Fr Stephen Smuts

Posts Tagged ‘Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference

Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference Leadership Changes

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The Bishops have voted for their new Leadership from January 2013-2015. President: Archbishop Stephen Brislin (Cape Town). 1st Vice President: Archbishop Jabulani Nxumalo (Bloemfontein). 2nd Vice President: Bishop Sithembele Siphuka (Mthatha). Archbishop Buti Tlhagale, outgoing president congratulated the new ‘Troika’. The Bishops will vote on leadership for Departments, Offices and Associate bodies in January 2013.


There is more about Archbishop Stephen Brislin here.


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

August 6, 2012 at 15:49

South African Bishops Grieve 1 Million ‘Lost Children’ after 15 Years of Legalized Abortion

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Fifteen years have come and gone since abortion was rammed through in South African in the name of ‘reproductive rights.’ Catholic bishops in the region have expressed regret at the loss of an estimated one million children who were stripped of “the most fundamental of rights, the right to life.”

“We remember those one million babies,” said Archbishop Buti Tlhagale on behalf of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference that convened at the end of January. The Conference is comprised of Catholic Bishops from Botswana, South Africa, and Swaziland.

In November of 1996, South Africa enacted the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act that allowed “every woman the right to choose whether to have an early, safe and legal termination of pregnancy according to her individual beliefs.”

The South African government at this time interpreted their constitution to “protect the right of persons to make decisions concerning reproduction and to security in and control over their bodies.”

The government stated in the Act that it was their “belief” that the “termination of pregnancy is not a form of contraception or population control.”

Archbishop Buti Tlhagale stated what he called the “clear and unambiguous” position of the Catholic Church on abortion.

“Each unborn child is created by God, ‘knit together in (its) mother’s womb’ (Ps 139.13). That unborn child is a human being with a human life that must be protected. He or she has a right to life, a right that must be respected by the mother and protected by the state.”

Read it all..



Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

February 9, 2012 at 10:35

The Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference Appoints a Woman as Secretary-General

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Some local news, albiet via Vatican Radio:

The bishops of Southern Africa have appointed Sister Hermenegild Makoro as the new Secretary- General of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference.

She will replace Fr Vincent Brennan SMA who is to retire in March.

Linda Bordoni spoke to Sr. Hermenegild by telephone and asked her about her background, how she views her appointment, and what issues are currently on the table in the SACBC.

First of all, very modestly, she points out that although her nomination is a first for Southern Africa, she is not the only woman Secretary-Gereral of a Bishops Conference because “there is one sister in the Nordic countries who also is Secretary-General of a Bishops Conference… she sent me a congratulations note, and also in New Zealand – if I’m not mistaken there is another woman”.

Sr. Hermenegild says she sees her appointment as recognition from the bishops of the work that women are doing in this part of the world. “I really look at it like that because the women are doing great work in this part of the country. Even here in the Conference, most of our offices are headed by women, and in education women are in leadership, in health women have been in leadership, so I think and I do believe that the bishops do realise that women are doing a great job. You go to the parishes: who do you find? You find women in leadership”.

Commenting on the fact that last year saw two Nobel Peace Prizes going to African women, Sr. Hermenegild acknowledged that that is because women are doing a lot of work “and for me that’s why the bishops are recognising and acknowledging the work women are doing in the Church. I think we play a leadership role and for me it’s very important and fulfilling. I myself have been involved since my early years as a religious, fully involved in the pastoral work in our diocese, so I’m sure that the bishops looked at this and they do appreciate it. And they do recognise the qualities that women have in places of leadership.

To the question “What would you say are these qualities?”, Sr. Hermenegild said that when a woman takes a responsibility upon herself, she does not pull out, she puts the whole of herself into it and just gets on with the work…

For more on her, click here.

Some fine thinking outside the box.


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

January 20, 2012 at 16:28


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