Hard pressed to evade starvation amid stringent COVID-19 restrictions, poor families in South Africa are risking contagion and moving from house to house to beg, a situation that has attracted the attention of Salesian missionaries working in the Southern African country.
With reported increasing cases of job losses and food shortage in South Africa following the COVID-19 lockdown in the country, charity organizations have come out strongly to support the most adversely affected.
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.
As the world marked the International Nurses Day on Tuesday, May 12, celebrating the fearlessness, hard work and selflessness of nurses who continue to put their lives on the line to save those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, our attention at ACI Africa was drawn to a clinic in South Sudan where health caregivers are fighting all odds in times of the pandemic to attend to the sick.
Following the decision by the parliament of the landlocked Southern African nation of Botswana to begin a gradual lifting of the five-week COVID-19 lockdown, a Bishop in the two-diocese country has welcomed the move, terming it “light at the end of the turnel.”
In South Africa where COVID-19 restrictions have plunged the country into various crimes including police brutalities and a rise in cases of gender-based violence (GBV), church leaders drawn from 30 Christian denominations have condemned the crimes and encouraged the use of WhatsApp to report cases of violence founded on gender.
Pope Francis has appointed Fr. Noel Andrew Rucastle as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Oudtshoorn in the Western Cape province of South Africa.
The Archbishop-elect of South Africa’s Bloemfontein Archdiocese is looking forward to a collaborative ministry with the people of God who will be under his care, he has said in an interview.
Bishops in Africa have, individually and collectively, offered messages of hope to the people of God on the continent in their respective Easter messages amid “silent Easter” celebrations due to COVID-19 restrictions.
On April 1, Pope Francis transferred the Bishop Zolile Peter Mpambani from South Africa’s Kokstad diocese to the Metropolitan See of Bloemfontein, elevating him as Archbishop.
Following the declaration by South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa that COVID-19 is a national disaster in the country, the first declaration of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa with 61 cases confirmed, the Catholic Bishops there have directed clergy, religious and the lay faithful to observe preventive measures including a not-more-than 100-person congregation at Holy Mass.
As South Africa struggles to curb alarming rates of gender-based killings targeting women and girls, a Bishop in the country has, in an interview with ACI Africa, highlighted the need to identify the root cause of violence targeting women for an appropriate way out of the societal challenge.
In an effort to respond to Pope Francis’ call that all local churches across the globe set working systems to address sexual crimes committed by clerics and religious, the Institute of Canon Law at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) has expanded admissions into its Canon Law training.
In response to the request from the Bishop of South Africa’s Diocese of Mariannhill “for an Apostolic Visitation”, Pope Francis has appointed the Archbishop Emeritus of Pretoria in South Africa, William Slattery to represent him in the visit of the diocese that is part of the Ecclesiastical Province of Durban.
The newly-launched pastoral plan of the Southern Africa Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) is expected to be “a light in darkness” for Botswana, Eswatini and South Africa, to guide the three countries on the path of evangelization in contemporary times, and possibly redeem the people of God there from economic instability, corruption and social evils to become, once again, “the model and envy of the world,” a section of SACBC members have said.
At the ongoing Plenary Assembly of the Bishops in Botswana, South Africa and Swaziland, the Papal representative in the region, Archbishop Peter Bryan Wells outlined, on Wednesday, January 22, five characteristics of missionary episcopate that the Holy Father desires of serving Bishops as explained in Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium and that “the bishop must become a model of the joy of Christ.”
Pope Francis has expressed his condolences to the families of the two priests, formators at Saint John Vianney Seminary in Pretoria, South Africa, who died in the December 3 road accident and made known his prayerful solidarity with the two others who survived the Tuesday afternoon tragedy.
As the global community continues to mark the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence that started November 25 advocating for the elimination of all forms of gender violence, Church leaders under the Southern Africa Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC), a region that has recorded the highest cases of femicide in Africa, have called on all people to use the upcoming Advent season to promote the dignity of women and girls, taking deliberate initiatives to end gender-based violence that usually targets the female gender.