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Latest stories: South Africa

South Africa’s Durban and Klerksdorp Dioceses Postpone Reopening of Churches

Days after the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa announced the possible resumption of public worship beginning June 1, a move the Catholic Bishops in the country supported, the Archbishop of Durban and the Bishop of Klerksdorp diocese have decided to postpone the reopening of the places of worship in their respective jurisdictions to allow for adequate preparations, including awareness workshops for Priests.

Members of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) / SACBC

Plan to Reopen Places of Worship in South Africa Draws Mixed Reactions from Church Leaders

The announcement by South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa May 26 that places of worship may reopen beginning from June 1 has elicited mixed reactions from church leaders in the country, some welcoming the move and others terming it as questionable.

Some residents in South Africa protests over lack of food and jobs during the coronavirus pandemic. / Dino Lloyd/Gallo Images via Getty Images

Church in South Africa Reaches Out to Poor Families Defying Lockdown to Beg

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.

Entrance to the Good-Shepherd Learning Centre Madidi, South Africa. / SACBC

Nuns in South Africa Donate Food, Protective Gear to Needy amid COVID-19 Lockdown

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 iconic Cathedral of Our Lady of the Flight into Egypt, Cape Town where there was robbery and vandalism on April 18, 2020. /

Some Items Stolen from South Africa’s Oldest Cathedral Recovered

Some of the items stolen from Our Lady of the Flight into Egypt Cathedral of Cape Town Archdiocese, South Africa’s oldest Cathedral, have been positively identified and recovered, the Cathedral Administrator has confirmed.

Logo Southern Africa Catholic Bishops Conference (SACBC) /

“You are missed,” Bishops Pen Letter to Laity in Botswana, Swaziland, South 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. 

Logo South African Council of Churches /

Church Leaders in South Africa Urge Use of WhatsApp to Fight Gender-Based Violence

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.

Fr. Noel Andrew Rucastle, newly appointed Bishop  of the Diocese of Oudtshoorn in the Western Cape province of South Africa. /

South Africa’s Oudtshoorn Diocese Gets a New Bishop

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. 

Bishop Sithembele Sipuka of the Catholic Diocese of Umtata in South Africa /

"We need to find each other, work together" in fighting COVID-19: South African Bishop

A Bishop in South Africa is calling on the people of God to come together in the fight against COVID-19 in his country where at least 3,465 cases have been confirmed, the highest number in Africa.

The iconic Cathedral of Our Lady of the Flight into Egypt, Cape Town which was vandalised on Saturday, April 18. /

Oldest Cathedral in South Africa Desecrated, Prelate Asks Faithful to Offer Reparation

Our Lady of the Flight into Egypt Cathedral of South Africa's Cape Town Archdiocese, the oldest Cathedral in the country, which is also referred to as St. Mary’s Cathedral, was vandalized last Saturday, a Church official has confirmed.

Archbishop-elect of South Africa's Bloemfontein Archdiocese, Zolile Peter Mpambani. /

“I look forward to working with everybody”: Archbishop-elect of Bloemfontein, 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.

(ZCCB) Representative, Bishop Moses Hamungole receives donation on behalf of the Conference. / Caritas Zambia

Amid COVID-19, “let us support Church’s ministry to poor, vulnerable”: Zambia Bishops

At a time when governments across the globe have been forced to expend their resources in the fight against the spread of COVID-19, Bishops in the southern Africa nation of Zambia are encouraging the people of God in their country to reach out to the poor and vulnerable in their midst rather than expect foreign donations.

Fr. Gérard Lagleder and some of his staff in an Order of Malta clinic in Mandeni, South Africa. / Vatican News

Rome-based Catholic Lay Religious Order Supporting Fight against COVID-19 in Africa

The Order of Malta, a Rome-based Catholic lay Religious Order that is active in some 120 countries, is supporting efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Africa where the centuries old institution is present in over 30 nations.

Pope Francis on Wednesday April 1, transferred  Bishop Zolile Peter Mpambani from South Africa’s Kokstad diocese to the Metropolitan See of Bloemfontein, elevating him as Archbishop. /

Pope Francis Transfers, Elevates South African Bishop Overseeing Formation of Laity

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.

Bishop Sithembele Sipuka of Mthatha diocese, South Africa. /

COVID-19 Measures "may call clergy, religious to share our own food": South African Bishop

As South Africans continue to observe the 21-day nation-wide lockdown declared to control the spread of COVID-19, the Bishop of Mthatha diocese has called on the clergy and religious in his diocese to consider making sacrifices that would include giving from their own food reserves to help those adversely affected by the stay-at-home directive.

Phillip Cardinal Ouédraogo, President of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), currently being treated for COVID-19. /

Church Leaders Express Solidarity with African Cardinal Being Treated for COVID-19

The news of the hospitalization of the President of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), Phillip Cardinal Ouédraogo, with COVID-19 was received with shock across the continent, with Catholic Church leaders known to the Burkinabe Prelate expressing their solidarity in messages seen by ACI Africa.

Coronavirus – Africa : 46 countries reporting a total 2,475 cases of COVID-19, 64 deaths (25 March 2020) /

Dioceses in Africa Seek to Align Pastoral Guidelines with State Directives over COVID-19

With at least 2,455 cases of COVID-19 confirmed across not less than 43 countries in Africa, various Catholic dioceses on the continent have announced pastoral guidelines aligned with directives issued by their respective governments in a bid to control the spread of the virus.

Logo IMBISA /

Bishops in Southern Africa Commit to Combat Human Trafficking

Bishops from nine countries in Southern Africa have, under their umbrella body of the Inter-regional Meeting of the Bishops of Southern Africa (IMBISA), expressed their commitment to fighting human trafficking in the region.

Archbishop Buti Tlhagale  of the Archdiocese of Johannesburg, South Africa. /

Church in South Africa Suspends Holy Week Celebrations amid Dwindling Resources

As South Africa battles to curb the spread of COVID-19, with officials confirming the first cases of local transmission, including four children aged under six years, the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Johannesburg has announced that little will be done to mark the Holy Week and Easter celebrations, even as Parishes in the Archdiocese run short of financial resources.

Bishops of the Southern Africa Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) /

South Africa Declares COVID-19 National Disaster, Church Limits Mass to 100

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.