Witbank, 16 January, 2021 / 8:00 pm (ACI Africa).
Members of the three-nation Conference of Catholic Bishops in Southern Africa have decided to have their first Plenary Assembly in 2021 virtually due to the rising reported cases of COVID-19 and related restrictions, the leadership has announced.
“In the light of the current COVID-19 surge and the restrictions imposed by the State President, as well as uncertainty of what will happen later this month, the Bishops of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) have decided to hold a virtual Plenary Meeting as opposed to the physical meeting that was anticipated,” the leadership of SACBC says in a Thursday January 14 statement.
The virtual meeting that will bring together Catholic Bishops and heads of Dioceses in South Africa, Botswana and Swaziland is scheduled to take place January 19 – 22.
The announcement published on SACBC’s website also indicates that the installation of Bishop Xolelo Thaddeus Kumalo as the Local Ordinary of Witbank Diocese that had been slated for January 24 has been postponed.
Previously at the helm of Eshowe Diocese, 66-year-old Bishop Kumalo was transferred to Witbank Diocese by Pope Francis on 25 November 2020, where he will succeed Bishop Giuseppe Sandri who passed on in May 2019.