election, 54% of Catholics voted for Mr Obama and 45% voted for Republican candidate John McCain.
But despite that, the professors said, the notion that a single issue or approach will bring a majority of Catholics to rally behind a candidate is an outdated myth. Catholic University politics professor John White said: “I don’t think there is a Catholic vote, in that Catholics bring their religion to the forefront as they vote.”
illiam Dinges, a professor of theology and religious studies, said what might look like a “Catholic vote” may well be motivated by factors such as ethnic interests, gender or region of the country. “Religion doesn’t count as much as other variables,” he said. Politics professor Steve Schneck, who also heads the university’s Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies, said while there isn’t a monolithic vote of Catholics, “there are lots of smaller slices of Catholic voters” that he described as “gettable” by one party or another. For example, he described about
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equal thirds of US Catholics being in three groups: Latinos; “intentional” Catholics, who are active in their parishes and pay close attention to Church teachings when they vote; and “cultural” Catholics, who are less frequent churchgoers but identify with it culturally. Of those, Prof Schneck said, upward of 70% of the Latino Catholics likely will vote for Mr Obama. Among the “intentional” Catholics, about 60% will vote for Mr Romney. The “cultural” Catholics Prof Schneck, who is also co-chair of the organisation Catholics for Obama, described as “the real battleground between the parties”. Politics associate professor Matthew Green noted that voters across the board this election are primarily concerned about the economy. Among Latinos, how a candidate will address immigration is a key secondary concern. Tracking polls since summer of how Catholics intend to vote did show a shift towards Mr Romney not long after the US bishops launched their “Fortnight for Freedom” campaign to rally opposition to federal policies that they say threaten religious rights. Support that had been slightly more in favour of Obama—49-47%— dipped to 45-44% in August and early September before climbing back to the previous range, Prof Green showed in results of Gallup polling. Prof Schneck said that among “intentional” Catholics, the religious rights concern is likely to contribute to their voting decision, but beyond that, he said, Catholic voters will make their electoral choices on a range of issues.—CNS
Pope: Protect DRC’s civilians
MID increasing violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Pope Benedict has called for peaceful dialogue and greater protection of civilians there. After praying the Angelus, the pope said he was following, “with love and concern” the events unfolding in the DRC. Government soldiers have been stationed in Goma in the eastern part of the country for several months to fight the rebel group M23, which defected from the Congolese military. Clashes, which intensified earlier this year, have led more than 300 000 people to flee their homes, according to Vatican Radio. The United Nations has said Rwandan defence officials are backing the rebel group, which has been accused of rape and the murder of civilians in its effort to control the DRC’s mineral-rich North Kivu province. Rwandan officials have denied allegations of assisting the rebels. The pope said his prayers were with the “refugees, women and children, who because of prolonged armed clashes are subjected to suffering, violence and deep distress”. The pope called for the “peaceful means of dialogue and the protection of many innocent people” so that peace— founded on justice—may quickly return to the nation and the whole region.—CNS
Protester: Why I climbed St Peter’s basilica dome BY CINDY WOODEN & FRANCIS X ROCCA
49-YEAR-OLD Italian man protesting the economic policies of Italy and Europe scaled a fence on top of the dome of St Peter’s basilica and remained there the next day as some 20 000 people listened to Pope Benedict deliver his weekly general audience talk. While many people in the crowd noticed a banner hanging from the dome during the audience, it was impossible to read from the square and almost no one seemed to know a man was up there. Pope Benedict did not mention the protester, Marcello Di Finizio, during his audience talk. Mr Di Finizio, who had scaled the fence on the dome in July as well, runs a beachfront business in northern Italy, renting umbrellas and chaise lounges. He has been protesting against Italy’s plan to obey European Union directives by holding public auctions to distribute licences to operate such businesses on public beaches. Speaking on his cellphone from the dome, he told Catholic News Service: “I’m here to ask for help. Our government, our
Firefighters keep watch as Marcello Di Finizio protests on the dome of St Peter's basilica. (Photo: Paul Haring/CNS) state, doesn’t exist. Sectors of the economy, the beach sector, have been paralysed for years by government policies. “I ask for political asylum from the Vatican,” he said. “The pope is the highest ethical and moral authority in this country, or at least he should be—let’s hope he still is.” The protester said he felt forced to take his protest public in a highly visible fashion. “I want to live; I like living,” he said, but “if they want to kill me, let them do it in front of
millions of people”. Mr Di Finizio implied he could be willing to jump from the dome. When others are driven to such desperate measures, he said, “these are not suicides, these are homicides”. When a CNS reporter suggested that his message had been heard and he could come down, Di Finizio laughed and said: “In your country, maybe that would work, but we’re in Italy. Here they will slap me on the back, kick me in the rear and not listen anymore.” Then Mr Di Finizio made a request, “Please ask the pope to send up an electrical cable so that my phone battery doesn’t go dead and I can keep talking to [all of] you.” Mr Di Finizio had joined a group of tourists going to the top of St Peter’s Basilica at about 17:00 Rome time. Security cameras showed him climbing over the 1,2m-high fence, tying a rope around himself and lowering himself down to a large decorative overhang above one of the dome’s windows. He also managed to unfurl and tie down a large banner to the dome that said “Help!” and called for an end to policies that were “butchering society”.— CNS
Stop your jealousy, pope tells Catholics
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ATHOLICS should rejoice, and not be jealous, when other Christians succeed in doing the work of the Lord, Pope Benedict has said. “God can do good and even amazing things outside the circle” of the Catholic Church, the pope said. Speaking to pilgrims, the pope quoted St Augustine who
said that just as there could be non-Catholic elements within the Catholic Church, “so there may be something which is Catholic outside the Catholic Church”. Pope Benedict said Catholics “must not be jealous, but should rejoice if someone outside the community does good in the name of Christ.”
The pope said that sometimes, within the Catholic community, people have a difficult time recognising the good that others accomplish. “We must all always appreciate each other and value each other, praising the Lord for the infinite creativity with which he works in the Church and in the world.”— CNS
The Southern Cross, October 10 to October 16, 2012
Rosary ‘key to evangelisation’ BY CAROL GLATZ
An image of Mary is seen near a hole in a church after shelling in the old city of Homs, Syria. (Photo: Shaam News Network handout via Reuters/CNS)
Catholic charity issues dire poverty warning in Spain BY JONATHAN LUXMOORE
ARITAS SPAIN, the Church’s charitable arm, has urged the Spanish government to consider the “sinister concrete implications” of the country’s economic crisis after reporting a tripling in the number of people needing its help. In a report, the organisation said Spanish society has “followed a precarious integration model, which has gradually deteriorated and failed, reducing the protective capacity of the public system”. “This crisis does not only concern concepts of aid management. It also has sinister concrete implications in the loss of jobs, fall in household earnings and weakening in social support.” The report pointed to growing “poverty, inequality and unfairness” as a major concern despite the agency’s efforts to provide assistance through Catholic parishes. The number of Spaniards receiving aid from the charity has tripled in the past four years, topping 1 million people in 2011, the report said. “If poverty was not reduced
when there was economic growth in 1994-2007, and if social protection was not improved as a share of national growth, it is difficult to imagine that poverty and inequality will be reduced now at a time of crisis,” the agency said. The report was published as the centre-right government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced a new wave of spending cuts and tax increases in its 2013 budget in a bid to cut Spain’s deficit and avoid a bailout by the European Union. The measures were met with angry street protests in Madrid and other cities, as well as calls for secession by the country’s wealthy north-west Catalonia region. Caritas Spain spokeswoman Ana Girao told Catholic News Service that poverty showed signs of changing “from a recent to a longterm problem”. Those most affected are unemployed, currently 25% of the Spanish workforce, as well as immigrants, single mothers and young couples with children, she said. “Although the media has shown interest in our report, we’re not expecting reactions from the politicians,” she added.—CNS
S the Church begins the Year of Faith and holds this month’s synod on the new evangelisation, the rosary can play a key role in strengthening and spreading the word of God, according to a leading expert in Marian studies. “This Year of Faith is a call for evangelisation, a new evangelisation that’s to start with ourselves” in reawakening one’s love for Christ and then reaching out to those who have become distanced from the Church, said Holy Cross Father James Phalan, director of Family Rosary International. October is the month the Church dedicates to the rosary, and the world Synod of Bishops will started on October 7, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. Pope Benedict entrusted the synod to Mary’s intercession, and he has said the rosary can stimulate missionary activity by leading Christians to meditate on the life of Jesus. “During this Year of Faith we’re to take up the rosary in our hands again,” Fr Phalan said. “Mary has always been the mother of evangelisation,” he said, because “she’s always been the one who shows us Jesus”. Bl John Paul II said the rosary is “contemplating the face of Christ with Mary.” By praying the rosary, people are
French professor, Jesuit win Ratzinger prize
HE Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation Prize, established to promote studies in theology and philosophy, will be presented on October 20 to Remi Brague, a French professor of the philosophy of European religions at Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich, Germany and US Jesuit Father Brian E Daley, a patristics expert and professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame. The recipients will be awarded a 50 000 euro (about R540 000) cash prize. The Vatican foundation funding the prize, as well as scholarships for promising doctoral students, was established in 2010 with Pope Benedict’s approval and his desig-
Internet ‘new missionary terrain’ BY CAROL GLATZ
AVING a Catholic presence online isn’t enough for effective evangelisation, the Vatican said. The Church must develop “a new way of thinking” in order to find ways that engage and help people meet Christ, the Pontifical Council for Social Communications has said. It announced that Pope Benedict had chosen “Social Networks: Portals of Truth and Faith; New Spaces for Evangelisation” as the theme for World Communications Day 2013. The digital environment represents new missionary terrain,
given that “technology has emerged as part of the fabric of connectivity of human experiences”, including how people build relationships and seek knowledge, the social communications council said. Therefore the Church needs to ask: Can technology and digital environments “help men and women meet Christ in faith?” “It is not enough to find an adequate language, but rather, it is necessary to learn how to present the Gospel as the answer to that basic human yearning for meaning and faith, which has already found expression online,” the council said. The new approach will
led to listen more deeply to God’s word, to contemplate events in Christ’s life, to see what his life means and to find Christ’s presence in one’s own life, Fr Phalan said. “It’s a way of identifying ourselves with Christ, so it’s a profound path to holiness.” Praying the rosary together, especially for a family, has added beauty and power, he said. “It opens up areas of sensitivity, areas of intimacy” because “prayer is one
of the most intimate things we do”. When couples or families pray the rosary together, “there’s a real intimacy that’s bonded in faith” that then fortifies relationships and solidifies the wider Christian community, he said. The rosary has been “a tried and true” way to strengthen Christian life in the home and to pass on the faith from generation to generation. “I’m convinced that when we talk about the new evangelisation, we need to talk about evangelisation in the home,” because unless one’s prayer life and faith are reignited there, it will not work, Fr Phalan said. Reawakening the faith in the home is not only a very effective way to develop a solid base for evangelisation, it also helps families during troubled times, he said. Family Rosary International was started by the late US Holy Cross Father Patrick Peyton, who coined the phrase, “A family that prays together stays together”, as part of his mission to build family unity through the daily recitation of the rosary. “Our work continues on his simple but profound insight, which is more important than ever, that family prayer can do so much in the face of the apparently chaotic situations of so many families,” Fr Phalan said.—CNS
require a new way of thinking because “it is not simply a question of how to use the Internet as a means of evangelisation, but instead, [one] of how to evangelise in a context where the lives of people find expression also in the digital arena”. The Church needs to pay special attention to social networks not only because of their enormous popularity, but because they are places “which privilege dialogical and interactive forms of communication and relationships,” it said. World Communications Day is observed in Southern Africa as Social Communications Sunday in early September.—CNS
Let GÜNTHER SIMMERMACHER guide you through the great holy sites of the Holy Land and Jordan on a virtual itinerary. Read about the history of the places where Jesus and his disciples worked and walked, about their biblical and historical signiﬁcance — and meet some interesting people along the way in
THE HOLY LAND TREK With a foreword by Archbishop Stephen Brislin and 88 photos.
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Fr Daley (left) and Prof Brague nation of just more than R25 million from royalties earned on his books (the rest of his royalties are given to charity). Prof Brague, 65, a married father of four children, taught at the Sorbonne in Paris for 20 years, and moved to Munich in 2002.
His books include: Eccentric Culture, The Wisdom of the World, The Law of God, The Legend of the Middle Ages, and On the God of the Christians. In addition to teaching and writing, Fr Daley, 72, serves as the executive secretary of the CatholicOrthodox Consultation for North America. The Jesuit is the author of The Hope of the Early Church, On The Dormition of Mary: Early Patristic Homilies, Gregory of Nazianzus, a volume in the series “The Early Church Fathers”. He also was the English translator of Hans Urs von Balthasar’s Cosmic Liturgy: the Universe According to Maximus the Confessor.—CNS
The Southern Cross, October 10 to October 16, 2012
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Editor: Günther Simmermacher
Time to make a stand
ATHOLICS in South Africa have long been reticent in making known their demands and expectations from the secular establishment. Lately some South African Catholics have petitioned satellite broadcaster DStv to include the US-based television station EWTN Global Catholic Network in its diverse bouquet of channels. The request seemed reasonable since EWTN was already included in DStv’s bouquet for the rest of Africa. For its part, EWTN seemed glad to give DStv broadcasting rights for South Africa. DStv, however, not only declined the South African request, but also proceeded to remove EWTN from its Africa schedule altogether. The reaction to this in Nigeria has been instructive. Angered by the seemingly arbitrary decision, the bishops, clergy and laity of Nigeria made it unambiguously clear to DStv’s owners, Multichoice Africa, that the cancellation of EWTN would be met with public protests and a boycott of the satellite broadcaster’s services. Multichoice quickly saw reason and reinstated EWTN to the Nigerian bouquet. At the same time, however, Multichoice made it clear that it would not allow the inclusion of EWTN on DStv’s services in South Africa, declaring the decision “final”. Invited by The Southern Cross to explain its decision to the Catholic public, Multichoice issued an elusive statement which was evidently recycled from one composed for the Nigerian market, as we reported last week. In its attitude Multichoice is showing unequivocal disregard for the Catholic community of South Africa. Moreover, in absence of any attempt at clarifying its decision, the removal of EWTN from DStv’s bouquet for the rest of Africa can be interpreted as an act of spitefulness, an unspoken declaration of contempt for the continent’s Catholic Church. The more charitable and only other plausible explanation for Multichoice’s decision and failure to communicate coherently may be located in the arena of sheer incompetence. DStv’s central attraction, aside from its near-monopoly on sports coverage, resides in the variety of special interest channels it can make available.
Catholic programming, which is quite distinct from that offered by existing evangelical channels such as Rhema TV and IBN, surely is an option which would serve a portion of DStv’s client base, and potentially extend it. It may very well be that the content offered by EWTN has failed DStv’s quality control standards. It is fair to note that EWTN has its critics even among Catholics. Should it be the case that EWTN’s content has failed to meet DStv’s quality standards, then this should have been communicated to the Catholic public by way of explanation. Anyhow, there are alternative Catholic broadcasters, such as the Canadabased Salt + Light Television network, which might find a home on DStv. If there is no bigotry behind DStv’s decision to withhold Catholic programming from its channels, then Multichoice’s shareholders, many of them doubtless Catholics themselves, must demand to be told why the broadcaster is deliberating excluding South Africa’s secondlargest single religious entity. Shareholders might also ask why Multichoice should not wish to tap into a market which has, unique among Christian communities in South Africa, maintained a weekly national newspaper? One may question to what purpose Multichoice is so casual about offending and marginalising the Catholic community? Is there an anti-Catholic agenda? Those who petition Multichoice for the inclusion of Catholic programming, if only to counterweigh the stream of morally questionable material on so many of its channels, are either existing customers or prospective subscribers to DStv. In denying them Catholic programming, Multichoice is communicating that their business is not appreciated. And to the Catholic Church in general, Multichoice is showing disrespect. As consumers and as Catholics, we are not obliged to tolerate such treatment. South Africa’s Catholics should no longer accept being marginalised, ignored and insulted. South Africa’s Catholics, from bishops and clergy to the laity— and even those who do not care for EWTN’s programmes—must be called on to stand up and protest against the creeping alienation of their Church and faith.
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.
Why intercommunion is impossible
EFERRING Michael Shackleton’s “Open Door” article “Can Catholics receive Anglican Communion?” (September 13), it is also frequently asked whether non-Catholics can receive Communion at a Catholic Mass. Quite often questions of intercommunion come up in the context of family events—weddings, baptisms, funerals. These situations put a great deal of pressure on families and Eucharistic ministers, Ordinary and Extraordinary. As a result Eucharistic ministers
ARDINAL Wilfrid Napier (September 19) argues that “patriarchy is not the source of all evil”. Maybe not, but the rule of the fathers (which is the meaning of patriarchy) is certainly a central cause of much of the evil in the world, past and present. Patriarchy asserts that the male is the norm in every way. A few examples: Wars are almost exclusively declared by men (Margaret Thatcher and the Falklands War in the 1980s is a rare example of a war led by a woman). Slavery, which devastated Africa in so many ways, was a commercial enterprise of men. The first protests against it were made by Quaker women in the late 1700s in England who began to “stand up in meeting” to demand an end to the slave trade. Apartheid was the creation of men and justified by male theologians. The never-ending sexual abuse scandal in the Church has been primarily caused by men. Although there are some religious sisters who abused children and young people, the overwhelming majority of perpetrators have been male clergy. And the cover-up of the scandal has been done by men—bishops, archbishops and cardinals—since the Roman Catholic Church is a hierarchical patriarchy. Patriarchy and sexism are linked, and sexism is a sibling of racism. In both, people are excluded on the basis of physical characteristics: racial appearance and biological sex. Theological reasons are used to justify the patriarchy of the Church. The cardinal questions whether “woman must be equal to man in everything and in every way possible. That’s the bottom line. But is that the truth?” He continues to speak of original sin which destroyed harmonious relationships between men and women. Patriarchy, sexism and racism are all social sins, embedded in social
Nazareth House, Johannesburg, is looking for someone who can replace our weather damaged statuettes of Our Lady of Lourdes and St Bernadette (2ft and 18” respectively) in our grotto. They must be concrete or fibreglass and plain white. Please contact Sister Lorraine Akal at 011 648-1002 during office hours
believe themselves authorised to extend Eucharistic hospitality, either for the sake of kindness or a genuine sense of unity among the members of the congregation. While such motives are admirable, the result nonetheless falsifies the sacramental meaning of the Eucharist as both a sign of communion with Christ and communion with the Catholic Church. Because the Eucharist is the official worship of the Catholic Church, participation in it in general and in Holy Communion in particular, is governed by very strict structures, which do great harm to relationships between men and women. The refusal to name the sins of patriarchy does not assist men and women to realise how skewed and distorted the relationships in the Church truly are. Sue Rakoczy IHM, Cedara, KZN
OME may ask what is being defended by Cardinal Napier’s claim that patriarchy is not the cause of evil, but political correctness is. For many aeons, it was politically correct to hold that patriarchy is a God-given design intrinsic to the universe. Is patriarchy really such a nebulous, ill-defined concept? Isn’t it really quite a simple concept? Isn’t it, at heart, the idea of rule (of a family, tribe or community) by the eldest or most powerful male/s? Do we really think that it is inappropriate for a woman to rule, or for a collection of elders, both male and female, to rule? Not that long ago, this was the case. Wives were literally the property of their husbands: even the idea of a wife being raped by her husband was acceptable. The wife was a baby factory, and the husband would spend his most important social time in the company of other men, discussing manly issues such as politics, philosophy, religion, commerce, war and empire-building. Women were simply not permitted to participate in such lofty pursuits. Perhaps, as our societies become more democratic and egalitarian, those few remaining institutions that continue to have distinctly 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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rules and regulation which are meant to preserve its true meaning. According to those rules and regulations not even a priest is permitted to give Holy Communion to anyone who does not enjoy true union with the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church has enacted certain norms for determining the specific occasions when intercommunion is legitimate. Since attendance at a funeral does not fall within the ambit of the conditions for intercommunion, the Eucharistic minister would be right to refuse Holy Communion to a non-Catholic. Siphiwe Felix Mkhize, Pretoria patriarchal power structures will begin to fear that they might seem anachronistic in the eyes of ordinary people. Perhaps the male leaders of such patriarchal systems will begin to write articles trying to justify what many have come to believe is unjustifiable: that only males may fulfil leadership functions in society or in communities. As time passes, it is probably going to require sprinkling with more and more castor sugar to make swallowing such arguments palatable. Vincent Couling, Pietermaritzburg
RANKO Sokolic has raised an interesting point, that our solar system is situated in the centre of the universe. If so, perhaps we earthlings are destined for great things. Nevertheless, whether the sun revolved on its axis or not really has nothing to do with the fate that was awaiting Galileo. He raised the ire of the Church when he took the liberty of stating the interpreters of the Bible “could make mistakes and it was a mistake to assume the Bible had to be taken literally”, concerning the passage from Joshua. While professor of astronomy at the University of Padua, Galileo was cautioned by the Church to cease promoting the Copernecian theory as being factual. Galileo then went on to publish a fictional “dialogue” between two people, one cleverly portrayed as himself and the other, called Simplicio, being portrayed as being dogmatic and foolish. Pope Urban VIII was not amused and Galileo was ordered to appear before the Inquisition. Galileo wasn’t always spot on. He incorrectly disagreed with Kepler who maintained the moon causes the tides. Yet, at age 20, he observed a lamp swinging in a cathedral, which led to the law of the pendulum that would eventually be used to regulate clocks. Give him his due. Patrick Dacey, Johannesburg
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The rise of capitalism and communism
N my last column I referred to the irony that despite the symbols of human development that we see everywhere, “oppression, murder, theft, corruption and crime have become our daily bread in our ‘civilised’ societies”. The question that naturally arises is whether no attempts have been made to try and address these problems. To answer this question, we need to step back and briefly interrogate some key historical developments. Looking at human development from the perspective of modern Western history, which willy-nilly became part of modern African history, some Western thinkers have argued that the modern age began in 1492 when Christopher Columbus crossed the Atlantic Ocean in search of a new sea route to India and discovered America instead. That was the beginning of modern European expansionism as European nations sought to enrich themselves by using resources from foreign lands in Africa, the Americas, Asia and Australasia. This cause was championed by the European middle class with the support of monarchs like Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain. Whereas in the Middle Ages feudal lords were in control of land and other sources of wealth, the middle class became the adventurous and merchant class that travelled the world in search of wealth and led the industrial revolution in Europe. The industrial revolution developed into the system called capitalism in terms of which the middle class (or bourgeoisie) controlled the means of production—land, property and factories. Capitalism was the major driving force behind the process of colonisation—a form of modern imperialism through which the imperial power establishes a government and sends out settlers to control the conquered lands. But capitalism soon showed an ugly
face. The slave trade was a direct outcome of this. This is how millions of Africans were sold and sent to work under extremely cruel conditions in agricultural estates in the Americas. Back home in Europe, the factories of wealthy industrialists thrived on the exploitation of workers and cheap child labour with little regard for the welfare of these children. What had happened here was that people had become so materialistic, so individualistic and selfish that they felt no concern for fellow human beings. These developments were largely responsible for the rise of socialism and communism in Europe. All too often we regard communists as “the bad guys”. What we do not interrogate is why socialism and communism arose in the first place. These ideologies were a reaction to what the German philosopher, Karl Marx, and other social reformers saw as the evils of capitalism. The building of communism was seen as a two-stage development with socialism taking over
People attend Mass at the shipyard workers' monument in front of the shipyard in Gdansk, Poland. The shipyard was where, in 1980, the Solidarity union was formed, a step that helped lead to the eventual collapse of communism. (CNS: Peter Andrews, Reuters/CNS)
from capitalism before a full communist state was established where the guiding principle would be, “From each according to his ability, and to each according to his needs”. Unfortunately, communism was based on the notion that you can bring happiness to humanity through the class struggle and economic reform alone without belief in God, and without changing the hearts and minds of people for the better. As we know, communism produced some of the most dictatorial regimes in the world, and has largely failed, except in places like China where it has been implemented in a modified form. Even so, it remains to be seen whether China will continue to be a model success story where economic success is coupled with freedom, social justice and true happiness. My contention here is that it does not matter what political system you put in place, unless the hearts and minds of leaders and other people who matter have changed to the extent where they can see and accept the true nature of the relationship between the individual and the collective, and between leaders and followers, powerful people are bound to continue sliding back into the evils of greed, corruption and oppression. Fr Thomas Keating has correctly said: “No amount of politics or discussion is going to change society for the better until enough people can change themselves so that societies around the world are not pouring mere negative energy into the same old cesspool.” Those who have ears to hear, let them hear!
Where in the Church can we find ubuntu? Nomalungelo Goduka
HRIST came for the salvation of humanity; he was present among us then, and is present every day in the Eucharist. He represents the quintessence and epitome of humaneness. In the South African culture, this humaneness is the embodiment of ubuntu/botho. It is demonstrated through the principles and virtues of love, humility, peace and forgiveness, compassion, respect, kindness and sharing. Ubuntu/botho is the essence of the African cultural value that affirms oneness of humanity in that “you are in me, I am in you”, therefore, “I am we.” This shows that humans are in a web of connectedness to the extent that what makes you happy, makes me happy; conversely, what hurts you, hurts me. These old-age principles are also practised in other cultures. In the Chinese culture, jen is the foundational virtue of Confucianism. It is the principle of humaneness which is best translated as benevolence, goodness, kindness and love. In the Lekota culture and language of Native Americans, this value is demonstrated in the principle of mitakuye oyasin, which means all my relations are interconnected and interdependent and each has equal value in the eyes of the Creator. Both in the Old and New Testaments, multiple examples of the power of ubuntu are illustrated. For example, in Genesis 23:15–27, a servant is being sent by Abraham to find a wife for his son Isaac from his land of birth. “How will I know that she is the chosen one?” asks Abraham. Out of the blue, a girl appeared, and brought water to him and his camels. Then he knew. In Luke we read the parable of the Good Samaritan (10:25–36), and in Mark about the Widow’s Offering (12:41-44). Many other parables demonstrate these virtues. Some of us who were part of a segregated Catholic Church during apartheid, whereby whites sat in the front pews while the rest of us sat at the back of the church, are very fortunate to have lived long enough to see and taste transformation in the Church.
Point of Debate
Bishop José Luis Ponce de León of Ingwavuma presents Frs Mandlenkosi Bongumusa Msweli (left) and Vukani Johannes Phoseka (right) after their ordination in Hlabisa in 2010. The author says that young priests especially need the spiritual and material support of the faithful. This was the period during which the bishops and priests were imported from Europe. Whether you were in the rural areas, such as in my village kwa-Manxeba, e-Heshele, or at All Saints cathedral in Mthatha, the Mass was conducted in Latin from “Kyrie eleison” to “Pater noster qui es in coelis” to “Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi” to “O Salutaris Hostia” and “Tantum ergo Sacramentum” for the Benediction. As a young girl who attended boarding schools at St Theresa mission and Mariazell, I chanted and recited all prayers in Latin from the beginning of Mass to the end; I could chant these prayers in my sleep then; I still can chant them now! I did not understand the prayers and rituals in the Church then, but still embraced and believed in the Catholic teachings. Today, prayers and the Church’s rituals are performed in our African languages, and have brought more meaning to what the Catholic Church stands for. Many of us survived the segregation; our Catholicism and faith remained anchored in knowing that Jesus does not segregate on the basis of colour or wealth; but is the Jesus of love, compassion; and
therefore an embodiment of ubuntu/botho. However, there were and are many casualties who turned their back away from the Catholic Church, unfortunately never looking back. As a Catholic, the quest for me personally is to live and practise the virtue of ubuntu in and outside the Church. The major obligation that I have chosen is to support through prayer the young African bishops and priests in Southern Africa. These young shepherds are a gift from heaven. These young men were born and raised in our villages and attended boarding schools some of us attended. They are our uncles, brothers, cousins and some are young enough to be our sons. They speak our languages and can personally relate to the painful state of poverty, unemployment, corruption, segregation, moral degeneration and decay that are ravaging many lives within rural communities in Southern Africa—and above all the loss of ubuntu/botho, especially among our youth. We need their guidance and prayers. They, in turn, need our spiritual support in every form and shape, so they can perform the work of being dedicated and committed shepherds in an untiring and unwavering manner. Africa, the cradle of humankind and the foundation of ubuntu/botho, must stand tall and sow seeds of these virtues, in our continent and globally. I also believe deep in my heart, in the spirit of humility, respect and ubuntu/botho, that someday a pope will emerge from the continent of Africa! God bless Africa, the present generation and posterity! Nkosi Sikelel’ Africa, usapho lwayo, nesizukulwana esizayo! n Professor Nomalungelo Goduka is currently the Indigenous Knowledge Systems Ulwazi Lwemveli Research chair at Walter Sisulu University in Mthatha. She belongs to All Saints cathedral parish in Mthatha.
The Southern Cross, October 10 to October 16, 2012
Point of Lifestyle
Healthy eating: Let’s go back to our roots
WHILE ago I saw a photo in a local newspaper of a skull of our long gone ancestor. The article mentioned that the people of his time ate grass, herbs and the bark of trees. This diet made them strong. Today these foods could be regarded as the diet of uncivilised and primitive people. In fact, when we read about the root-eating Yohnamami of Brazil’s Amazon forest, we laugh at them, instead of laughing at ourselves who eat poorly. I believe that it is in our nature to eat vegetables, as our ancestors did. I am not surprised to read in the Bible that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon ate grass. It is something we have lost along the way. Our carnivorous diet has made us forget that our bodies need vegetables. This attitude has weakened our bodies. It has contributed hugely to diseases like diabetes. We need to revise our menus properly to be healthy. We also need to revise our way of eating vegetables. When we peel fruits or vegetables that don’t necessarily need peeling, we waste the best part. For example, we throw the best part of the spinach, the stalk, to the pigs and sheep. My friend Kgomotso Sebopela, a Comboni Missionary, told me recently that when he went home to Pretoria for his holiday, he picked a fruit from an indigenous tree and ate it. His friend was shocked because he has always regarded the tree as one for monkeys, not for our benefit. Our earth is full of vegetation which should be eaten to strengthen our bodies. Nutritionists should promote the indigenous fruits and vegetables, of which few are being sold. I am not saying that they should cut grass and bring it to the market stalls, but to help us understand that some plants are healthier than what we presently eat. If we deny our bodies vegetables, they will react. Diseases will visit us. Good eating habits should be emphasised in the school curriculum. What good is a university degree when our bodies are weakened by a poor diet? Obesity is a problem in our country, in large part because of western diets. So let us get back to our roots!
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The Southern Cross, October 10 to October 16, 2012
Evelyn Spaight (previously Ricketts) celebrated her 90th birthday with her direct family (66 in all). Her family includes her brother and a stepbrother, six sons, 18 grandchildren and 13 great-grand children.
The members of the Missionaries of St Francis De Sales, Southern African region, gathered at Keetmanshoop, Namibia, for their 4th regional assembly. During the assembly Frs Lukose Perumannikala of Namibia and Baiju Mundackal of Cape Town were elected as councillors to assist Fr Babychan Arackathara, the regional superior. Fr Saju Thalayinakandathil of Namibia was elected the bursar. The annual Order Franciscan Secular national council meeting took place at the Capuchin Poor Clare convent, Umzumbe. Secular Franciscans from the Cape, Gauteng, Vryheid, Umzimkulu, Mariannhill and Durban were present with spiritual assistants Fr Dominic Hession OFM, Fr Johannes Mngwengwe TOR, Br Evenie Turner OFM, Sr Arnulfina Schoberl and Fr Callistus Zulu TOR.
Bishop João Rodrigues of Tzaneen presided over a Eucharistic celebration in Tivhumbeni, with Frs Philemon Thobela, vicargeneral of Tzaneen diocese, Victor Phalana, vicar-general of Pretoria archdiocese, Boniface Mashiane of Polokwane, Ralph Ramoabi of Pretoria and Joseph Mugera of Rustenburg. A pilgrimage to Fatima, Spain, Lourdes, Avignon, Ars, Nevers and Paris was led by Deacon John Sheraton of St Gerard’s church in Parkwood, Cape Town. The group is pictured here at Fatima.
Confirmations took place at Sacred Heart mission, Blaaubosch in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal, with Bishop Graham Rose of Dundee assisted by parish priest Fr José Tamago IMC. Youth at CBC Parklands and Table View parish were confirmed by Archbishop Stephen Brislin of Cape Town. (Front) Fr Kevin Dadswell, Archbishop Stephen Brislin and Fr Charles Prince (far right) with catechists Desiree du Plooy from CBC Parklands (far left) and Andrew O’Neill of Table View parish (behind Fr Prince).
Thomas and Esme Langton celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They are pictured with Fr Stephen Tully at Emmanuel cathedral in Durban, where they received a blessing. They were married in 1962 at St Louis church in Clairwood, Durban.
First year confirmation candidates of Our Lady Help of Christians in Lansdowne, Cape Town, visited Carmel convent in Retreat.
Holy Family parish in Turffontein, Johannesburg, held a luncheon for the elderly of their parish.
Our Lady of Fatima parish in Durban North held a “Just us 4 children” market.
Colleen Dickens received the Bene Merenti papal award during a Mass at Christ the King church in Wentworth, Durban. The award was made for her charitable works for the Catholic Women’s League which Mrs Dickens has served for more than 40 years, and for more than 50 years of service in the community of Wentworth parish.
Bishop Dabula Mpako of Queenstown and Ntaba Maria sisters outside a house being constructed in the diocese with funding through the SACBC Aids Office.
The Southern Cross, October 10 to October 16, 2012
From left: Cardinal Paul-Émile Léger, Cardinal Alfredo Oattaviani, Fr Bernhard Häring, Cardinal Augustin Bea, Fr Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI), Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI, Archbishop Dom Helder Câmara, Cardinal Josef Frings, Fr Katl Rahner, Cardinal Leo Joseph Suenens, Fr Yves Congar.
The great role players at Vatican II South African Catholics will know the great role Archbishop Denis Hurley of Durban played in Vatican II. MICHAEL SWAN looks at other key players in the Council
HE Second Vatican Council was the biggest stage in the history of the Church. There were more bishops present than at any of the 20 previous councils stretching from the First Council of Nicaea in 325 to the First Vatican Council in 1870. The bishops present came from more countries, more cultures, more languages than the Church had ever experienced. While all of the bishops were equal, some were more influential. Joining them were expert theologians whom pre-eminent cardinals and bishops brought with them. Known as periti in Latin, the official language of the Council, they played a significant role throughout the Vatican II’s deliberations. Here are a few of the names with starring roles at the Council, which ran from October 11, 1962 to December 8, 1965: l P o p e J o h n X X I I I (18811963): A plump, elderly, smiling Italian of peasant origins, Angelo Roncalli was supposed to be a caretaker after the long papacy of Pope Pius XII. He called the council and put the word aggiornamento, or updating, on every Catholic’s lips. l Pope Paul VI (1897-1978): Cardinal Giovanni Montini began the council as a curial insider in the secretariat of state who had worked closely with
Pope Pius XII. He had doubts about Pope John’s decision to call a council, but as his successor (he was elected pope in June 1963), he faithfully carried it to conclusion. During the council, he gave Mary the title Mother of the Church. l Cardinal Paul-Émile Léger (1 9 0 4 -9 1 ): The archbis hop of Montreal, Canada, wrote a letter in August 1962 to Pope John challenging the curial preparatory documents. The letter was eventually signed by a number of cardinals and archbishops, and the preparatory documents were reworked. During the three sessions of the council, he argued for a stronger statement against antiSemitism, greater Catholic commitment to ecumenism and a reexamination of Church teaching on birth control with more emphasis on love shared between a man and woman as the final purpose of marriage. Once considered a candidate for the papacy, he retired in 1968 to become a missionary in Cameroon. l Cardinal Augustin Bea (1881-1968): Jesuit rector of the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome who eventually headed the Secretariat for Christian Unity was in the front line of defence against attempts by the Roman curia to control the council agenda. A German, Cardinal Bea was deputised by Pope John to ensure the council said something bold on the Catholic relationship with Jews and world religions. The result was one of the most important documents, Nostra Aetate (“In Our Era”) on the relationship of the Church to non-Christian religions. l Archbishop Dom Helder Câmara (1909-99): Head of the
archdiocese of Recife in Brazil’s dry, impoverished north-east who spoke for the poor and alerted the world to the idea that the Church was no longer a purely European phenomenon. Speaking for the world’s largest Catholic population in Brazil, he insisted on new priorities. l Cardinal Josef Frings (18871978): The archbishop of Cologne, Germany, was an intellectual and a confidant of Pope John who supported a role for theologians that counterbalanced the influence of the curia. l Bishop Maxim Hermaniuk (1911-96): As Ukrainian Catholic bishop of Winnipeg, Canada, he chaired the 15-member delegation of Ukrainian bishops to the council. He insisted that the Catholic Church was more than the Roman Church, and fought for the principle of collegiality through a permanent synod of bishops. He also insisted that the 11th century excommunication of the patriarch of Constantinople was not based on any Church teaching. l Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani (1890-1979): A canon lawyer and prefect of the Holy Office (now called the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith), Cardinal Ottaviani’s view of the Council was framed by his anti-communism and opposition to theological modernism. He was the council’s leading conservative. l Cardinal Leo Joseph Suenens (1904-96): The great conciliator, a friend of both Pope John and Pope Paul, Cardinal Suenens was once thought likely to be elected pope. It was the cardinal who ironed out a programme that satisfied the concerns of both Cardinal Léger and Cardinal Ottaviani.
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1991): A Jesuit silenced from 1950 to 1956, he was a prolific scholar associated with the nouvelle theologie (new theology) school. He promoted the idea of ressourcement at the council. Ressourcement is a return to the sources of Christian wisdom and a deepening of the Church’s understanding of itself, a movement that sought to retrieve Catholic teaching from the very earliest Christian communities and the desert fathers. l Fr Bernard Häring (191298): The German Redemptorist taught how freedom of conscience was the necessary precondition for any meaningful morality. He was part of the commission which wrote Gaudium et Spes, the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World. l Fr Karl Rahner (1904-84): This Jesuit’s ideas are everywhere in the Council documents. His conception of the Trinity, the idea of anonymous Christians, the Pilgrim Church and his rejection of the counter-reformation practice of developing positions by condemning other positions helped shape Vatican II. It was Fr Rahner who after the council pointed out that it was the first ecumenical council that was truly global, embracing a Catholic world beyond Europe. l Fr Joseph Ratzinger (1927): The future Pope Benedict XVI was closely associated with the Nouvelle Théologie movement. He was an expert for Cardinal Frings who wrote detailed critiques of the original curial schema for the council. Other notable periti of the Council include Frs Hans Küng, John Courtney Murray SJ, Edward Schillebeeckx OP, Umberto Betti, and Avery Dulles SJ.
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l Cardinal Eugène Tisserant (1884-1972): The French cardinal was the key to participation by bishops from behind the Iron Curtain. He negotiated a secret 1960 deal with Russia that allowed bishops to travel to the Council in exchange for non-condemnation of atheistic communism. He was viewed as a conservative and a defender of the curia. He was also dean of the College of Cardinals. Here are some of the periti, or experts, who had a role at the council: l Fr Gregory Baum (1923): The German-born Canadian theologian worked with Cardinal Bea on Nostra Aetate, Dignitatis Humanae (the Declaration on Religious Freedom) and Unitatis Redintegratio (the Decree on Ecumenism), the three documents that redefined the Church’s relation to non-Christian religions and particularly to Jews, its attitude towards democracy and religious liberty, and its mission for the unity of all Christians. l Fr Yves Congar (1904-95): The Dominican expert in ecumenism was one of many theologians helping the bishops at the Council who had been forbidden to publish or teach during the pontificate of Pope Pius XII. Fr Congar offered one of the biggest ideas at the council: that the Church does not exist outside of history and Church teaching constantly must be restated in new ways to speak to new realities. He survived almost five years as a POW in World War II and was a major influence on Archbishop Karol Wojtyla, who as Pope John Paul II made him a cardinal in 1994. l Fr Henri de Lubac (1896-
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The Southern Cross, October 10 to October 16, 2012
A reality check at Holy Land checkpoint All that passed, as youthful obsessions often do. After college, I returned to my comfortable Catholic faith and gradually forgot about my Zionist leanings. Until this year, that is; when I received an invitation to visit the Holy Land. Not from Israel, though. I was invited by Palestinian officials to join a faith-based tour for Christian journalists. At first, I was sceptical. A tour N my permanent files, I have a hosted by Palestinians? But a few yellowed letter dated September e-mails confirmed that it was a 10, 1978, from the office of the legitimate event, backed by the sixth prime minister of the State of United States Agency for InternaIsrael. An embossed seal, olive tional Development (USAID). It branches cupping an ivory meno- was part of a new initiative to rah, crowns the elegant letterhead. revive the Palestinian economy “Dear Ms Arellano,” Menachem beginning with the tourism indusBegin’s secretary typed, addressing try. Even the Israelis were on me by my maiden name, “before board, under the banner of “ecoleaving for Camp David, the Prime nomic peace” in the Middle East. Minister asked me to thank you So I went. And, as often hapfor your letter of August 6 and for pens in life, the things I fretted your sentiments and good wishes.” about the most beforehand turned I blush to remember those senout to be non-issues. I felt safe in timents. the West Bank and Israel. Our In 1978, I was a born-again hosts were courteous and profesChristian at a university in the sional. The religious United States. Many of and archaeological sites us Christians hung were well worth seeing. out with the Jewish What was But almost immedistudents. First, because ately, I found myself happening more than a third of fretting about unexthe student populapected things. to me? tion at my university Like the Jewish setwas Jewish: we were tlements. When the I had turned naturally paired in guide announced that dorm rooms, dining on the our bus was passing a halls, and college settlement on the left, I classes. Palestinian leaped out of my seat But also because we on the opposite side felt a kind of spiritual guide. for a better view. At kinship. “Remember, first, I couldn’t locate Jesus was not a Christit. Then the guide ian,” the evangelical minister on pointed to a massive compound campus said. “He was Jewish.” straddling a hilltop in East Newly enthralled by everything Jerusalem. religious, I peppered my Jewish It was disorienting. My mental friends with questions about their traditions and history. I signed up image of a settlement was of a for a Hebrew language class and humble farming community in an pored over books and articles on uninhabited desert place, not a the Holocaust, Zionism, and the modern city of 40 000 on prime State of Israel. It was a compelling real estate. It is probably an excepnarrative: God was rescuing his tion, I thought to myself. But I chosen people, just like my high- could not help wondering: Is this lighted and underlined Bible verses where my Zion tree ended up—on one of these “fallow hills”? said he would. And the separation wall. Our In this state of spiritual exaltation, I wrote to Mr Begin. I told hotel in Bethlehem was a stone’s him about my studies and the Zion throw from the 700km concrete tree my roommate arranged to and coiled-wire barrier: an arresthave planted “in the fallow hills of ing sight from either side. Jerusalem” on my 20th birthday. I The guide claimed it choked thanked him for his leadership and commerce and isolated Palestinian concluded by saying that I hoped families. “It’s like living in a prison to visit the Holy Land someday. or a ghetto.” I bristled at his choice
early that night to think. Reluctantly, I admitted to myself that I had never moved beyond my youthful biases. If anything, much of what I had seen on television or read in newspapers since then reinforced them: Israelis are our friends and noble allies; Palestinians are uncivilised and unreasonable—a “problem” to be dealt with. In the past few days, I had seen and heard things that challenged my biases, but I was afraid to let go of them.
A hastily spoken and quickly regreted exclamation of frustration opened the way for ALICIA VON STAMWITZ to gain a new perspective on the conflict between Israel and Palestinians.
T An Israeli checkpoint on a road west of Jerusalem. An experience at one such checkpoint prompted the writer to revise long-held assumptions. (Photo: Schalk Visser) of words. A more balanced account would have allowed that the wall prevented terrorist attacks. Still, it was an eyesore. The dozen other journalists on the tour seemed in good spirits, but as the days passed I grew increasingly irritable. Once or twice, I caught myself staring coldly at the guide. His monologues on the suffering of the Palestinian people, confiscated lands, and bulldozed trees were annoying me. I was here to see the holy sites of Judaism and Christendom, not to listen to pro-Palestine propaganda.
y the time Israeli soldiers boarded our bus at a checkpoint outside Ariel, I was in no mood for political games. At all the other checkpoints, soldiers had merely glanced at our passports and waved us on. This time, though, we were asked to disembark with all our personal belongings. Grumbling, I collected my bags and followed my companions across the steaming asphalt to a cinderblock security station. We queued up to file through the lone metal detector, then waited to be interrogated by a stone-faced senior officer as she rifled through our bags. “Where have you been?” “Where are you going?” “Why are you going there?” An hour later we were permitted to reboard the bus, but we were denied passage.
“Why wouldn’t they let us pass?” I asked the USAID representative accompanying our group as we headed back to our seats. “They won’t allow our Palestinian guide through,” he said carefully, picking his way through the words. “There are Jewish settlers up the road, and the soldiers believe our guide could be a threat.” “So what’s the problem,” I blurted impatiently. “Can’t we just leave him here and go on?” I regretted my words at once. After an awkward silence, the USAID rep answered: “We don’t want to do that. He hasn’t done anything wrong.” He was right, of course. I blushed and slunk into my seat. What was happening to me? My ire should have been directed at the Israeli soldiers who had blocked our passage to protect the—for the first time I saw the need to use a descriptive adjective—illegal settlers. Instead, I had turned on the Palestinian guide, whose name escaped me. I had plenty of time to brood on our three-hour detour to Nazareth, the place where Jesus grew up. I was tired and a long way from home, yes; but the more accurate explanation for my agitation is that I was a longer way still from the familiar stories of my college days. My misty Zionist narrative did not mention fortress-like settlements, graffiti-streaked walls, and checkpoints. And it did not include indigenous Palestinians. In fact, it had explicitly denied their existence: “A land without people for a people without land.” No wonder I had wanted to leave our guide behind. I slipped away from the group
he next day and from that day forward, I made an effort to engage our Palestinian guide and hosts in conversation. Where before I had huddled with my American companions, I now sought out and sat beside the Palestinians at our gatherings. It was difficult at first. I think my hosts sensed my discomfort, my self-conscious attempt to reach across the divide. But they were eager to talk, to tell their stories. As they described the joys and challenges of their daily lives, I carefully wrote down their Arabic names and studied their lined faces. I leaned in when they showed me photographs of their children, and I shared photographs of mine. One night, I recited a poem I had copied into my spiral notebook, “The Plea” by Sue Sabbagh. My dinner companions nodded appreciatively and printed the names of their own favourite poets in my notebook: Imru’ al-Qais, AlMutanabbi, Mahmoud Darwish. Slowly, surely, my defences melted away. The more Palestinians I met, the more closely I listened to their stories, the easier it became to dismiss my sad caricatures of rock-hurling fanatics and fundamentalist terrorists. This does not mean that I am now anti-Israel or pro-Palestine. If I learned anything, it was that there are legitimate arguments and grievances on both sides and a dizzying history I’ll never master. The only thing I am fairly certain of is that Palestinians and Israelis will be living side-by-side for years to come. The more peaceably they can coexist, the better for everyone. It will take a miracle for lasting peace to settle here, but this, at least, is one thing on which all who have any stake in the Holy Land agree: miracles have taken place here before. I will forever remember one young mother, beaming with pride, who gestured to a seat beside her and said in her charming English: “Will you please to enjoy us here?” As I smoothed the fuzz on her infant’s perfect head, hope swelled in me for her, for her infant son, for all who live in this scarred and contested land.
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The Southern Cross, October 10 to October 16, 2012
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ISTER Mary Modesta Higgins died at Nazareth House, Port Elizabeth on Sunday, August 12, at the age of 101 years and eight months. Sr Modesta, born in Ballyrogan, Derry, Northern Ireland, on December 9, 1910, was the daughter of Thomas and Catherine Higgins, farmers in the local community. Sr Modesta entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Nazareth in 1931 and made her final profession on August 15, 1939, was a Nazareth Sister for 79 years until her recent death. Sr Modesta arrived in South Africa in 1947 where she joined the Nazareth House Port Elizabeth community until 1950. She left for the Kimberley House where she spent the next 29 years caring for the frail, elderly and needy. After a brief stay at the Harare House in Zimbabwe, Sr Modesta returned to Port Elizabeth where she spent the last 33 years of her life. During this time, Sr Modesta and a fellow sister spent most of their time collecting funds from local businesses to support the many needy residents accommodated at Nazareth House. It was only in 2001, at 91 years of age, that Sr Modesta required frail care herself. Her life was
celebrated in a Requiem Mass on August 16, at St Luke’s Retreat Centre, Park Lane. Sr Modesta was laid to rest in the Nazareth Sisters’ plot at the South End cemetary, Port Elizabeth. Sr Illtyd McCarthy
ATHER Simon Nyirenda of Lumko died unexpectedly in September. The staff of Lumko Institute celebrated a Mass of thanksgiving for the life of Fr Nyirenda with Bishop Michael Wüstenberg of Aliwal North. Fr Nyirenda was expert on Small Christian Communities and member of the faculty of Lumko. He died unexpectedly at the age of 40 while on holidays at home in Zambia. Weekdays Year 2
Sunday, October 14, 28th Sunday Wisdom 7:7-11, Psalm 90:12-17, Hebrews 4:12-13, Mark 10:17-30 or 10:17-27 Monday, October 15, St Teresa of Jesus Galatians 4:22-24, 26-27, 31, 5:1, Psalm 113:1-7, Luke 11:29-32 Tuesday, October 16, St Margaret Mary Alacoque Galatians 5:1-6, Psalm 119:41, 43, 45, 47-48, Luke 11:37-41 Wednesday, October 17, St Ignatius of Antioch Galatians 5:18-25, Psalm 1:1-4, 6, Luke 11:42-46 Thursday, October 18, St Luke 2 Timothy 4:10-17, Psalm 145:10-13, 17-18, Luke 10:1-9 Friday, October 19, Ss John de Brébeuf & Isaac Jogues Ephesians 1:11-14, Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5, 12-13, Luke 12:1-7 Saturday, October 20, Memorial of the BVM Ephesians 1:15-23, Psalm 8:2-7, Luke 12:8-12 Sunday, October 21, 29th Sunday Isaiah 53:10-11, Psalm 33:4-5, 18-20, 22, Hebrews 4:14-16, Mark 10:35-45 or 10:42-45
band) and children John, Mary, Bernard and Margaret. May she rest in peace.
Fr Simon Nyirenda SVD
Liturgical Calendar Year B
Southern CrossWord solutions SOLUTIONS TO 519. ACROSS: 1 Captor, 4 Circus, 9 Say his penance, 10 Achieve, 11 Rhine, 12 Lambs, 14 Aspic, 18 Largo, 21 Victoria Falls, 22 Dilute, 23 Slayer. DOWN: 1 Cosmas, 2 Psychiatrical, 3 Olive, 5 Innards, 6 Conditionally, 7 Sweden, 8 Speed, 13 Blow out, 15 Gloved, 16 Attic, 17 Censer, 20 Offal.
Word of the Week
ICONOCLASM: A heresy which maintained that veneration of religious images is unlawful. Iconoclasm was condemned as unfaithful to Christian tradition at the Second Ecumenical Council of Nicaea in 787 AD (CCC 2131). LECTIONARY/LECTOR: The official, liturgical book (lectionary) from which the reader (lector) proclaims the scripture readings used in the Liturgy of the Word (CCC 1154).
PILLAY—Francina Mary (Theresa) born into eternity September, 2012. In loving memory, the only child of Alfred and Lucy Raman, was born in Nugget Street, Johannesburg on May 27, 1927. A humble woman of great character with strong family values and firm in the belief that a loving, caring family stays together irrespective of the prevailing circumstances. A devout Catholic, she was a loving mother who cherished the love she sought and gave to all. A pillar of strength to her family and friends she allowed us to grow as individuals knowing that she has instilled sound Catholic principles within us. As an only child, from humble beginnings, she leaves behind a dynasty of 11 children, 41 grandchildren and 39 great-grandchildren. Ma, we will miss you and we know that the void left will never be filled and we will love you eternally. Rest in peace. MOTHER It is a word full of hope and love, a sweet and kind word, coming from the depths of the hearts. The Mother is everything—she is our consolation in sorrow, our hope in misery, and our strength in weakness. She is the source of love, mercy, sympathy and forgiveness. He who loses a Mother loses a pure soul, who Blesses and guards him constantly.
TUCK—Maureen. In loving memory of my wife, our mother who died on October 13, 2009. Fondly remembered by John (hus-
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HOLY ST JUDE, apostle and martyr, great in virtue and rich in miracles, kinsman of Jesus Christ, faithful intercessor of all who invoke you, special patron in time of need. To you I have recourse from the depth of my heart and humbly beg you to come to my assistance. Help me now in my urgent need and grant my petitions. In return I promise to make your name known and publish this prayer. Amen. John. HOLY ST JUDE, apostle and martyr, great in virtue and rich in miracles, kinsman of Jesus Christ, faithful intercessor of all who invoke you, special patron in time of need. To you I have recourse from the depth of my heart and humbly beg you to come to my assistance. Help me now in my urgent need and grant my petitions. In return I promise to make your name known and publish this prayer. RCP. COME HOLY SPIRIT, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.Let us pray: O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
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29th Sunday: October 21 (Mission Sunday) Readings: Isaiah 53:10-11, Psalm 33:4-5, 1820, 22, Hebrews 4:14-16, Mark 10:35-45
Reflecting on our mission for God
Nicholas King SJ
EXT Sunday is Mission Sunday, and it seems good to reflect on what the readings suggest to us for the mission that you and I share. The first reading is from the fourth “Song of the Suffering Servant” in Isaiah, and it is not entirely clear what the Hebrew means; it begins something like “it has pleased the Lord to crush him”, which is not a very engaging mission-statement, but it gets a bit more encouraging, “he shall see his offspring in length of days”, and “he shall see light”. The gist of it is that the servant’s mission is going to bring him suffering, but that will not be the end of the story: “My righteous servant shall make many righteous.” The psalm (as so often) makes rather more comfortable reading; it is a hymn of praise to God, “for the Lord’s word is true, and all his works are done with integrity”. That should reassure us as we consider our mission this week; and we shall breathe more easily as it continues: “Lover of righteousness and justice, the Lord’s fidelity fills the earth,” and we are meant to be encouraged as we hear: “Look! The Lord’s eye is on those who
revere him, on those who hope in his steadfast love.” In other words, our mission depends not on us but upon God, “to rescue their souls from death, and to give them life in famine”. So our mission comes to us from “the Lord, our help and our shield”, and we can confidently ask him: “Let your steadfast love be upon us, Lord, as we hope in you.” The second reading likewise encourages us in our mission by focusing our attention on Jesus, “a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens”. Jesus knows what this mission of ours is like: “For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses; but one who has been tempted identically in every respect—short of sin.” So the invitation
to us is: “Let us confidently approach the throne of grace¸ that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at just the right time.” The g o sp el for next Sunday shows us exactly how not to approach our mission; we are not to scrabble around looking for ecclesiastical promotion, like James and John. The immediate background is that Jesus has just been explaining to all the disciples, for the third and last time, that he is going to die in Jerusalem. Now the two brothers prove that they have not been listening to a single word that he has been saying, as they make their grab for power. First of all, they ask him for a blank cheque: “Teacher—we want you to do whatever we ask you.” Their naïveté would be amusing, were it not also so sad; anyway, with Jesus’ encouragement they plunge ahead with their request, and ask: “Grant us to sit, one on your right, and one on your left, in your glory.” Promotion, that is to say, is the name of the game in their mission. So Jesus checks out this enthusiasm of theirs for clambering up
Willpower alone is not enough T HE theologian and storyteller John Shea once wrote a haunting poem about John the Baptist. The poem begins with the Baptist in prison, hearing the dancing above his head and knowing that this is soon to culminate in his being beheaded. Strangely, he’s not too upset. Herod is about to give Herodias’ daughter half his kingdom and John feels that he might as well die in the bargain, given that he’s only half a man. Why does he feel only half a man? Because, as the poem puts it, he’s only a half-prophet who can only do a half-job. Thus thinks the Baptist: “I can denounce a king, but I cannot enthrone one. “I can strip an idol of its power, but I cannot reveal the true God. “ I can wash the soul in sand, but I cannot dress it in white. “ I can devour the word of the Lord like wild honey, but I cannot lace his sandal. “I can condemn sin, but I cannot bear it away. “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” John the Baptist is aware of both his strength and his impotency. He can point out what’s wrong and what should be done, but after that, he’s helpless, with nothing to offer in terms of the strength needed to correct the wrong. In essence, that’s what we bring to any
Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
situation when we criticise something. We are able, often with brilliance and clarity, to show what’s wrong. That contribution, like John the Baptist’s, is not to be undervalued. The gospels tell us that, next to Jesus, there isn’t anyone more important than John the Baptist. But, like John, criticism too is only a half-job, a half-prophecy: It can denounce a king, by showing what’s wrong, and it can wash the soul in sand, by blasting off layers of accumulated rust and dirt, but ultimately it can’t empower us to correct anything. Something else is needed. What? Anyone who has ever tried to overcome an addiction can answer that question. A clear head, a clear vision of what’s to be done, and a solid resolution to leave a bad habit behind is only a half-job, a first step, an important one, but only an initial one. The tough part is still ahead: Where to find and how to sustain the strength needed to actually change our behaviour and give up a bad habit? Anyone who has ever given up an addiction will tell you that, in the end, they didn’t do it by willpower, or at least
certainly not by willpower alone. Grace and community were needed and they were what ultimately provided what willpower alone could not. At one point in the gospels, Jesus tells his disciples that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. The disciples are stunned and Peter responds by saying: “If that is the case, then it is impossible!” Jesus appreciates that response and adds: “It is impossible for humans, but not for God.” Anybody who is in recovery from an addiction knows exactly what Jesus means by that. They’ve experienced it: They know that is impossible for them to give up the object of their addiction—and yet they are giving it up, not by their own willpower, but by some higher power, grace. The gospels speak of this as a baptism and they speaks of two kinds of baptisms: the baptism of John and the baptism of Jesus, adding that John’s baptism is only a preparation for Jesus’ baptism. What is John’s baptism? It’s a baptism of repentance, a realisation of what we are doing wrong and a clear resolution to correct our bad behaviour. What is Jesus’ baptism? It’s an entry into grace and community in such a way that it empowers us internally to do what is impossible for us to do by our willpower alone. But how does this work? Is grace a kind of magic? No. It’s not magic. All psychic, emotional, and spiritual energy is, by definition, beyond a simple phenomenological understanding. Simply put, that means that we can’t lay out its inner plumbing. There’s a mystery to all energy. But what we can lay out empirically is its effect: spiritual energy works. Grace works. This has been proven inside the experience of thousands of people (many of them atheists) who have been able to find an energy inside them that clearly does not come from them and yet empowers them beyond their willpower alone. Sadly, many of us, who are solid believers, still haven’t grasped the lesson. We’re still trying to live out our lives by John’s baptism alone, that is, by our own willpower. That makes us wonderful critics but leaves us mostly powerless to actually change our own lives. What we are looking for, and desperately need, is a deeper immersion into the baptism of Jesus—into community and grace.
the ecclesiastical slippery pole, by asking if they “are able to drink the cup that I shall drink and be baptised with the baptism with which I am being baptised”. Having no idea what the question means (though the reader has a pretty good notion), they are so besotted with their bid for power that they will do anything, and respond, “We can”. Jesus lets them down fairly gently; but not so their colleagues: “The other ten started to get annoyed about James and John,” and Jesus has to explain to them the facts of life about their mission: “Those who think they rule the nations lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.” And as they nod their heads in agreement, Jesus turns the whole picture of their mission upside down: “It’s not like that among you; whoever wants to be Mr Big among you is going to be your servant; and whoever wants to be number one among you is going to be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve—and to give his life as a ransom for many.” How are you feeling about your mission for the coming week?
Southern Crossword #519
ACROSS 1. You will be his prisoner (6) 4. Ring Maximus in ancient Rome (6) 9. Man must do it after confession (3,3,7) 10. Have ice to accomplish (7) 11. River to Cologne cathedral (5) 12. Jesus told Peter to feed them (5) 14. Cap is used to glaze food (5) 18. Handel’s slow air (5) 19. Counter and defeat (7) 21. Queen takes a tumble on African river (8,5) 22. Drop of water will do it in the Mass wine (6) 23. Killer (6)
DOWN 1. He and Damian have names together in the eucharistic prayer (6) 2. A chip! I cry, lastly, for how mental disorder is treated (13) 3. You'll find her in the grove (5) 5. Entrails (7) 6. Doubtfully baptised person is christened this way (13) 7. St Bridget is patron of this land (6) 8. Quick drug (5) 13. Quick way to extinguish candle (4,3) 15. Covered like a boxer’s hands (6) 16. Upper room of Athens? (5) 17. Thurible (6) 20. Unpleasant, edible bit of 5 down (5) Solutions on page 11
N elderly woman and her little grandson, whose A face was sprinkled with bright freckles, spent the day at the zoo. Lots of children were waiting in line to get their cheeks painted by a local artist who was decorating them with tiger paws. “You’ve got so many freckles, there’s no place to paint!” a girl in the line said to the little boy. Embarrassed, the little boy dropped his head. His grandmother knelt down next to him. “I love your freckles. When I was a little girl I always wanted freckles,” she said, while tracing her finger across the child’s cheek. “Freckles are beautiful.” The boy looked up, “Really?” “Of course,” said the grandmother. “Why, just name me one thing that’s prettier than freckles.” The little boy thought for a moment, peered intensely into his grandma’s face, and softly whispered: “Wrinkles.” Send us your favourite Catholic joke, preferably clean and brief, to The Southern Cross, Church Chuckle, PO Box 2372, Cape Town, 8000.