Jacob Zuma to Attend Catholic Church Pilgrimage, Address Service

Times Live:

President Jacob Zuma will attend the Roman Catholic Church’s annual pilgrimage to Kevelaer, in Donnybrook, KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday, the presidency said.

“Hosted by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Mariannhill, the annual pilgrimage seeks to highlight and strengthen the role played by the church in the society and also to pray for the needs of the communities,” it said in a statement.

Zuma was expected to address the service.

He left a Southern African Development Community summit in Mozambique on Friday to visit the Lonmin Marikana mine in the North West where 34 mineworkers were killed during a shootout with police.


Russian Orthodox Church Asks Authorities to Show Mercy on Pussy Riot

Officials from Russia’s Orthodox Church have appealed to the country’s authorities to “show mercy” on the three members of Pussy Riot sentenced to two years in jail for a “punk prayer” in Moscow’s main cathedral.

­“Casting no doubt on the legitimacy of the court’s decision, we appeal to the public authorities to show mercy, within the law, on the convicted in the hope they will never repeat such blasphemous actions,” the Russian Orthodox Church’s High Council said in a statement.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Ekaterina Samutsevich have each been sentenced to two years in a medium-security prison for hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.

“We think the words of pity for the convicted which have been coming from the Church’s children and other people are natural. It is necessary to divide the sin from sinner and reprimand the first while hoping the latter will improve,” said the Orthodox Church.

The Church condemned “the intentional act of blasphemy” as well as the “rude hostility to millions of peopleand their feelings” they say the Pussy Riot manifested back in February. They also pointed out that blasphemy which qualifies as “a sin against God” can only be forgiven after “sincere repentance.”

Still, calls were made on people hurt by the punk performance to abstain from revenge or violence.

This is the first official statement Russia’s Orthodox Church has made since the trial began. Like President Vladimir Putin, the top clerics refrained from remarks that could affect the judge’s decision. Nevertheless, Putin ventured a small comment on August 3 saying the three girls should not be judged too harshly.

In February, Pussy Riot performed a “punk prayer” in Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral. Dressed in bright, short dresses and balaclavas, they sang a song with controversial lyrics, slamming a perceived merger of state with the Church, and called on the Virgin Mary to banish Vladimir Putin, who was Prime Minister at that time.


So the above seems to run a little against the common thread that has the leader of the Russian church, Patriarch Krill, watching a YouTube clip of Pussy Riot doing what they did and calling President Putin demanding action against them…

See also: Pussy Riot verdict draws criticism around globe, here.



A Beautiful Prayer

My Lord, I know not what I ought to ask of Thee. Thou and Thou alone knowest my needs. Thou lovest me more than I am able to love Thee. O Father, grant unto me, Thy servant, all which I cannot ask. For a cross I dare not ask, nor for consolation; I dare only to stand in Thy presence. My heart is open to Thee. Thou seest my needs of which I myself am unaware. Behold and lift me up! In Thy presence I stand, awed and silenced by Thy will and Thy judgments, into which my mind cannot penetrate. To Thee I offer myself as a sacrifice. No other desire is mine but to fulfill Thy will. Teach me how to pray. Do Thyself pray within me. Amen.

– Prayer of St. Philaret, Metropolitan of Moscow