October 31 to November 6, 2012
Faith in Africa: ‘The priest is not a magician’
Holy Land Trek Excerpt: Jesus and Capernaum
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From South Africa to Vatican Radio
Public transport must serve all BY CLAIRE MATHIESON
A bronze life size statue of Archbishop Denis Hurley which will be a central focus of Durban’s Denis Hurley Centre will be unveiled on November 16 during the annual Hurley Lecture at Emmanuel cathedral. Most of the funds for the statue were raised by the Sacred Heart Sodality. The annual lecture, organised by the Archdiocesan Justice and Peace Commission, will be on “Vatican II and the Future of Interfaith Relations”. Panel of speakers will include Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, chair of the KwaZulu-Natal Interrreligious Council, and Ela Gandhi, vice-president of the World Council of Religions for Peace. The lecture will also launch the new abridged version of the Paddy Kearney’s biography of Archbishop Hurley, Guardian of the Light. The abridged version is titled Denis Hurley: Truth to Power. The launch price is R200.
Six new cardinals in November BY CINDY WOODEN
OPE Benedict will create six new cardinals, including Nigerian Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja, 68, in a consistory on November 24, the eve of the feast of Christ the King. It will be the smallest group of cardinals created since the 1977 consistory when Pope Benedict, the thenArchbishop Joseph Ratzinger, received his red hat from Pope Paul VI along with three other churchmen. The other new cardinals are include: Lebanon’s Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rai, 72; Archbishop Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal, 53, head of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church; US Archbishop James Harvey, prefect of the papal household; Colombian Archbishop Ruben Salazar Gomez of Bogota, 70; and Philippine Archbishop Luis Tagle of Manila, 55. Pope Benedict made the announcement at the end of his weekly general audience, which was attended by about 20,000 pilgrims. As is usual, Cardinal-designate Harvey was seated next to the pope during the audience. While he did not visibly react when his name was announced, the new cardinal-designate smiled and had a brief moment with the pope before returning to his normal duties of helping lead important guests up to the pope. The pope said he was naming Cardinal-designate Harvey the new archpriest of Rome’s basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls. The consistory will bring the total number of cardinals to 211 and the number of cardinals under age 80 to 120. Until they reach their 80th
birthdays, cardinals are eligible to vote in a conclave to elect a new pope. Pope Paul VI limited the number of cardinal-electors to 120. After the November 1 birthday of Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze and the November 23 birthday of Italian Cardinal Renato Martino, there will be six vacancies. Cardinal-designate Onaiyekan has been an ardent promoter of dialogue among Christians and other religions and a vocal advocate for peace and cooperation, especially in Nigeria. As president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria from 1999 to 2006, he was known for his criticism of government corruption and of some leaders’ attempts to twist the constitution to fit their own ends. He was once referred to as “a fiery clergy” by a Nigerian daily because he was not afraid to go against the current—he asked then-President Olusegun Obasanjo not to violate the Nigerian Constitution by running for a third term. In an interview earlier this year on Canada’s Catholic Salt and Light TV, Cardinal-designate Tagle, the archbishop of Manila, said that he grew up wanting to be a medical doctor. But, he said with a laugh, all the Church programmes for young people confused him, and he entered the seminary. During his seminary years, the Philippines was under martial law, and the seminary classes emphasised “the call for the Church to be on the side of the poor, to be the voice of the voiceless”.CNS
S transport month, October, came to an end, one Catholic organisation discussed the importance of public transport as a means of social good and a means of development. With many of the country’s cities currently expanding their public transport infrastructure, the Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office (CPLO), an office of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference, hosted a round table discussion on the topic, bringing together city planners, academics and transport service operators. “Mobility and access are central to our rights as South Africans,” said Gail Jennings, a sustainable and non-motorised transport specialist working to improve low-carbon mobility and access in Southern Africa. “We all have the right to healthcare and the right to education, but the way to access these is through transport,” she said. A person’s democratic rights are hindered by their lack of mobility, Ms Jennings added. “Public transport users cite concerns of the cost of transport, personal security, poor reliability and functionality, and bad driver behaviour.” These need to be rectified, she said. But instead of developing the transportation system incrementally across all systems of public transport, through upgrades and additions, most cities are focusing on specific corridors for transportation. “The new transport systems follow traditional corridors, which have limited followers,” said Ms Jennings. Instead of the rapid bus transit (BRT) systems being implemented in the country’s metropolitan areas, Ms Jennings believes an integrated approach which uplifts all, instead of specific roads, would have been the way forward with public interchanges of train, bus and bicycles. Academic Marianne Vanderscheuren
said our current transportation issues stem from private car ownership. “The problem is that everyone dreams of having their own car. But the reality is when everyone has a car there is congestion, which could result in unsafe roads for drivers and pedestrians alike,” said the researcher for Dutch and European Union projects and senior lecturer on Civil Engineering and transport at the University of Cape Town. “South Africa is in the top three of road fatalities in the world. This is not something to be proud of,” she said. Having a reliable public transportation system would minimise this.
he problem in South Africa is that the population is spread out, meaning public transport is not sustainable as people have to travel long distances. “Buses don’t make a profit out of these distances and people can’t walk the distances,” Ms Vanderscheuren said. She said South Africa’s cities need sustainable transport that is affordable, efficient, reduces waste and pollution, provides commuters with choice and supports the economy. Although the country is developing transportation systems, these aspects need to be highlighted in any further developments. “An ecological balance would assist and uplift the poor,” she said. For Andrew Wheeldon, of the Bicycling Empowerment Network (BEN), the answer to South Africa’s public transport issue is the bicycle. “The bicycle is an equaliser in society,” he said. The simple device can support heavy frames that might not be able to walk far or run, it welcomes those who can’t play impact sport and it is something that people of all ages can enjoy. “Economic, social and environmental, as well as poverty—the bicycle addresses all of these,” said Mr Wheeldon, adding Continued on page 2
The Olympic gold-winning South African Rowing team visited Johannesburg’s Holy Rosary School Regatta, held at Roodeplaat Dam. Seen here with Holy Rosary rowers are Matthew Brittain, James Thompson, Sizwe Ndlovu and John Smith. They signed autographs and took the time to chat to many fans.
The Southern Cross, October 31 to November 6, 2012
Hope & Joy for Catholic Schools Art Competition
Leaders of Holy Rosary Primary pupils and Grade 3 teachers are pictured with the Door of Hope members, who received donations for abandoned babies.
Learners help abandoned babies BY CLAIRE MATHIESON
RADE 3 learners of Holy Rosary school in Johannesburg collected funds to buy baby milk formula for a local charity, Door of Hope. In greater Johannesburg alone, three babies are abandoned every day. Door of Hope, a Christian NGO, was established in 1999 as a response to the high number of new-born infants being abandoned. In the hope that an alternative would encourage pregnant women to act differently, the NGO made a hole in their wall and a “baby bin” was installed, allowing mothers to leave their babies at any time, day or night. The moment a baby is placed, care workers on duty
receive an electronic signal alerting them, the baby is taken in and the anonymity of the ‘donor’ ensured. To date, Door of Hope has received and cared for more than 1 020 babies. The school’s Kenda Knowles said the learners decided to assist the NGO through donations of baby formula. One tin can feed 12 babies. Since Door of Hope relies solely on donations, the fundraising efforts of Holy Rosary were accepted with great enthusiasm, Ms Knowles said. “Their main aim is to ensure that their babies are adopted and into forever homes,” said Ms Knowles, adding that until such time, the home supports the infants through donations like those from Holy Rosary.
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O mark the end of the Hope &Joy campaign, the Catholic Institute of Education invited primary and secondary Catholic schools in South Africa to participate in an art competition, “Hope & Joy for the World”. It also marked the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. Students were able, with their teacher’s direction, to choose from seven7 themes: Pope John XXIII, Social Communications, World Religions, Education, Evangelisation, Human Dignity, and Faith and Life. The winner in the primary section was Ezrah Arendse, 9, from Christian Brothers’, Mount Edmund College, Pretoria, with his painting titled “Love One Another”. The artist wrote of his work: “My artwork is about people living life and loving one another. I used bright joyful colours to show happiness. My painting is
about doing good deeds to others to bring peace and joy to them. My vision is for the world to be a better place, filled with hope and joy for the future. I thank God that I am alive and have a future, I have the ability to bring joy to everyone I meet and in this way follow Christ’s example.” In the senior section, first prize was won by Azraa Gabru, 16, from St Conrad’s College, Klerksdorp. She wrote of her untitled oil painting: “The girl in the painting can represent anyone. She doesn’t only represent depression, but any other problem such as illness, war, etc. I didn’t make her skin a definite colour because the problems that we face are universal. “Hope and joy is represented as unseen colours because the blue light shines on the girl but she doesn't see it. This shows us that hope and joy is always around us and that sometimes we take our blessings for granted.”
Time to move on public transport Continued from page 1 that a society that cycles is also one that experiences the health benefits of exercise. “Bicycles address the issue of cost that cars carry and the issue of time that walking requires,” he said. But, he admitted, there are challenges. Cycling does take more time, can be affected by weather and may be uncomfortable. However, he said, these are minor in comparison to the benefits of cycling and the discomfort and unreliable public transport that many South Africans experience. The Bicycling Empowerment Network works in predominantly township and rural areas educating and training cyclists on safe and appropriate bicycle usage and maintenance. The NGO has
brought in 11 600 used bicycles in 34 containers from around the world which are today helping mobilise people in areas where public transport is limited. Mr Wheeldon cited examples where bicycles had improved the lives of those who had previously walked or relied on public transport. “In one area, health care workers would walk to patients daily, visiting on average seven patients a day. When we gave them bicycles, an average of 18 patients were visited.” Ben also lobbies for the implementation of safe bicycle routes where public transportation might not exist yet. “Low cost mobility for unemployed adults and youth targets groups of the economically disadvantaged, and is about facilitating availability of affordable means of
SPRINGFIELD CONVENT SCHOOL
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An invitation to journey to Rome, Croatia and Medugorje with Fr Wayne Weldschidt OMI, organised by Leonie Smith
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We invite applications for the part-time position (10 hours/week) of a Computer Literacy teacher at Springﬁeld Convent Senior School with eﬀect from 1 January 2013. The successful candidate must: • be suitably qualiﬁed • be registered with SACE • be able to teach computer skills to Grades 8 & 9 pupils • knowledge of MOS or ICDL will be an advantage
Springﬁeld is a member of the Independent Schools’ Association of Southern Africa
transport to enable the groups access more opportunities for economic advancement and poverty alleviation,” said Mr Wheeldon. “Training and job creation initiatives teach individuals to think creatively about jobs and entrepreneurial projects, linking the many uses of the bicycle to income generation activities. The project on bicycle lanes facilitates safer routes to schools and work and also aims at facilitating safety of school children, pedestrians and commuters in general.” A good public transport system, one that is integrated with non-motorised facilities, would give people great access to education, health care and recreation, as well as making the roads a safer place.
Pilgrimage Of Thanks Giving
HEAD OF SPORT (FULL-TIME)
Please submit your CV via post to: The Principal, Springﬁeld Convent School, St John’s Road, Wynberg 7800 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday 12 November 2012. Only candidates who are short-listed for interviews will be notiﬁed. The school reserves the right not to ﬁll the above posts.
Winner of the primary section Ezrah Arendse, 9 with his contribution “Love One Another” (above), and senior section winner Azraa Gabru, 16, with her untitled oil painting.
The Southern Cross, October 31 to November 6, 2012
Year of Faith in Cape Town to build up churches
BY CLAIRE MATHIESON
N the Year of Faith, Archbishop Stephen Brislin of Cape Town has committed himself and asked others to assist in the building up and renovating of churches in financially disadvantaged communities around the archdiocese. Three churches have been earmarked for assistance: St Elizabeth’s in Wallacedene, St Josephine Bakhita in Old Crossroads and St Catherine’s in Kleinvlei. Both Old Crossroads and Wallacedene parishes celebrate Mass in temporary structures and have done for many years. Some 200 people attend Mass at Crossroads’ prefabricated building —a dilapidated structure too small for the growing community and their activities. “The community is very poor, but very rich in faith, with community members want ing a place to praise and worship,” parish administrator Fr Kizito Gugah told The Southern Cross. Fr Gugah believes this community holds the most potential for growth in the Catholic Church in Cape Town and with the granting of funds to improve the premises, the community is delighted and excited and fundraising efforts have already begun, he said. The community of Wallacedene first travelled a great distance to St Anthony’s in Kraaifontein, but travel and language issues led to a request for a temporary structure for Mass in their own suburb. The container that Fr Desmond Curran donated to the community is still in use today. The Catholic community has grown and the container is in disrepair and is too small for their needs. “This is a call for a new church for the community because our container has become far too small for the amount of people coming to Mass every Sunday,” said parish administrator Fr Nkululeko Qokolo. St Catherine’s in Kleinvlei, Eerste River, has already undergone major reconstruction to accommodate the vibrant and growing community, as well as to give the church a less industrial look. This entire project, which is the re-construction of the church and attached small hall into a proper place of worship, and a bigger hall
Terrence Tilley, the Cardinal Dulles Professor of Theology from Fordham University in New York, spoke at an event for theologians hosted by the Jesuit Institute in Johannesburg on the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. His subject was “Thinking with the Church”.
The delapidated structure that serves as a church for the growing community at Old Crossroads, is one of three churches marked for upliftment as part of the archdiocese of Cape Town’s plan for the Year of Faith.
Is drinking acohol compatible with Christian living? BY ERNEST MOTEBEJANE
St Catherine’s in Kleinvlei, Eerste River, Cape Town (right) and the interior of the church at Old Crossroads (left). and classrooms for catechism, was encouraged and spearheaded by the current parish priest, Fr Shenoy Thomas. Parishioners have welcomed the opportunity and gave their overwhelming support for the success of this endeavour. The inclusion of St Catherine’s in the Year of Faith building project will help the community achieve and complete their dream of rebuilding their church. The building project falls under the archbishop’s plan for the diocese in the specially themed year where he has challenged local Catholics to take up his Christian Steward Challenge. A Christian Steward is a Christ follower who receives God’s gifts gratefully, cherishes and tends them in a responsible way, shares them in justice and love for all, and returns them with interest to the Lord. “This means that we acknowledge that all we have has been given to us as a gift from God and
we are grateful for all our gifts, our possessions, our health, and our children. We cherish these gifts and realise that we are accountable for all that we have been given, and we promise to take care of them in a responsible way,” said Archbishop Brislin. The archbishop said that God only asks that we each give back through time, talent, and treasure. Archbishop Brislin said the he hoped all in the archdiocese would take up the challenge “to live in practice what we profess as our faith”. The stewardship challenge will include spending more time in prayer or attending an additional Mass; giving an hour of time to a local charity or parish outreach; and giving the equivalent of one hour’s salary to the Year of Faith building project or similar charity —which will help the three communities finally realise the dream of having their own permanent church.
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OR philosophy students Kholofelo Phala and Bheki Ndlovu of St Augustine parish in Silverton, Pretoria, the issue is not drinking but the consequences of the act. What do you do after drinking? Do you hurt people or go home and sleep it off? Mr Ndlovu, originally from Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga, said he started drinking beer a long time ago. Having grown up in a family where drinking was practically another religion, alcohol consumption was regarded as normal. At Christmas time people would come together to drink their favourite beers as a form of thanking God for protecting them for the whole year. He said that it is not drinking that causes a problem, but the behaviour that may accompany drinking. “It’s all about what one does after drinking. I have seen people who use drinking to further their own agendas. They do act irresponsibly, and then blame alcohol later. So you can see that a person had issues before taking one or two drinks.” Limpopo-born Mr Phala echoed the sentiment. Having matriculated three years ago, he
joined the Comboni missionary school with a view to becoming a priest. “There is nothing wrong with drinking, and here at the missionary school we do drink at times,” Mr Phala said. He said that some people misunderstand the Catholic Church’s position on alcohol consumption. “They think we should not drink because we are future priests. I don’t believe that is the right perspective. The Bible teaches that Jesus turned water into wine and told his disciples to drink and enjoy.” Fellow parishioner Themba Mnguni offered a different reason why drinking in moderation is acceptable. “Busy priests”, he said, “may enjoy a few drinks as a method of unwinding after a busy schedule”. The Catechism of the Catholic Church does not prohibit alcohol consumption, but counsels moderation. “The virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine. Those incur grave guilt who, by drunkenness or a love of speed, endanger their own and others’ safety on the road, at sea, or in the air” (CCC 2290).
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The Southern Cross, October 31 to November 6, 2012
Peace prize for Nigerian bishop BY DENNIS SADOWSKI
RCHBISHOP John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria, is the 2012 Pax Christi International Peace Laureate. He is being honoured for promoting understanding among people of different faiths through dialogue in Africa, particularly in Nigeria. Most notably, he has worked to bridge relations between Christians and Muslims. Pax Christi International officials were to present the award on October 31 in Brussels.
Marie Dennis, Pax Christi co-president, commended the archbishop for his “faithful witness to the Gospel of peace and reconciliation,” particularly “in an era when extremists from different religious traditions regularly claim media attention”. “Archbishop Onaiyekan has been a consistent advocate for positive and respectful Christian-Muslim relations in Nigeria and around the world.” Archbishop Onaiyekan serves as cochairman of the African Council of Religious Leaders-Religions for Peace— CNS
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Pope canonises seven new saints BY CINDY WOODEN
ROCLAIMING seven new saints, Pope Benedict said they are examples to the world of total dedication to Christ and tireless service to others. In a revised canonisation rite, the pope prayed for guidance that the Church would not “err in a matter of such importance” as he used his authority to state that the seven are with God in heaven and can intercede for people on earth. An estimated 80 000 pilgrims from the United States, Canada, the Philippines, Italy, Spain, Germany and Madagascar filled St Peter’s Square for the canonisation of the holy women and men who ministered among their people. The pilgrims applauded the proclamation of the new saints: Kateri Tekakwitha, an American Indian who was born in the United States and died in Canada in 1680; French Jesuit Father Jacques Berthieu, martyred in Madagascar in 1896; Mother Marianne Cope, a Sister of St Joseph who cared for people with Hansen’s disease in Hawaii and died in 1918; Pedro Calungsod, a teenaged Philippine catechist who was martyred in Guam in 1672; Italian Father Giovanni Battista Piamarta, founder of religious orders, who died in 1913; Sr Carmen Salles Barangueras, founder of a Spanish religious order, who died in 1911; and Anna Schäffer, a lay German woman, who died in 1925. In his homily at Mass following the canonisation, Pope Benedict prayed that the example of the new saints would “speak today to the whole Church” and that their intercession would strengthen the Church in its mission to proclaim the Gospel to the world. The pope also spoke about each new saint individually, giving a short biographical outline and highlighting a special characteristic of each for Catholics today. Pope Benedict called St Kateri the “protectress of Canada and the first Native American saint”, and he entrusted to
her “the renewal of the faith in the First Nations and in all of North America.” The daughter of a Mohawk father and Algonquin Christian mother, St Kateri was “faithful to the traditions of her people”, but also faithful to the Christianity she embraced at age 20. “May her example help us to live where we are, loving Jesus without denying who we are,” the pope said.
rchbishop Gerald Cyprien Lacroix of Québec, Canada, said that the canonisation of the first aboriginal of North America is “huge for us”. St Kateri, he said, is an excellent model for young people of “living a simple life, faithful to the Lord in the midst of hostility”. St Kateri’s life and canonisation show that “saints don’t have to do extraordinary things, they just have to love”, Archbishop Lacroix said. Jake Finkbonner, the 12year-old boy from Washington state whose healing was accepted as the miracle needed for St Kateri’s canonisation, received Communion from the pope during the Mass. Jake’s parents and two little sisters did so too. With thousands of Philippine pilgrims in St Peter’s Square, Pope Benedict praised
St Pedro, a catechist who accompanied Jesuit priests to the Mariana Islands in 1668. Despite hostility from some of the natives, he “displayed deep faith and charity and continued to catechise his many converts, giving witness to Christ by a life of purity and dedication to the Gospel”. The pope prayed that “the example and courageous witness” of St Pedro would “inspire the dear people of the Philippines to announce the kingdom bravely and to win souls for God.” Pope Benedict also cited St Anna Schäffer as a model for a very modern concern. St Anna was working as a maid to earn the money for the dowry needed to enter a convent when an accident occurred and she “received incurable burns” which kept her bedridden the rest of her life, the pope said. In time, she came to see her pain and suffering as a way to unite herself with Christ through prayer, he said. “May her apostolate of prayer and suffering, of sacrifice and expiation, be a shining example for believers in her homeland, and may her intercession strengthen the Christian hospice movement in its beneficial activity,” the pope said.—CNS
Tourist tour recalls martyr Romero BY EDGARDO AYALA
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Harry Lefond of Muskeg Lake in Saskatchewan, Canada, and Chief Wilton Littlechild wait for the start of a canonisation Mass for seven new saints celebrated by Pope Benedict in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican. Among those canonised was St Kateri Tekakwitha, an American Indian who died in Canada in 1680. (Photo: Paul Haring, CNS)
HE Salvadoran government will open a tourist route in honour of Archbishop Óscar Romero, who was killed by death squads during a Mass in March 1980. The initiative, which will begin next year, aims to boost tourism in the country and at the same time remember the legacy of Archbishop Romero, a staunch defender of human rights and the poor who was hated by the military and oligarchs. The tour should ensure that “his life and thought are known by foreign visitors and also by new generations of Salvadorans,” President Mauricio Funes said from Archbishop Romero’s crypt in the metropolitan cathedral, where he announced the plan. The route will include sites such as the cathedral, where the archbishop denounced the injustices that occurred in this country in the late 1970s. On
the steps of the cathedral, dozens of people participating in the archbishop’s funeral were massacred by government forces on March 30, 1980. It also will include the Romero Centre and Martyrs Museum, both on the campus of Central American University. They display objects belonging to the archbishop, to the Jesuits murdered in 1989 and to Jesuit Fr Rutilio Grande, the first priest executed by death squads, in 1977. The tour includes the Museum of the Word and Image and Divine Providence Hospital, where Archbishop Romero was shot dead while celebrating Mass. The Truth Commission, created in 1993 to investigate political crimes committed during the 1980-92 civil war, established that Archbishop Romero’s assassination was carried out by a right-wing command led by Major Roberto D’Aubuisson, founder
The metropolitan cathedral of San Salvador, which holds the tomb of slain Archbishop Romero, inset (Photos: CNS) of Nationalist Republican Alliance. D’Aubuisson died of cancer in 1992.—CNS
The Southern Cross, October 31 to November 6, 2012
Judges: Why we found pope’s butler guilty BY CINDY WOODEN & CAROL GLATZ
HE Vatican has released a 15page document from the three-judge panel that found the butler, Paolo Gabriele, guilty on October 6 and sentenced him to 18 months in jail. After criminal trials in Italy and at the Vatican, the judges publish a detailed explanation of how they arrived at their verdict and how they determined the sentence. Vaticvan spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi SJ said a Vatican prosecutor will study the document and has 40 days to decide whether he will file an appeal, something usually done to request a harsher sentence. Mr Gabriele, who also had a chance to appeal his conviction, declined to do so; he remains under house arrest until the prosecution decides about its appeal, Fr Lombardi said. Pope Benedict could also pardon his former butler. Fr Lombardi said that if the pope does not pardon the 46-year-old Mr Gabriele, Vatican judicial officials plan to have him serve his sentence in a 3,7m by 3,7m cell in the Vatican police barracks, and not in an Italian prison. The report included the fact that the judges denied a request by Mr Gabriele’s lawyer to have retired Cardinals Ivan Dias, former prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, and Georges Cottier, former theologian of the
papal household, testify before a papally appointed commission of cardinals conducting a separate investigation of the leaking of Vatican documents. The judges said it was beyond their powers to do so; there was no explanation of what kind of information the defence thought the two cardinals could provide. In the report, the judges said that while Mr Gabriele consistently maintained he acted out of love for the pope and the Church, they felt an obligation “to observe how the action undertaken by Gabriele in reality was harmful” to “the pontiff, the laws of the Holy See, the whole Catholic Church and Vatican City State”. Much of the material simply summarised information collected during the initial investigation of Mr Gabriele and the testimony given during his trial. But the judges’ reactions to several points raised by Cristiana Arru, Mr Gabriele’s lawyer, were explained in detail, particularly regarding Ms Arru’s contention that since the material found in Gabriele’s apartment consisted of photocopies, not originals, the former butler didn’t actually steal anything. They said Mr Gabriele removed the originals without permission in order to photocopy them, but even more, they said, while he might not have stolen many original documents, by photocopying them he took the information written on
Paolo Gabriele (centre) is flanked by his lawyer, Cristiana Arru, during his trial in a courtroom at the Vatican. He was found guilty of aggravated theft in leaking private papal documents. (Photo: L’Osservatore Romano/CNS) them without consent. uring the trial, Ms Arru repeatedly raised questions about the Vatican prosecutor’s assertion that police found in Gabriele’s Vatican apartment three items given to Pope Benedict as gifts. The judges’ explanation of their verdict basically said they made their judgment based on the theft of confidential papal and Vatican documents, not on the three gifts. A separate area of the report con-
Churches: Tough talk with South Sudan govt needed BY PAUL JEFFREY
ORE than a year after independence, relations between Church and state in South Sudan are experiencing growing pains. “I am happy with the government and with [President Salva Kiir]. He’s a Catholic and he prays in our church when he’s at home,” Archbishop Paulino Lukudu Loro of Juba told Catholic News Service. “But it doesn’t seem as if the government is as willing to listen to the Church as before.” During the decades-long independence struggle against the Sudanese government in Khartoum, Catholic and other Christian leaders collaborated extensively with the political movement that became today’s government in Juba. And while Church leaders report that relations with government leaders remain positive, their patience with the government’s response to corruption and other troubles is wearing thin. “The government’s time is running out to work with the Church. Until now, whatever weaknesses there were, we played the game of under-
standing. It was a new situation, and we understood that we were beginning, not from zero, but from under the ground,” the archbishop said. “Now there’s a moment when we have to talk hard, and it may cause a problem. We’re not talking about people being against the government or trying to overthrow the government. We want the government and the people to be together,” Archbishop Lukudu said. Archbishop Lukudu and Episcopal Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul issued a pastoral appeal in October, celebrating negotiations between the governments in Juba and Khartoum that led to a September 27 agreement about oil and borders. South Sudan’s oil was 98% of its economy, yet earlier this year it shut down production because of a lack of agreement over using Sudan’s pipelines to transport it. The two church leaders also said they were heartened by the advances that have accompanied independence for the South. Yet they also warned that all was not right.
“Corruption within our government cannot be ignored and is constantly on the lips of the ordinary people,” the appeal stated. John Ashworth of Pretoria’s Denis Hurley Institute, an adviser to the Sudan Council of Churches, said church leaders recognise the tradeoffs necessary in a society that a short time ago was a fragile coalition of often-feuding militias bound together only by their common opposition to northern rule. “The bishops are realistic. They know why there’s corruption. They know why the government has to be made up of people who represent constituencies, whether they’re ethnic groups or militias. You can’t just sack them all. Otherwise you’d not only have no government, you’d have civil war,” he said. “They are also aware that there are people who spent 22 years in the bush and sacrificed their whole adult life and now feel that it’s payback time. ‘Somebody should buy me a house and send all my kids to school.’ Nonetheless, the bishops are calling for change,” he said.—CNS
Bishop: ‘Political agenda behind gay rights’ BY CAROL GLATZ
HE push for gay marriage rights is being driven by politicians who are following their personal agendas rather than the actual demands or expectations of the gay community, according to Bishop Kieran Conroy of Arundel and Brighton, England. “Very often” some social policies, such as requiring Church-run adoption agencies to consider same-sex couples as potential adoptive parents or proposals to legalise same-sex marriage, “are politically moti-
vated in terms of vote-catching and representation of politicians as standing up for human rights,” he said. Such proposals are not necessarily coming from the gay community, he said during a briefing with journalists at the Vatican. People advocating such policies seem to be “some other small group” that is not personally invested in the issue, but rather is motivated by defending human rights in a very general, broadly sweeping way, he said. Brighton “is regarded as the gay capital of the United King-
dom”, and the bishop said members of the gay community he has spoken to “respect the right of the churches to have their own rules” on issues. Currently, the bishops are fighting British government proposals to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples. The Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has said government assurances that churches would not be compelled to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies were meaningless because, they said, the law could be amended at any time.—CNS
cerned whether or not Gabriele was capable of understanding his actions, which the judges answered affirmatively. The judges also discussed the points that, in their view, made Mr Gabriele’s actions a case of “aggravated theft” and not simple theft. The main aggravating factor, they said, was the fact that Mr Gabriele abused his position of trust: “In effect, Gabriele was able to commit the crime he’s accused
of because of his work relationship with the Holy Father, which necessarily was based on a bond of trust. [...] He used this unique position to perpetrate his criminal actions,” they said. While recognising that Mr Gabriele was not paid for leaking the documents to an Italian journalist (who, in turn, published them in an instantly best-selling book), the judges said he still committed the crime with the intent to profit from it “intellectually and morally”. The judges quoted him as telling investigators, “Even if the possession of those documents was illicit, I felt I had to do it for various reasons, including my own personal interests.” Gabriele, they said, felt that having the documents would help him better understand the inner workings of the Vatican, and leaking them to a journalist would help him provide the “shock” that could lead to change in the Vatican, which he felt was becoming filled with corruption and careerism. In the verdict, the judges ordered Mr Gabriele to pay the Vatican’s court costs, which Fr Lombardi said amounted to the equivalent of about 1000 Euros. Claudio Sciarpelletti, the Vatican Secretariat of State computer technician accused of aiding and abetting the pope’s butler in stealing confidential Vatican correspondence, will go on trial at the Vatican on November 5.—CNS
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The Southern Cross, October 31 to November 6, 2012
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Editor: Günther Simmermacher
How we dress for Mass
N the 1920s a lively debate in The Southern Cross focused on the immodest dress of women who displayed their ankles. The debate about how to dress, especially when attending Mass, continues today, even as bare ankles have become quite tolerable. In a recent “Open Door” column on the subject, Michael Shackleton pointed out that “modesty affirms the sacredness of the human person and so it preserves the human body from becoming an object of curiosity and lust [...] Most do not intend to be immodest or provocative, but they can forget that they are taking part in solemn worship in a holy place, not out on the public roads.” There are also valid grounds for objection when congregants wear T-shirts with sexually suggestive, never mind explicit, slogans. These can cause legitimate scandal and those who wear them should be politely advised that their wear is inappropriate, certainly in the setting of the Mass. Sartorial norms, preferences and expectations are subject to fashion, culture and climate. A century ago, culture was scandalised by women who exposed their ankles; today even conservatively dressed women expose much more leg. Until 1917 it was even mandatory, in canon law, for women to wear mantillas at Mass. Until not too long ago, the standard dress code for professional men was limited to suits and tie. Today, many professionals wear jeans and open-neck or golf shirts to work. And where in the northern hemisphere the two-piece suit may correspond with the climate, they can induce severe discomfort in South Africa’s hot summers. There is no disrespect in dressing for comfort, even at Mass. Yet, there can be a thin line between that and wearing too bruef shorts, or clothing more suitable for the beach. Objections to the way others dress for Mass tend to focus not only on the immodest but also on perceived “sloppiness”. They ask: Would people wearing casual gear present themselves dressed like that at other formal settings, such as a job interview or a wedding? Should they not dress at their best exactly when
visiting God’s house? To such objectors, slipshod garb indicates not only a lack of respect for the dignity of the Mass, but also a failure to acknowledge or understand its ultimate wonder: being in the presence of God. At the same time, the Mass is not a fashion show at which sartorial styles are up for judgment. The Mass etiquette debate risks placing the focus on external matters when it is our interior state that is much more important—and we cannot know one’s interior state by their appearances. Our Lord made this clear when he repeatedly warned against hypocrisy. Referring to the pious scribes and Pharisees, he said: “All their works are performed to be seen. They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels” (Mt 23:5). To Jesus, external appearance is meaningless as an indicator of the interior. Indeed, we might well use the act of dressing for Mass as an opportunity to interrogate our own interior state: Could we be choosing an outfit to demonstrate our piety (and, perhaps, status)? Can we say that others are less virtuous because their dress code differs from ours? We must beware of anything that may induce us to judge others, which can be an occasion for sin (Mt 7-1-5). And we must not lack charity towards those who see such things as dress norms differently. Conscious of the fluidity of cultural norms and of the material poverty of many people, the universal Church enforces no dress protocol for Mass, though certain churches, especially those frequented by tourists, insist on modesty in attire. Some dioceses and parishes have also issued guidelines. Views on appropriate dress for Mass are inevitably subjective. What is vulgar and distracting to one person may be quite acceptable to the next. However, there are some qualities on which all can agree. As a minimum and within one’s means, one should attend Mass wearing clothes that are clean, neat and modest. And when a fellow congregant’s clothes fail to match our expectations, let us not be incensed by it, but say a prayer for them.
Witchcraft threatens our children
F one had a passion to bring the Gospel message into the schools, how would one go about doing that? The Catholic schools are receiving it, but my concern is for the state and semi-private schools, where religions are diverse and Christianity has lost its place. We can educate our children at home, but at the schools we cannot choose their friends, and the influences they have on our children. My concern is also for the children who are misled by the immorality shown on television and the immoral upbringing in some broken homes, experimenting in witchcraft, sex and drugs.
Loreto House not science
WONDER what other Catholics feel about Pope Benedict visiting the Holy House of Loreto, thereby lending credence to the myth that the house was miraculously transplanted from the Holy Land? The consensus reached after years of scientific discussions between the Vatican Observatory and the Centre for Theology and Natural Sciences was that God does not violate or suspend the laws of nature, a concept called Non-Interventionist Objective Divine Action (NIODA). Brian Robertson, Cape Town
Israel is only defending itself
ESPONDING to Paul Collins (October 17), I believe the real issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are more fundamental than his article suggests and have been around for some time. Israel’s very existence is threatened by its enemies and these threats are well documented. Even if Israel were to yield the West Bank and Gaza to create a new state of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, the government in Tehran would persist in its planned aggressions against the Jewish state. Altogether unconcerned with the fate of the Palestinians, Iran’s government can be satisfied only by Israel’s disappearance. Ironically, by its public declarations and by its deeds, Iran is remarkably open and honest about its objectives.
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Children and adults are misled by the assumption that there are “good” and “bad” wiccans (witches), that its OK to be a wiccan, as long as they are a “good” wiccan. They open themselves to the evil forces of this world and draw others with them. A parent is not aware of these exposures to our children and the need to bring the truth to them, unless the spirit of truth reveals it to them through their encounter with these misled children. How does one go about bringing this knowledge to schools that do not accept infringement upon other religions, and witchcraft and occult are seen as “religions”. Children and adults need to be
Even the many Israelis who support an independent Palestinian state do not want to be at the mercy of an extremist Hamas or Hezbollah “led” governments of Palestine and Lebanon respectively. This, in their eyes, somewhat justifies any operation aimed to act as a protective shield for the citizens of Israel. Why would Israel concern itself with an international law ruling when their future is threatened? The most fundamental and initial step in the peace process is for both parties to acknowledge and support each other’s right to exist. If it were not for the extremists on both sides, a Palestinian state would have been established some years ago. The sooner the moderates on both sides will unite, the faster this madness will stop. In closing, I wonder whether Jerusalem, as the Palestinian capital, would respect the freedom of worship that exists today in that sacred city. Andre Du Chenne, Johannesburg
ITH a view to the elections in the United States on November 6, it must be noted that in a “Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life”, signed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in 2002, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the highest authority of Catholic teaching, stated that Catholics may never vote for “pro-abortion” politician (an apt description of several of our political parties in South Africa). Our Catholics should be informed of this crucial prohibition urgently. Damian McLeish, Johannesburg
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equipped with the biblical truth of the will of God, to know what is right and wrong: “Let there be no one among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practises divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord” (Deuteronomy 18:10-12). There is a great need to bring the biblical truths to our children, and to the schools. Let us join in prayer to ask God to make a way! This is a project that could bring hope, joy and light to our children in a dark world. Catherine de Valence, Cape Town
Maximilian Schell as St Joseph of Cupertino, patron saint of students taking exams, in the 1962 film The Reluctant Saint.
Thank you, saint
WOULD like to acknowledge St Joseph of Cupertino in thanksgiving for helping me with exams which I had to re-write. When I re-wrote this exam, I felt St Joseph was present and I knew my work with 45 minutes to spare. The prayer I said was: “O Great St Joseph of Cupertino who while on earth did obtain from God the grace to be asked at your examination only the questions you knew, obtain for me a like favour in the examinations for which I am now preparing. “In return I promise to make you known and cause you to be invoked. Through Christ our Lord, St Joseph of Cupertino, pray for us. Amen.” Zita Jacobs, Vanderbijlpark n With this in mind, The Southern Cross wishes all students, especially our matrics, well in all their remaining examinations.—Editor. 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.
ADVENT LECTURES 2012
The Odour of Paradise. Themes in Islamic Spirituality
Fr Christopher Clohessy PhD
Tuesday 20 November, 19h30 – The Desolate Mystic: Adam, Satan and the Creation Story Tuesday 27 November, 19h30 – The Project of God: Muhammad and the Christians Tuesday 4 December, 19h30 – The Odour of Paradise: the Sûfî Path Tuesday 11 December, 19h30 – People of the House: the Grief of the Shi’ites Tuesday 18 December, 19h30 – Friends of God: Islam’s Mystic Women St Bernard’s Church Hall Cnr. Protea and Buchan Roads, Newlands, Ctn 19h30 to 20h30 Donation: R20 per lecture
A priest is not a magician
N Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo there are several thousand sects; it’s impossible to know their exact record. What worries me is not so much their rapid increase but the type of Christianity they teach the people. People are tempted into a certain spiritual passivity whereby God is expected to do the entire spanner boy’s job. A Christian only needs to pray and all is done. In that view, you can even have an even more direct line, faster and more effective: the prayer of the pastor. The pastor’s prayer is a bit of a trick number that is expected to open the doors of success. Do you want marriage? Want money? You have a diploma but no job? Easy! Go find a pastor, and you shall have it all. What kind of belief lurks behind this kind of prayer? People seem to have an obsession with evil spirits and every failure is attributed to these. It imprisons a person into a mindset of being incapable of standing up to fight his way out. He is just a pitiful victim. Even some Christians are more conscious of the force of evil spirits around them than they are of God’s protection, so they live in perpetual fear. And they expect to achieve their wants through the miracle of the pastor’s prayer. Unfortunately, this idea has penetrated even among Catholics, at least in our parish. Instead of facing their problem and working to find a solution, all they want is Father’s magical prayer. Here is an illustration of that. Among the Lingala people there is a
phenomenon called kindoki, meaning sorcery. Although this belief is not confined to Kinshasa, there is something quite remarkable here. Imagine, a mother accusing her own baby of being a ndoki (witch). That baby is considered an obstacle to the family’s success. Often such accusations fall on children with pale appearance, protruding belly, or a stunted and wasted body. The solution is the pastor’s prayer of exorcism. But the symptoms of kindoki obviously are signs of malnourishment, a fact some mothers do not want to face.
isters in our parish are running a nutrition centre, free of charge. Although they go from house to house to persuade parents to bring their malnourished children to the centre, many are so entrenched in kindoki that they prefer going to a pastor for prayer.
A woman prays at Mass in Kinshasa. Fr Evans Chama writes that some of his parishioners in Kinshasa see prayer as a form of magic. (Photo: Finbarr O'Reilly, Reuters/CNS)
Why we must not forget
EMEMBRANCE Day falls on Sunday, November 11. That is also the day on which I will have my annual Widowed Day of Reflection, and two special birthdays to celebrate, too. So there is stuff to remember about the past and the present. There are very few people left alive who actually remember anything of the First World War, which was fought from 1914-18, when Remembrance Day was first introduced. Even World War II may have very few memories for those of us of who were young children. Fathers and husbands were in combat or in hiding or in exile or in concentration camps, but it wasn’t only those men who were affected and suffered. In South Africa we are less concerned about these European wars now as the focus is shifting more to our own continent. There is less declared war at this time on the continent than there was in many previous eras, but nevertheless there is war—guerrilla warfare, rebels fighting government troops, and all kinds of insidious war waged on innocent people; trafficking, kidnapping and people becoming refugees inside or outside their own countries. So the need for evangelisation and mission work is great, bringing God
into the situation continues in this Year of Faith. Loss of life of any kind, through major disasters, accidents, violence, illness or just old age is sad but a reality as we recognise that it is one of the few givens in life; we will all die—but who knows how? But death is not the only loss. November in the Church is the month to commemorate those who have died and celebrate the life of the saints. This month’s family reflections on the “Day by Day With God and Family” theme can be on loss of all kinds: how we experience it, deal with it, overcome negative aspects and look for a way forward. We may have experienced job losses, losing in sport, losing money, keys, cellphones. We may have had things stolen from us, or lost a friend, a sense of time, of belonging or of independence as we grow older. In a sense I lost my pets and my house this year and I do sometimes wonder whether I am losing my mind, which is one of the greatest fears for older people. We sometimes say, “forgive and forget”, or “let bygones be bygones”, but memories should not be forgotten. Ideally memories should be cherished as the valued treasures of our lives. If there are still hurts, then healing can still be sought. Memory boxes have
Evans Chama M.Afr
Letter from Kinshasa
Recently a young man in our parish was in and out of hospital. Finally, he concluded, some evil spirits were preventing his cure. He went to a sect to be exorcised. When I learnt of this, I went to chat with him. The problem was that he could not afford the tests suggested to him at the hospital. I pointed him to an NGO that offers people like him help. It turned out that his swellings were due to heart problem—and not demons. Another example: A man brings water for me to bless. Why? He is not on good terms with the neighbour, and he is suspicious of the neighbour’s dog that comes into his yard. He wants holy water to prevent that dog from entering the yard. Surely holy water is not intended for driving dogs away? St Augustine said: “God who created you without you, will not save you without you.” While he spoke in terms of human freedom, we can also apply it to the need to do our part. The liberation, the new life that Jesus gives, is not magic. The Promised Land was not delivered on a silver platter, the sons of Israel had to fight for it, with God’s help. So do we have a role to play in our well-being. Prayer does not absolve us from taking our responsibility. Priests and pastors will do well to receive the suffering people with sympathy and guide them in their faith. But they should be firm in rejecting any suggestion that drags them into realms of magic. It is simply not the way of Jesus.
become a part of HIV/Aids ministry, allowing orphans to put together a little collection of items that remind them of the parents they have lost. There is so little time in our busy schedules for anything except the immediate reality but to be properly family-friendly it is good to set some time aside, even before the month starts and, as I generally recommend during a weekly Family Hour, to prepare a poster or small home shrine in memory of our losses and then reflect and share on the subject of loss. The Year of Faith even challenges us to consider whether we have lost some of the joy and enthusiasm for our faith, or maybe lost our faith. On a more positive note we can ask have we lost a fear, a phobia, a hurt that was bogging us down and found a new source of joy in our lives, something really worth remembering. The family theme for 2013 and the Year of Faith is “Family Moments–Faith Moments”. In our domestic churches may the words of Jesus, “Do this in memory of me”, be celebrated too in our own sacred moments. Make it fun, scour your memories for events of long ago and recent and may this become a positive growth point on all our journeys of faith.
Pray that AFRICA may draw closer to the HEART OF CHRIST
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Why the chalice? We were taught that the host contains the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Why, then, are we also offered the chalice at Communion these days? Angela Botha
ROTESTANT teachings that Christ is only figuratively, symbolically or virtually present in the eucharistic bread and wine were firmly refuted by the Council of Trent (15451563). The Council declared that Christ is truly (not figuratively), really (not symbolically) and substantially (not virtually) present under what appears to the senses to be bread and wine. A communicant who receives either apparent bread alone or apparent wine alone still receives Christ “whole and entire and a true sacrament”. What you were taught has its origin in this declaration. The consecrated host or a portion of it and the consecrated wine or a drop of it, contain Christ present in his body, blood, soul and divinity. Protestant reformers, not holding that Christ was truly present in the Eucharist, insisted that communicants must be given both bread and wine so that the eucharistic meal can clearly show that they eat and drink at the Lord’s Table. This insistence was to demonstrate the Reformers’ disapproval of the Catholic practice of not giving the faithful both Body and Blood of Christ in Communion, but the Body alone. It was for practical reasons that the Church towards the middle of the 12th century had discontinued administering the chalice to the faithful at Mass, mostly because of the danger of accidental spillage of the Precious Blood. After Trent the practice became the norm, and it is still the norm. At Sunday Mass in the Latin Rite in most churches to this day where large numbers receive the Eucharist, it is dispensed under the appearance of bread only. The Second Vatican Council allowed Communion under both kinds in certain exceptional cases, and this is why you are sometimes offered the chalice as well as the host. Generally, a parish priest receives the bishop’s authority to judge when, among small congregations or for special occasions, he may distribute Communion under both kinds. He must first ensure that communicants are properly instructed and there is no danger of profanation of the sacrament.
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The Southern Cross, October 31 to November 6, 2012
The Southern Cross, October 31 to November 6, 2012
SA’s Vatican Radio man: ‘I came, I saw and I connected’ Seàn Patrick Lovett, the head of Vatican Radio’s English section, was born and raised in Cape Town, and despite his high profile job and many international connections, there is a very big part of his heart still in South Africa, as CLAIRE MATHIESON finds out.
ALWAYS knew I was going to be on radio,” said the Cape Town-born head of Vatican Radio’s English section. Today, Italy is home and radio is his forte, but South Africa is where it all began. Seàn Patrick Lovett grew up in what he calls “one of the quietest suburbs in the world—Pinelands”. He recalls spending his afternoons building tree houses in pine trees and catching tadpoles in local streams. “I went to primary school at one of the most Catholic of pre-Vatican II convents, St Patrick’s in Mowbray, where you couldn’t see the nun’s chins because their wimples were so tight,” said Mr Lovett, who was nearly banned from receiving his First Holy Communion because “it was hot and I had a drink of water before the obligatory three hour fast was up”. The future Vatican Radio man spent the rest of his formative years at St Joseph’s Marist Brothers College in Rondebosch where “my most vivid memory is that of stuffing wads of paper into my four pairs of underpants to soften the blows of the cane which would inevitably be making close contact with my buttocks several times during the course of any given class”. But being disciplined on a regular basis would not be the only hallmark of his school career. It was here that his communication skills were established—as his debating and oratory prizes testify. Those pine trees, streams, canes and toilet paper, and the boy familiar with them, are gone, but the memories remain an important part of who Mr Lovett is today. “Radio was all I ever wanted to do. While my peers were playing with fire engines, I was playing with microphones.” The young Seàn could be found doing voiceovers for Sunday night dramas for the
SABC during his school years. As soon as his school days were over, he received an Italian government scholarship and was “hungry”. After studying in Rome, Mr Lovett did various stints of radio work around the world, including at the BBC in London on the religious desk, where he interviewed the then little-known Mother Teresa. He also did a stint at RTE in Dublin, but “I kept getting called back to Rome”, he told The Southern Cross. 1978 was the most exciting time to be in Rome—“the year of three popes”! But it was at a time when all posts at Vatican Radio were held by religious. “I remember the words of my first boss—‘I hope you’re not ambitious,’ he told me. Vatican Radio was run by the Jesuits, and there was no growth potential in the job.” Mr Lovett enjoyed a few years at the radio station until he was offered a position at a newly established American television station in 1982 which was sponsored by the American bishops through what is now Catholic News Service. As a war correspondent the young reporter was sent on assignments such as Northern Ireland, Lebanon and East Berlin. But this would last only two years before, once again, Rome called. “I went back to Vatican Radio. I’ve been there ever since—that’s 35 years in Rome,” said Mr Lovett. While radio may be his passion, communication is his talent—whatever the platform. He has taught for 25 years at the Gregorian University and today works with CREC, a French NGO that specialises in media and communication training and research. His most recent programmes have been aimed at seminarians in non-verbal and effective communication. The lectures have taken Mr Lovett around the world—all this while he is running the English section of Vatican Radio.
oday, Vatican Radio employs more than 400 people and churns out more than 40 programmes across shortwave, medium wave, satellite, FM as well as broadcasting over the Internet. Mr Lovett said part of the challenge of running Vatican Radio is keeping up with change and technology. “We have to keep moving with technology.” Vatican Radio, he said, is going in the direction of new media—a place of interaction. “Vatican Radio has always followed
Seàn Patrick Lovett, head of Vatican Radio’s English section, heads home to his roots in Cape Town once a year to visit his family. (Photo: Claire Mathieson) technology and kept up with change,” he said, adding that the station is still accessible to many where social communications had not yet reached. Mr Lovett said the head of Vatican Radio, Fr Federico Lombardi SJ, asks two simple questions when it comes to moving the broadcaster along with technology: Is it useful? And is it good? “That is the basis of our broadcasting,” said Mr Lovett. “Technology is moving very fast and we don’t quite know where it is going. We can’t ignore it.” Mr Lovett said it is important for the Catholic station to have a place in the fast paced world of social communications, without losing its identity. People today, he said, “know more than ever but we’ve never understood so little”. The likes of Vatican Radio can still help fill that void of understanding. Even with his busy schedule, and demanding job, the father of two ensures he visits Cape Town every year. “I make a point of coming back once a year and I have brought my sons with me because I think they need to know where I come from and why I am the way I am: why I love wide open spaces, and mountains and sea, and smiling people,” he said. “But most of all, I come because my par-
ents and my brothers are here, still living in Pinelands and still parishioners at Mowbray.” Mr Lovett has three brothers Kevin, Michael and Brendan. All are younger, and all three have a rare genetic condition known as “Fragile X Syndrome” which causes severe intellectual disability. Mr Lovett attributes everything he has achieved to the lessons learnt from his upbringing and his brothers. “They are the real reason I am who and what I am,” he said. “They taught me not to judge, to accept others just as they are—no prejudice, no expectations. Quite frankly, I couldn’t do what I do—whether it be in the radio or TV studio, or in the lecture or conference hall—were it not for their example.” From learning how to avoid strict teachers and use the microphone correctly, to learning how to run the English section of Vatican Radio—one might think Mr Lovett would laud many high profile mentors in his life. Instead, Mr Lovett believes it his is family that taught him his most important lessons. “They are the ones who taught me all the best things I know: courage, kindness, patience, acceptance, understanding and compassion.”
HOLY TRINITY CHURCH BRAAMFONTEIN The introduction of the new Lectionary in English for Mass in South Africa has presented a few challenges. Among these challenges are that there are few musical settings of the responsorial psalms (Revised Grail Psalms, 2010) that are readily available for free distribution. The responsorial psalm should of its nature be sung, if at all possible. Cameron Upchurch, Director of Music at Holy Trinity parish in Braamfontein, has begun the task of setting these texts to music. The settings are suitable for cantor (or choir) and congregation, with simple refrains and undemanding keyboard parts. They will be posted on the Holy Trinity website from 1st November 2012, beginning with the psalms for the Sundays of Advent. This archive will be constantly updated as new settings are completed. The idea behind this project is that this music will be available for free download, distribution and duplication by anyone who wishes to make use of it liturgically. Interested persons can visit www.trinityjhb.co.za and follow the relevant links.
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The Southern Cross, October 31 to November 6, 2012
Where Jesus once stood In Capernaum we might well encounter the physical Christ in two places. In this abridged and edited excerpt from his newly-published book The Holy Land Trek, GÜNTHER SIMMERMACHER looks at Capernaum’s synagogue and St Peter’s house
UKE’S gospel tells us that Jesus taught in a synagogue in Capernaum, and in the process cured the heckler of his demonic possession (4:31-36). It might well have been the town’s only synagogue. Synagogues were not profuse in Galilee then, and a town of Capernaum’s population, numbering maybe 1 500, had no great need for multiple synagogues. At the time, synagogues were not yet houses of liturgical worship, and didn’t even need to be buildings. Initially, the concept of synagogue referred to an assembly— the word synagogue is derived from the Greek word for assembly, synagoge—that could gather anywhere, and not necessarily in a custom-built structure. The primary purpose of these assemblies was to have public readings of the Torah, since most people were illiterate and few would have had the means to buy a copy, and to discuss these under the direction of a teacher, or rabbi. In Jesus’ time, “Rabbi” was a term of respect, but it did not yet describe an ordained minister of the Jewish religion. In 1981 Franciscan archaeologists Frs Virgilio Corbo and Stanislao Loffreda made an astonishing announcement: an excavated fourth-century limestone synagogue was built upon the black basalt foundation of a first-century synagogue. The proof for that was based on pottery found in and under the floor of the basalt foundation, which was built around 20 AD. The implications of that are
colossal: if this was Capernaum’s only synagogue, as seems probable, then this is where Rabbi Yeshua preached. Only a few small trenches of the first-century synagogue have been excavated, and it is unlikely that the rest will ever be uncovered, because to do so would require the destruction of the magnificent fourth-century structure.
ocated just twenty-five metres from the synagogue is Peter’s residence, where Jesus cured the disciple’s mother-in-law (insert your own stand-up comedy cliché here). Archaeologists have identified these ruins as incorporating an early Christian house church, which means that the site has a tradition of veneration that goes back to earliest Christian times. The fourthcentury pilgrim Egeria noted that the building had already served for a long time as a house church, or domus ecclesiae. When she visited, its walls were still standing. In the sixth century the Pilgrim of Piacenza noted that an octagonal church covered the site, remains of which we can still see now. Today a modern Franciscan church, inaugurated in 1990, is suspended above the remaining walls, looking much like a spaceship preparing to lift off for its home galaxy. There is a reason for that design: through transparent panels in the church’s floor, one can survey the excavated walls of the old residence from above. It is probable that Jesus stayed at Peter’s house. Mark’s gospel reports Jesus returning to Capernaum as the roof raising scene-setter for the healing of the paralytic: ‘When he returned to Capernaum, some time later word went round
that he was in the house; and so many people collected that there was no room left, even in front of the door’ (2:12). And that house was Peter’s place. The archaeologists found the house in stages. The first priority had been the excavation of the synagogue, but the Franciscans were aware of the octagonal shape just a stone’s throw away. Of course they also knew about the ancient travelogues that mentioned Peter’s house: the domus ecclesiae which Egeria saw, and the church which the Piacenza Pilgrim mentioned. The church’s unusual shape, the octagon, indicates that it commemorated a particularly special spot. This clearly was the church which the Piacenza Pilgrim had seen. But dating, as it was, to the fifth century, it could not have been what Egeria visited two centuries earlier. So next the archaeologists broke through the church’s mosaic floor—and found the remains of an earlier church, with hundreds of graffiti with exhortations such as “Christ have mercy’ and ‘Lord Jesus help your servant…” (the name was, sadly, indecipherable). These inscriptions were in Greek, Syriac and Hebrew. The Hebrew graffiti are significant: their presence indicates that those who worshipped here were, or at least included, Jewish Christians—which is, of course, exactly what the first followers of Christ were. The central hall of the house church has been dated to around 63 AD.
efore it was a church, it was a house. That residence was constructed of boulders with small stones jammed in gaps instead of mortar. This means that the wall could not have sustained a second floor, or even a masonry roof. The house would have been roofed with a mixture of straw and earth—easily removed for purposes
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The fourth-century limestone synagogue in Capernaum built on the black basalt foundation of a first-century synagogue in which Jesus almost certainly taught, as reported in Luke 4:31-36. (Photo: Günther Simmermacher) such as, for example, lowering paralytics into a room for the purposes of a miracle-working resident performing a cure. It was not much different from other houses in the neighbourhood, but at some point in the second half of the first century somebody marked off the house from the others, and around the same time the central room of the house was plastered, suggesting that something special was associated with the building. The pottery found in successive layers of plaster on the floor of the house also changed around that time. Instead of domestic items such as bowls, the people in the house now used oil lamps—clearly
people no longer lived here, going about their day-to-day business. With the graffiti referring to Christ (and two to somebody called Peter, one of them probably saying, “Peter, the helper of Rome”), it seems apparent that this was a very early housechurch—the domus ecclesiae which Egeria described: “And in Capernaum, what is more, the house of the Prince of the Apostles has been transformed into a church, with its original walls still standing. Here the Lord healed the paralytic.” n Next week: The Dead Sea Scrolls. To order The Holy Land Trek at R150 (plus R15 p&p) visit www.holy landtrek.com or contact The Southern Cross at email@example.com.
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The Southern Cross, October 31 to November 6, 2012
Sr Agatha O’Keefe MSA
ISTER Agatha O’Keefe MSA died on August 28 in Port Elizabeth after a short illness. She was born in Newry, Ireland and entered the newly- founded Assumption Convent in Ballynahinch, Ireland, in 1932. At her funeral Mass, Mgr John Clarke pointed out that Sr O’Keefe had joined Missionary Sisters of the Assumption in the year of the first ever Eucharistic Congress in Ireland, and died in the year of the second Eucharistic Congress in Ireland. In between were 80 years of joyful service to God and others. Sr O’Keefe taught in many Assumption schools in South Africa—Grahamstown, Durban, Johannesburg, Pretoria—and lived for some time in Mthatha, Port Alfred and Port Elizabeth. As well as teaching—her speciality was with little children—Sr O’Keefe also taught music in the afternoons. She was a very gifted person, academically,
Word of the Week
PAPAL FANON A shoulder-cape worn by the pope consisting of two pieces of white silk ornamented with narrow woven stripes of red and gold. The pope wears it only when celebrating a solemn pontifical Mass, when all the pontifical vestments are used. It was worn by Pope Benedict at the canonisation of St Kateri Tekakwitha and others in October.
Southern CrossWord solutions
SOLUTIONS TO 522. ACROSS: 3 Adam's side, 8 Plea, 9 Librarian, 10 Crisis, 11 Cyrus, 14 Yeast, 15 Tome, 16 Stone, 18 Heel, 20 Theft, 21 Dives, 24 Bonnet, 25 Officials, 26 Stem, 27 Pregather. DOWN: 1 Apocrypha, 2 Dedicated, 4 Dais, 5 Mercy, 6 Sprout, 7 Dead, 9 Lists, 11 Cross, 12 Solemnity, 13 Beats time, 17 Ethos, 19 Living, 22 Edict, 23 Afar, 24 Blue.
musically, in needlecraft and many creative pursuits. She relished putting on concerts with little children, and no-one was more proud of them than her. She never lost her own child-like wonder and awe and so could relate so easily and naturally to little ones who loved her. In her later years, when her diminishing eyesight made reading difficult, she loved to listen to inspirational tapes, and enjoyed sharing what she had heard with everyone. She often listened to the Catholic lay missionary Frances Hogan—Sr O’Keefe said she always heard something new when she listened. She was always very keen to hear the latest news, be it what had happened at the Winter School, or what the pope had recently said. She often prayed for priests, and would add a special prayer for those going through any kind of difficulty. A couple of weeks before she died, her energy began to slip away, and she died peacefully on the feast of St Augustine, with her community, the Missionary Sisters of the Assumption, at her bedside.
Liturgical Calendar Year B Weekdays Year 2
Sunday, November 4, 31st Sunday, All Saints Deuteronomy 6:2-6, Psalm 18:2-4, 47, 51, Hebrews 7:23-28, Mark 12:28-34 Monday, November 5, Deceased of seraphic order Wisdom 3:1-9, Psalm 23:1-6, John 6:37-40 Tuesday, November 6, feria Philippians 2:5-11, Psalm 22:26-32, Luke 14:15-24 Wednesday, November 7, feria Philippians 2:12-18, Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14, Luke 14:2533 Thursday, November 8, Bl John Duns Scotus Philippians 3:3-8, Psalm 105:2-7, Luke 15:1-10 Friday, November 9, Dedication of the Lateran Basilica Ezekiel 47:1-2, 8-9, 12, Psalm 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9, 1 Corinthians 3:9-11, 16-17, John 2:13-22 Saturday, November 10, St Leo the Great Philippians 4:10-19, Psalm 112:1-2, 5-6, 8-9, Luke 16:9-15 Sunday, November 11, 32nd Sunday 1 Kings 17:10-16, Psalm 146:7-10, Hebrews 9:24-28, Mark 12:38-44 or 12:41-44
IS CURRENTLY LOOKING FOR A Siyabhabha Trust’s vision is to achieve a just and equitable society which promotes people-centred development using methodologies underpinned by the Social Teachings of the Catholic Church. We are looking for a Director to work at increasing the capacity of the church community to help the desperately poor communities of South Africa. We seek a highly driven leader who is goal—directed and a hands-on strategist. The successful candidate must subscribe to, enact and represent with pride the Social Teachings of the Catholic Church. Core responsibilities: The Director will be responsible for ensuring the sustainability of Siyabhabha Trust through the management of current programmes and the development of strong partnerships which will ensure the continuation of existing projects, and resources (fundraising) to develop new projects. Applicants must have a Masters degree in a relevant ﬁeld and 5 to 10 years experience in management, planning, monitoring and evaluation of development projects. Excellent organisational and management skills. Strong computer skills and a driver’s licence are essential. Applicants should preferably speak at least three local languages. Speciﬁc experience in organisational capacity building; income generation and business planning will be an advantage. Preference will be given to practising Catholics and this is an aﬃrmative action position. The successful candidate will be oﬀered a one year ﬁxed term post based in Pretoria.
Applicants should email a CV and a letter of motivation by 16th November to Dineo Matseembi email: email@example.com Please note only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
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EDWARDS—Erica: In loving memory of Erica who died October 1, 2006 in Empangeni. Memories of her devotion to the rosary and the friendship of herself and her family remain undimmed. Rest in peace dear Erica. Rosheen Sacco and family.
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cour me in my necessity. There is none who can withstand your power, O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. Holy Mary, I place this cause in your hands. “Say this prayer for 3 consecutive days and then publish. HAIL, HOLY QUEEN, Mother of Mercy! our life, our sweetness, and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning
and weeping in this valley, of tears. Turn, then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us; and after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus; O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
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. RCP O MOST beautiful flower of Mount Carmel, fruitful vine, splendour of Heaven, blessed Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me in my necessity. O Star of the Sea, help me and show me where you are, Mother of God. Queen of heaven and earth I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart to suc-
GRATEFUL thanks to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Our Mother Mary and Ss Joseph, Anthony, Jude and Martin de Porres for prayers answered. RCP.
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The Southern Cross is published independently by the Catholic Newspaper & Publishing Company Ltd. Address: PO Box 2372, Cape Town, 8000. Tel: (021) 465 5007 Fax: (021) 465 3850 www.scross.co.za Editor: Günther Simmermacher (email@example.com), Business Manager: Pamela Davids (firstname.lastname@example.org), Advisory Editor: Michael Shackleton, News Editor: Claire Mathieson (email@example.com), Editorial: Claire Allen (firstname.lastname@example.org), Mary Leveson (email@example.com) Advertising: Elizabeth Hutton (firstname.lastname@example.org), Subscriptions: Avril Hanslo (email@example.com), Dispatch: Joan King (firstname.lastname@example.org), Accounts: Desirée Chanquin (email@example.com). Directors: C Moerdyk (Chairman), C Brooke, P Davids, S Duval, E Jackson, B Jordan, M Lack (UK), Sr H Makoro CPS, M Salida, G Simmermacher, Archbishop B Tlhagale OMI, Z Tom
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32nd Sunday: November 11 Readings: 1 Kings 17:10-16, Psalm 146: 710, Hebrews 9:24-28, Mark 12:38-44
HO are God’s favourite people? Human beings tend, without thinking very much about it, to assume that God’s “best friends” are the rich, the famous, the powerful, and the hierarchy of the Church. That is not at all what the readings for next Sunday are telling us, it would seem. The first reading has Elijah visiting a pagan widow. This good lady is apparently out of the reckoning on two counts: you can’t possibly be a friend of God if you are not properly religious; and to be a widow was to be utterly neglected in the great scheme of things, and to have no means of support. At first sight it is another story of the “man of God” exploiting this good lady, ordering her to bring him water and food, when she does not have enough even for herself and her son. She responds by invoking Elijah’s God, not her own (“as the Lord your God lives...”), as a witness that she was just on her way to prepare a last inadequate meal for herself and her son, “we shall eat it and die”. Elijah lacks nothing in the way of assurance, however, (though we must notice that
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God’s unexpected favourites
Nicholas King SJ
his confidence is based on his experience of God, rather than on male arrogance), and the upshot is that “she and he and her household had food for...days”. This is a “God of surprises”. The psalm describes this surprising God with a series of labels: “The one who keeps faith forever, does justice to the oppressed, gives bread to the hungry, the Lord who sets prisoners free, and straightens up those who are bent down, the Lord who loves the just.” This is not the kind of God whom we ordinarily look for, the chest-beating potentate among deities that we all secretly hope will be coming to our aid. This one, though, is not interested in power or the powerful, but in the “foreigner, the orphan, the widow”. And amazingly, this God, who looks nothing like the profile constructed by
policy makers, “will rule for ever”! Next Sunday’s second reading continues the extraordinary Letter to the Hebrews, and its patient examination of why Jesus is so special. Here it is because Jesus has not gone into “a sanctuary made by human hands...but into heaven itself”. This is very remarkable indeed; the point is that Jesus is superior to the high priest of the old cult. There is however this very odd difference, that Jesus does not perform a sacrifice, but is himself sacrificed, “in order to cancel out sin”; and he goes on, “Christ was offered once in order to take away the sins of many”. Astonishingly, therefore, Jesus is seen as God’s way of coping with sin, not through a dramatic demonstration of power, but by paying the ultimate price. Are we ready for a God like this? In the g ospel for next Sunday, Jesus is just coming to the end of a bitter series of controversies with the religious establishment (with the surprising exception of a scribe with whom he has reached complete agreement), which is going to lead, it is already quite clear, to his death. Now he is warning his hearers against the scribes who
Don’t stop believing T
HERE is a Norwegian proverb that reads: “Heroism consists of hanging on one minute longer.” When I was a child in elementary school one of the stories assigned to us in our textbook for literature had that title and it told the story of a young boy who had fallen through the ice while skating and was left clinging, cold and alone, to the edge of the ice with no help in sight. As he hung on in this seemingly hopeless situation he was tempted many times to simply let go since no one was going to come along to rescue him. But he held on, despite all odds. Finally, when everything seemed beyond hope, he clung on one minute longer and after that extra minute help arrived. The story was simple and its moral was simple: This young boy lived because he had the courage and strength to hang on one minute longer. Rescue comes just after you have given up on it, so extend your courage and waiting one minute longer. This is a tale of physical heroism and it makes its point clearly; heroism often consists in staying the course long enough, of hanging on when it seems hopeless, of suffering cold and aloneness while waiting for a new day. Scripture teaches much the same thing about moral heroism: In the Second Letter to the Thessalonians, Paul ends a long, challenging admonition by stating: “You must never grow weary of doing what is right.” And in his letter to the Galatians, Paul virtually repeats
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Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
the Norwegian proverb: “Let us not become weary of doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” This sounds so simple and yet it cuts to the heart of many of our moral struggles. We give up too soon, give in too soon, and don’t carry our solitude to its highest level. We simply don’t carry tension long enough. All of us experience tension in our lives: tension in our families, tension in our friendships, tension in our places of work, tension in our churches, tension in our communities, and tension within our conversations around other people, politics, and current events. And, being good-hearted people, we carry that tension with patience, respect, graciousness and forbearance— for a while! Then, at a certain point we feel ourselves stretched to the limit, grow weary of doing what is right, feel something snap inside of us, and hear some inner-voice say: “Enough! I’ve put up with this too long! I won’t tolerate this anymore!” And we let go, unlike the little boy clinging to the ice and waiting for rescue. We let go of patience, respect, graciousness, and forbearance, either by
venting and giving back in kind or simply by fleeing the situation with an attitude of good riddance. Either way, we refuse to carry the tension any longer. But that exact point, when we have to choose between giving up or holding on, carrying tension or letting it go, is a crucial moral site, one that determines character: big-heartedness, nobility of character, deep maturity, and spiritual sanctity often manifest themselves around these questions: How much tension can we carry? How great is our patience and forbearance? How much can we put up with? Mature parents put up with a lot of tension in raising their children. Mature teachers put up with a lot of tension in trying to open the minds and hearts of their students. Mature friends absorb a lot of tension in remaining faithful to each other. Mature young women and men put up with a lot of sexual tension while waiting for marriage. Mature Christians put up with a lot of tension in helping to absorb the immaturities and sins of their churches. Men and women are noble of character precisely when they can walk with patience, respect, graciousness, and forbearance amid crushing and unfair tensions, when they never grow weary of doing what is right. Of course this comes with a caveat. Carrying tension does not mean carrying abuse. Those of noble character and sanctity of soul challenge abuse rather than enable it through well-intentioned acquiescence. Sometimes, in the name of virtue and loyalty, we are encouraged to absorb abuse, but that is antithetical to what Jesus did. He loved, challenged, and absorbed tension in a way that took away the sins of the world. We know now, thanks to long bitter experience, that, no matter how noble our intention, when we absorb abuse as opposed to challenging it, we don’t take away the sin, we enable it. But all of this will not be easy. It’s the way of long loneliness, with many temptations to let go and slip away. But if you persevere and never grow weary of doing what is right, at your funeral, those who knew you will be blessed and grateful that you continued to believe in them even when for a time they had stopped believing in themselves.
are, as it were, the representatives of that establishment. What is wrong with them is precisely that they like “walking about in fancy clothes, and getting saluted in the public spaces, and the best seats in church, and the top places at dinner-parties”. They are then accused of “devouring the houses of widows” (in contrast to Elijah in our first reading) and of “pretending to spend a long time in prayer”. Alarmingly, these good religious people, Jesus says, “will get a worse condemnation”. Then comes a ready-made example. Jesus asks us to look at the people who are contributing to the collection: all that they give is recorded and published, and the wealthy are doing their bit. Then comes a “widow” (and the first reading may prepare us for the shock), who gives “two cents, that is to say a farthing!” We must imagine the spectators roaring derisively at the insignificance of this irrelevant gift. But Jesus is not laughing, and his verdict is that “all the others contributed from their surplus, while she contributed from her poverty: she put in her whole life!” God’s favourites are not the ones whom you or I might expect.
Southern Crossword #522
3. A dead miss about where Eve came from (5,4) 8. Petition made to the court (4) 9. She’s in charge of the books on the shelves (9) 10. Is twice preceded by little credit: a time of danger (6) 11. The Lord called him “my shepherd” (Is 44) (5) 14. It’s added to the dough (5) 15. Scholarly book (4) 16. It was rejected by the builders (Mt 21) (5) 18. The serpent will strike it (Gn 3) (4) 20. A criminal offence that breaks God’s commandment (5) 21. Plunges head first, like the rich man (5) 24. Easter headwear (6) 25. They hold public office (9) 26. Stalk (4) 27. Get together beforehand (9)
1. Non-genuine biblical books (9) 2. Addict Dee is devoted to her purpose (9) 4. Said about platform (4) 5. Its quality is not strained (Shakespeare) (5) 6. Brussels will bring forth offshoot (6) 7. Kind of end that is lifeless (4) 9. Catalogues (5) 11. Crucifixion gibbet (5) 12. Formal ceremony that is dignified (9) 13. Uses a baton for the choir (5,4) 17. Elizabeth oscillates with distinctive character inside (5) 19. The water that Christ gives (Jn 4) (6) 22. Pope Benedict ends with a decree (5) 23. At a distance (4) 24. Shade of melancholy (4) Solutions on page 11
PRIEST who was very fond of pure, hot horseradish always kept a bottle of it on his dining room table. He offered some to a guest, who took a big spoonful. When the guest finally was able to speak, he gasped: “I’ve heard many priests preach hellfire, but you are the first one I’ve met who passed out a sample of it!” Send us your favourite Catholic joke, preferably clean and brief, to The Southern Cross, Church Chuckle, PO Box 2372, Cape Town, 8000.