Johannesburg, 15 May, 2020 / 4:27 am (ACI Africa).
The members of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) have, in a pastoral letter, expressed solidarity with their laity who they say are experiencing stress owing to the COVID-19-related restrictions in Botswana, South Africa and Swaziland.
In the collective statement, the members of the three-nation conference noted that in a bid to defeat the pandemic through such measures as social distancing and avoiding public gatherings including the celebration of Mass in public, people continued to be “physically cut off from consolation, companionship and joy” and that the parishes were now “lonely.”
“Dear Brothers and Sisters the parishes are lonely for you, you are missed. We will meet again; He is risen, He is beside us,” the Bishops said in their Wednesday, May 13 message.
In the letter penned on the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, the Bishops of various dioceses in the three countries noted that it was not helping that people who were locked away in distress could no longer find consolation from meeting fellow Christians.
“As the Catholic Bishops of Southern Africa, we are concerned in a particular way for our many brothers and sisters who are experiencing stress at this time of lockdown. To defeat the pandemic and protect our neighbors we are physically cut off from consolation, companionship and joy,” they said.