“It has been two years without a Bishop. There may have been some setbacks, there may have been some trampling on each other’s toes, there may have been some betrayals, there may have been some mistakes, there may have been some hurts but as we install a new Bishop and we do that soon after the resurrection of the Lord, we are invited to make a fresh start, to begin anew because you have a new Bishop at this season when we celebrate the risen Lord among us,” said Bishop Sipuka.
He also made reference to Prophet Jeremiah who, in one of the readings chosen for the day, was sent to the chosen people of God to point out to them how they had deviated from God’s way. In reference to the reading, Bishop Sipuka warned to beware of the structural sins that exist in society.
“There are too many structural sins that are prevailing in our time, the sin of unfair capitalist economy which leads to a few having more than they need while the majority are destitute, the sin of corruption, the sin of violence and the sin of racism,” said Bishop Sipuka.
The South African Bishop who will turn 61 on April 27 added, “Like the Prophet Jeremiah, we must name these structural sins for what they are, but we must also not forget the personal aspect because ultimately sin lies in the heart of individuals.”
He said that the instruction to Jeremiah at the beginning of his ministry to pluck and break down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant, is “an invitation to deal directly with attitudes and behaviors of sin in our lives.”
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“Those destructive attitudes need to be destroyed and overthrown, plucked up and broken and then built and planted anew; we are invited to destroy and not to renovate,” the Bishop said.
He exuded confidence that with the newly installed Bishop, all the people of God in Kimberley Diocese would feel included in building the South African Diocese.
“We thank God for the new Tsotsi (tribe in South Africa) chief Pastor from Johannesburg,” Bishop Sipuka said.
He added, “With his arrival in Kimberly, we pray that everybody will feel included and given the opportunity to make his or her contribution and that where we err, as we shall surely err, we will accept prophetic corrections from each other and grow in our life as Catholics and make this Diocese great in advancing the kingdom of God.”
Bishop Tsoke was ordained a Priest of Johannesburg in 1995. He was appointed on March 3 as the Bishop of Kimberley.