Klerksdorp, 16 June, 2021 / 9:53 pm (ACI Africa).
The leadership of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) has, on the occasion of the National Youth Day, invited young people across South Africa to practice love and cohesion in place of hatred and racial discrimination.
In a Tuesday, June 15 letter to the country’s youth shared with ACI Africa, the Bishops note that economic challenges experienced by young people in South Africa are caused by perceived racial differences and vagaries of COVID-19.
Every June 16, South Africans commemorate young people who lost their lives in the 1976 Soweto Uprising, which saw 176 protestors, most of them students, lose their lives in the hands of colonial administration.
“Our message of hope is also an invitation to imitate the class of 1976 and confront the challenges that we face as a society, including racism, corruption and violence. Why are we sending you a message of hope today, when we commemorate 16 June 1976?” Catholic Bishops in South Africa pose.
In their message put together by SACBC Liaison Bishop for Justice and Peace, Bishop Victor Phalana, the Catholic Church leaders quote Vaclav Havel, “I am not an optimist because I am not sure that everything ends well, nor am I a pessimist because I am not sure that everything ends badly. I just carry hope in my heart.”