Archive for the ‘Church’ Category

Saving the Church

February 18, 2015

Bob Betterton of Saving the Catholic Church newsletter compares two pontiffs in his latest missive

The Irony of Two Popes: Benedict and Francis

One would have to say that Benedict XVI is a highly conservative theologian, a traditionalist, a fundamentalist and a cleric’s cleric. He is also a severe critic of Vatican II, a bit of a misogynist, an absolutist, an enemy of change and an opportunist.

Francis on the other hand seems to be the antithesis of most, if not all of those attributes. This is best illustrated in the way he has approached the changes he considers essential. It is logical, deliberate and collegial. It is Vatican II-like.
The incredible irony lies in the reality that we are all sub-consciously wishing that he would be more Benedict XVI-like. For example:
• Under Benedict there would not be any advisory group of Cardinals to consult and there certainly would never been a questionnaire circulated on any subject.
• He absolutely would not convene a synod to discuss anything of consequence. The only opinions he has ever found relevant were his own.
• Finally, he would not be considering increasing the size of the College of Cardinals.
Benedict would issue a few encyclicals describing the way things are going to be from here on. He would summarily get rid of anyone who disagreed with him and he would “pack the College of Cardinals” to assure that the new way of doing things could not be changed for a century.
I am coming to believe that Benedict XVI did not decide to retire. It was the work of the Holy Spirit, inflicting a deserved Penance for the disaster imposed on the Church through his systematic dismantling of the vision of Vatican II.

I agree with most of this. The previous two popes formed one papacy, that of reaction.It was to be expected.They drove too many thinking Catholics away with their absolute refusal to hear the Spirit rising in the faithful.They were almost totally tone deaf in this regard.Any institution hates to give up power as Frederick Douglass reminded us:“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”
Betterton goes on to describe elements of the Church Francis can’t fix.
A smart theological friend of mine is pessimistic about the Francis reform, says it will die with him because of the reactionary bishops the last 2 popes named, men who acted as stenographers for everything that came out of Rome.These men, Betterton maintains “for the most part, the archbishops and bishops are opposed to change of any kind and they can delay those changes by obfuscation and inaction.” this is largely true.There may be some conversions but don’t hold your breath.
This is substantially true. Simply look at the stunning inaction around climate change.This is a grave scandal which I highlighted when the Archbishop of NYC looked like a goof by doing nothing when 250,000 marched a few months ago for climate justice. Wasn’t even on his radar. And there’s nothing happening in parishes here,no leadership from the top and generally inadequate pastoring everywhere. The few Vatican ll guys are departing and they are running out a 38 year old priest north of the city, wildly popular because of some pathetic liturgical aberration.
What will save the Church from this is a massive uprising of the faithful. The first part has already happened —massive defections in the best educated parts of the church. This will probably continue on account of the very poor quality of priests being ordained. The laity have gone way past “pay, pray and obey” and are much more theologically in tune and will not tolerate the ”my way or the highway” approach of the insecure new ordinands.

Catholics absent on israel/Palestine

January 22, 2015

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On January 20 the United Church and Christian Jewish Dialogue of Toronto sponsored a day long seminar on Israel/Palestine. It was billed as a day of discernment and thoughtful discussion. Anybody who paid their money could show up was welcome. About 60 people showed.
Irrespective of the dialogue that ensued, it was a good attempt at raising the issue for church and synagogue people.
The United church to its credit has been grappling publicly with this for decades and its working group on Israel/Palestine put forth a policy in 2012:

It names the Occupation as a major contributor to the injustice
It advocates the end of all settlement construction
Calls on Israel to dismantle settlements and separation barrier
It identifies equitable access to water as a critical factor
It calls on Canadian government to provide leadership
it also affirms non-violent resistance to the occupation is justified
Acknowledges with deep regret the past policy of calling on palestinians to acknowledge Israel as a Jewish state as a prereq to peace.
This was the grounds for discussion.
One question: where is the Catholic dialogue on this cardinal issue?
Why the timidity of the largest church in Canada to even discuss this?

Pope Francis moving ahead on climate justice

December 29, 2014

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More indigestion for the JP ll/Ratzinger bishops who showed little or no interest in the greatest moral issue of our time: climate change. It is just reported that Pope Francis will be speaking for climate justice in the new year. Catholics will be specifically targeted with a papal encyclical after the pontiff visits Tacloban the Philippine city devastated by the typhoon Hayan in 2012. Undoubtedly there will be a fresh call to the 1.5 billion Catholics to get moving on this issue—and put the pelvic issues aside for now.

Pope Francis will have his hands full with the world’s 5,000 bishops, most chosen for their strict adherence to everything that came out of Rome in the long pontificates of Woytyla/Ratzinger. In reality this was one reactionary pontificate a pushback against the liberal reforms of Vatican ll. iI was pure Newtonoian physics, action and reaction. The reaction eventuated in massive lay defections from the Roman Catholic church particularly in the developed world where the best educated Catholics in history resided.

The Woytyla/Ratzinger papacy was long on topdown Soviet-style diktats from Rome central to the outlying provinces. The absolute ecclesial thought control failed for two simple reasons.In the 50 years since the end of the Council lay theological education accelerated and the quality of the priesthood declined. Foreign imports came with a reactionary theology topped off too often with a misogyny. In a culture nourished on human rights and participatory democracy, North American Catholics rebelled.

Secondly there was the lay internalization of the sensus fidelium, that the Holy Spirit was given to the whole church not to a subset of clerics. When the hierarchs refused to listen to the collective wisdom of the baptized the faithful resisted the ecclesial thought control and walked. 30 million left the Catholic church in the USA.

Today a pope who shows little concern for how he is perceived by his bishops is moving ahead with celerity on the agenda of Vatican ll where social justice is an integral part of the gospel and baptism not Holy Orders is the essential sacrament.

So immovable object (the JP ll/Ratzinger bishops are meeting the irresistible force, a progressive pope and the lay people who are buying into his Vatican ll agenda.The pope in many ways is way ahead of his bishops so much so that he is almost being seen as “the enemy”. many are not happy campers.
So far in Canada the JPll/Ratzinger bishops have failed the laity. The classic example was in Toronto, the largest Catholic diocese, where nothing was done by the hierarchs to engage the laity in adding their insights to the synod on the Family. This was requested by the pope bug basically ignored and never promoted by the archbishop.There was no pastoral plan or active engagement with the faithful.
Pope Francis has correctly identified climate justice as the morel issue of the day but do not look for the weak bishops of the last two decades to get on board. They have collectively shown little or no interest in this. Their focus is inward. They have lost the next generation who intuitively understand how dire the situation is and do not look for the church for any inspiration here.

It is absolutely stunning that there has been no pastoral planning around this crucial issue.

Make no mistake. This Jesuit pope has his ear to the ground and his eye on the overwhelming “sign of our time”, the destruction of the Body of God, our earth. He has already told the Latin American and asian landless peasants “Climate change, the loss of biodiversity and deforestation are already showing their devastating effects in the great cataclysms we witness.”

Now Pope Francis is going deeper by ratcheting up the stakes among his bishops. Watch how the Canadian bishops respond.

Exciting times for sure.

News which made me laugh

November 24, 2014

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A first, on Bill Maher’s HBO show which runs of Friday nights.

Maher is a funny smart guy, an English grad from Cornell who actually reads books and follows the news.His whole show and the bright guests he brings on, comment on the events of the day.Maher’s wit provides the laughs.He always has some Tea Party type on,  usually a guy who makes you wonder about democracy.There’s always a lead off interview with newsmaker-Maher plays it straight and  is a good interviewer.Last week he had Naomi Klein on.

Now nobody’s perfect and Maher has real blind spots about religion.He even made a bad movie about “believers called Religulosus or something like that, a cringe inducing types cheap shot at the most embarrassing types of Christians..An ex-Catholic he prides himself on his atheism.He loves Dawkins and Sam Harris. He will never have a sharp Jesuit on who might disrupt Bill’s cardboard versions of Christianity.

Last week Andrew Sullivan appeared, a frequent guest, thoughtful gay Catholic who blogs for the Atlantic. They both gushed over the authentic Catholicism of Francis and his canning of one of the worst “serf decorator” Cardinals we’ve seen in a long time.Cardinal Burke.

Then they got to the nub.The very difficult job of a a pope who has totally embraced Vatican ll taking on the sad Yes men  JP ll and Ratzinger inflicted on Catholicism, widely considered a buch of croppers whose main talent was to obsess over pelvic orthodoxy, men who answered only to the constituency of one—Rome and totally ignored the best educated generation of Catholics in history.These bishops ( Canada is full  share)of are like deer caught in the headlights,so out of touch with the authentic evangelical thrust of Francis that they do appear like cardboard dummies.They just wished he’d go away. an interest discussion

Funny it happened on a comedian’s show and not on the CBC or CTV.

Pope Francis obviously a commie

October 30, 2014

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Pope Francis said Catholic social teaching defines “land, shelter and work” as “sacred rights,” yet “if I speak of this some people conclude that the pope is a communist.”

Francis is riffing the great bishop of Recife,Brazil, Dom Helder Camara who used the line 40 years ago. John Paul ll fixed him and replaced him with an Opus Dei bishop who never had the smell of the sheep on him.

 
He urged an international gathering of grassroots social activists to struggle against the “structural causes” of poverty and inequality, with a “revolutionary” program drawn from the Gospels.

 
“The poor no longer wait, they seek to be protagonists, they organize, study, work, demand and, above all, practice that special solidarity that exists among those who suffer, among the poor,” the pope said Oct. 28, to a Vatican-sponsored World Meeting of Popular Movements.

 

Most of the JP ll bishops would never go near such a meeting.They don’t go where they can not control the agenda.And poor people.Forget it.

 

The pope said solidarity entails struggling “against the structural causes of poverty, inequality, the lack of work, land and shelter, the denial of social and labor rights,” and confronting what he called the “empire of money.”

“Today I want to join my voice to yours and accompany you in your struggle.”

Wouldn’t it be nice if Canadain bishops showed such solidarity with working people?

Pope Francis said Catholic social teaching defines “land, shelter and work” as “sacred rights,” yet “if I speak of this some people conclude that the pope is a communist.”

Deploring the displacement of his “brother peasants” from their “native soil,” the pope warned that traditional rural life is at “risk of extinction.” He also said “financial speculation” on food prices was to blame for the starvation of millions around the world.

“I’ve said and I repeat: a home for every family,” Pope Francis said. “Family and shelter go hand in hand.”

Obviously a commie or a fellow traveller.

Torah not the uniting factor?

September 30, 2014

 

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That wonderful reporter from the NY Times Laurie Goodstein was at her best when she sussed out reactions which are simmering in the rabbinate over the stunning disproportionate response in the latest Gaza slaughter(515 Palestinian kids killed.

 

The usual childish responses were in evidence: I quit the synagogue because you criticized israel.(she didn’t but prayed for those dead kids and Israeli soldiers).3 left the synagogue. One said she was spreading Hamas propaganda. What planet are these so called religious on?
Goodstein reported that that many rabbis say it is impossible to have a civil conversation about Israel in their synagogues. Just too hot to touch. And the High Holy days are here!

 

The big problem is that young Jews raised in the USA have an inherent appreciation of human rights and can’t stomach Netanyahu and his coterie of warriors. They have exited the synagogue.

 
On the other hand the Alte kockers, the old folks mit the geld (no translation necessary) are more attached to israel as are the volunteers.
An interesting comment, candid to be sure was from Montreal rabbi Ron Aigen
It used to be that Israel was always the uniting factor in the Jewish world,said the reb who has served Congregation Dorshei Emet in Montreal for 39 years. “But it’s become contentious and sadly, I think it is driving people away from the organized Jewish community. Even trying to be centrist and balanced and present two sides of the issue, it is fraught with danger.”
The worst part of Goodstein’s article was this comment:
Israel is still, without a doubt, the spiritual center and the fondest cause of global Jewry.
The kindest thing you can say about this if its true: this is idolatry, making a state not the God of justice your god.

For young teachers: read the signs

September 22, 2014

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What we saw in New York City  on Sunday and in several other global cities is called “a sign of the times.” During the Second Vatican Council the Church said in Gaudium et Spes (1965): To carry out such a task, the Church has always had the duty of scrutinizing the signs of the times and of interpreting them in the light of the Gospel.”

The “signs of the times” was a direct quote from Matthew’s Gospel. He has Jesus saying:
When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. 16:3

In other words,  you are pretty good at reading nature’s clues  such as the colour of the sky means fair weather but are clueless at discerning the finger of God in history.

Where is the Divine calling us? What is the holy voice of God saying to us at this moment in time?  What message is he addressing to me while I am on my smart phone, cruising the mall as a fashionista etc

Since the end of the Council 50 years ago there have been many “signs’ or distinctive  messages which are indisputably of God. To name a few: The cry of the poor (as evidence in Martin Luther King’s civil rights movement, the growing awareness from new media sources that our human family, largely in the south needs dramatic help while the top 1% are living like gilded royalty; the cry of peace and latterly the  desperate cry of the earth—the tidal waves, the bizarre weather patterns, the melting icebergs etc

As teachers  the above sign is speaking directly to you.
What do students at any level see as they look at you?

 

Are you a mere technician passing on information or are you a committed campaigner for God’s reign on earth (the kingdom)?

 

Are you another adult whose actions do not match the gospel call for transformation?

 

Are you one more reason why the Church  has so little credibility today?
Just what kind of a role model are you?
Rabbi Heschel tells us

 

Everything depends on the person who stands
in front of the classroom. The teacher is either a witness
or a stranger. To guide a pupil into the promised land,
the teacher must have been there themselves.
When asking themselves: Do I stand for what I teach?,
Do I believe what I say?, the teacher must be able to
answer in the affirmative. What we need more than
anything else is not textbooks, but text people.

 

The promised land is not only in the classroom but in the streets.

Climate Justice

September 18, 2014

 

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I have set before you life and death. choose life that you and your descendants may live.
Deuteronomy 30:19

 
Fundamentally the task is not to articulate not just an alternative set of policy proposals but an alternative worldview to rival the one at the heart of the ecological crisis—embedded in interdependence rather than hyperindividualism…
Naomi Klein This Changes Everything

 
On the climate issue, the world’s biggest corporate polluters and pushers of unsustainable rates of consumption are hell bent on maintaining ‘business as usual’ and are working alone and in groups [and at the UN] to ensure that climate policies will not interfere with the profitability of their operations.
Polaris Institute.

 

The marvelous pastor and founder of Sojourners Magazine in Washington Jim Wallis struck a deep chord when he said about meetings in parishes: If they are not connected to a movement outside they are wasting their time. It’s like navel gazing. This would describe most of the parishes in Toronto’s GTA and I imagine most cities. There seems to be little awareness that the gospel mandate is to transform cultures and worlds. and this can only be done by movements, and joining with others. Think the abolitionist Movement and Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement. Pictures of those latter years saw nuns, priests and rabbis marching with Dr. King. Nowadays if Catholics aren’t leading the parade they are not in it. Control is the name of the game.

 
Many years ago a great friend of mine took over a parish and immediately handed the basement over to the Peace movement. He was a sophisticated prelate who understood the above insight. It’s about being the leaven in the loaf, the powerful gospel values of shalom, peace and sustainable creation. Most parishes have no clue. More are depending on foreign clergy who have no sense of Canadian Social Teaching. They tend in varying ways to a sacramental model of church offering religious services but never engaging in a socially prophetic solidarity praxis with other groups. Certainly some good things go on but they offer no challenge to the broader culture and in terms of climate justice, they are ignoring the greatest sacrament of all, planet earth and the damage being done to it.

 
Can they be this obtuse to the ravaging of the climate? Are they not aware that that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased last year at the fastest rate in 30 years, in Naomi Klein’s words “gases that will trap heat for generations to come, creating a world that is hotter, colder,wetter. thirstier, hungrier, angrier.”. Do they watch the news? Are the signs of the times that hidden? Do they really believe that band aids like recycling, changing light bulbs and re-using are the answer? Talk about a parallel universe!

 
This weekend in New York City the biggest climate justice march in history is taking place in New York City. over 1000 groups are backing the march. It would be interesting to see how many parishes are joining in. Why was I not surprised when I found out the Jesuit parish St Francis Xavier was big on promoting the march. In the bulletin I read the following

 
Join Us for the People’s Climate March – Sep. 21st
Let’s participate as a parish to let the world know that we are concerned about climate change as a moral and social justice issue, that we care about creation, and we care about protecting the most vulnerable from extreme weather events and other catastrophes caused by climate change.
This is a model for what all parishes should be doing. Hats off to the Jesuits and also to Pax Christi USA.

 
Certainly in Toronto there is absolutely no episcopal leadership in dealing with the greatest moral issue extant today.  If my friend were alive today he would have a Serra Club or Friends of the Earth club in his basement. He would be connecting with others bringing the gospel mandate of care for creation into the larger stream.

 

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The brilliant secular Jew Naomi Klein in her latest prophetic tome This Changes Everything: Capitalism versus the Climate uses language which is deeply religious and which mirrors the fire that the mad followers of the Galilean carpenter exhibited and which inspires engaged Catholics today: the power of ferocious love. It is this power which is beginning to mobilize against the rape of the earth and the depredations of the turbocapitalism we see today. It is this economic model so beloved by our Prime Minister Stephen Harper which is waging war against the common good and against all kinds of life on earth.

 

May the four days of protest in New York keep the fire going

The smell of formaldehyde permeates the institution

September 17, 2014

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To destroy other species carelessly is not only to violate the sacramental nature of creation; it is also to turn away from the promise embedded in all of creation….When we fail to protect our planet, when we hasten the demise of species, we erase testimony to divine goodness in the world.
Sr. Elizabeth Johnson

The ecological crisis is a moral issue
Pope John Paul ll

 

Often when you go into a Catholic church today, the smell that hits you is formaldehyde. Many of these edifices in the Toronto area are falling down and the poor pastors are on the nut for the necessary repairs.

 
But I am thinking of deeper repairs as in St. Francis admonition, “Repair my church.” Jelly Roll Morton the great New Orleans composer wrote,”open the windows and let the bad air out.” As a matter of fact this was one of the reigning metaphors when Vatican ll started—open the windows and as the great pope John XXlll said “Surely it is high time, and surely it would be to everyone’s advantage to ‘shake off the dust of the Empire that has gathered since Constantine’s day on the throne of St. Peter”.

 
Well the stale air has slowly crept back into the institution as the Vatican ll priests are departing and lay people have moved on into kingdom-like movements. Many of course remain hoping that a Vatican ll pope can create some hope at the base. But this is a long term project as reactionary bishops appointed by the previous two popes are running major dioceses.

 
Many faithful people have departed the institution as more and more it appears that it is either living in a parallel universe wholly disconnected from the great movements of history or it continues to be buried under mounds of earth, the dust of empire. It is   a model of church which has become almost totally irrelevant. These Catholics are indeed responding to the omnipresent and often stark “signs of the time” the rallying cry of the great Council. We were told to pay attention to the outbreak of the divine in history holy sparks and divine shafts of light. They are Spirit moments of the reign of God. We have had some dramatic ones since the early 60s: the cry of women, the cry of the poor and now the dramatic cry of the earth: climate justice.

 

 

I look around these churches, read the bulletins and again the smell of formaldehyde. They seem to be in a parallel universe, totally out of touch with “the signs ‘of the times’. They continue to believe that the Holy Roman Church owns the Spirit but John’s gospel warned us that “the Spirit blows where it wills” and today a holy gale force win=d is howling in pain as Mother Earth is being desecrated.

 

 

John Paul ll came late to this party but woke in 1990:a new ECOLOGICAL AWARENESS is beginning to emerge which, rather than being downplayed, ought to be encouraged to develop into concrete programs and initiatives. The pope flagged poverty, war and consumerist lifestyle as constitutive parts of the ecological problem. At the conclusion of his prophetic message the pope addressed the Catholic faithful:I should like to address directly my brothers and sisters in the Catholic Church, in order to remind them of their serious obligation to care for all creation.

 

 

Alas the formaldehyde parishes continue on almost totally ignoring this invitation. It’s business as usual at the local, a massive disconnect from the cry of the earth. We baptize and confirm outside of history As Sr. Elizabeth Johnson says, It’s as though the planet were undergoing its agony in the garden, and we, the disciples of Jesus, are curled up fast asleep. Waking up to our own role in this crisis will require a dramatic course correction, a reorienting of our ethical compass away from ourselves alone and toward all creation. In a word, ecological conversion requires profound humility.

 
Nietzsche maintained that the churches were the graves of God. more and more that’s how the young are perceiving them. Not that some good band aid charity work goes on but the deep call of justice is not heard. So the young move on.

 

This weekend 200,000 are gathering in New York City to channel the cry of the earth. The international climate justice movement has stated correctly I believe that the march in New York and mobilizations worldwide will be historic, but that these events are just the beginning

 
You can bet there will be many Catholics there but not their institutional leaders.

More tomorrow,

South African churches get it

July 29, 2014

 

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In June 2014 the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted to divest from three companies doing business with Israel:in the Occupied Territories. Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions, and Hewlett-Packard. The story  hardly covered in our newspapers is a virtual primer on the role of the Christian church under advanced capitalism.

In 2003 a young solidarity worker from The United States Rachel Corrie  was crushed to death in Gaza as she tried to prevent the razing of a Palestinian home The spotlight  was directed to the manufacturer of the Israeli bulldozer that killed her. Israel had been buying and “weaponising” Caterpillar bulldozers then using them to demolish Palestinian homes, build settlements and the separation wall, clear land to build Jewish-only roads, uproot olive and fruit trees, and carry out military operations.

This gave impetus to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement(BDS) which helped to bring down the quintessential apartheid state South Africa. It is a tried nonviolent measure to help bring countries to their senses. South Africa sensing that it had become a universal pariah for its racist segregationist policies finally capitulated.

Nobody hated the country but disliked its awful policies. Remember at the time the Dutch Reformed Church was the voice of the the establishment.  For decades it justified the unjustifiable. Once again bad theology produced bad practice. Many great Christians like Desmond Tutu, Beyers Naudé and the Catholic archbishop of Durban Denis Hurley distinguished themselves in this struggle.

The contemporary South African Catholic Church apparently gets it and supports the present BDS Movement. They have the lived experience to fall back on. They supported BDS when it happened. They see a striking parallel, not an exact replica for sure but the same demonic features in Israel:L dispossession, racism marginalization and humiliation. True biblical discipleship demands solidarity not weak-kneed sympathy. It demands pastoral planning and calls to action. Both are missing in Toronto and New York inter alios.

The Roman Catholic Church in North America is still too compromised, too timorous, too afraid of Jewish reaction to speak the prophetic word. Notice in the following statement supported by the Roman Catholic Church in South Africa the note of lamentation in the backing away from social justice. There are several reasons for this which I will address in future  posts

 

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Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Challenging injustice through the courage of faith

The South African Christian community through the South African Council of Churches (SACC), South African Conference of Bishops of the Catholic Churches (SACBC) and other several ecumenical agencies join the other parts of the Church in the world to remember the Israeli/Palestinian people in their celebration of the 8th International Israeli Apartheid Week starting from the 5 -11 March.

Our participation in this Week is influenced highly by our own history of struggle and suffering in South Africa for over many decades when the values of justice, peace and love were suppressed in the interest of apartheid, division, exclusion and conflict. We found through the teachings of the Gospel how these values formed the core of Christ’s ministry.

It is only regrettable that the voice of the Church against injustice in our society is highly weakened today. It is an observation that South Africans have made with a desire now rekindled to resuscitate the voice of prophesy.

As this reflection is made on the life of our own nation in South Africa, many of you will remember that Israel remained the single supporter of apartheid when the rest of the world implemented economic sanctions, boycotts and divestments to force change in South Africa

Our brothers and sisters in Palestine have made a call in this regard, that we should question what kind of regime Israel is. And to this, after many debates and exchanges, the answer is that it shared and continues to share a similarity with the old South Africa in implementing apartheid where all non-Jews of Palestine are discriminated against, displaced of their land and homes, and subjected to refugee camps and a permanent state of violent military rule.

Today the Palestinians cry out to the world and to God, saying:

How long, O God, will they steal our livelihood? Oppress, imprison and humiliate our people? Deprive our children of their childhood? Indeed how long, God, will the multitudes of Christians of the world ignore the anguish of our Palestinian sisters and brothers and all of the oppressed?
From South Africa we are called to repent of this ignorance and oblivion we have shown. We are called to return to the way of truth, community in humanity and speak out from the podiums to the mountain tops. We are called to tell the truth and join in prayer, in the pursuit for justice, peace and love in their land.
In their Kairos Document, similar to the one South Africans put to the world in the 1980s, Palestinians say:

Our question to our brothers and sisters in the Churches today is: Are you able to help us get our freedom back, for this is the only way you can help the two peoples attain justice, peace, security and love?

Israeli Apartheid Week

We urge all South Africans and the Church in South Africa to join in the Awareness Campaign that over 100 Universities in the world including those in our country are engaging in during what is called Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW)

Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) is an annual international series of events (including rallies, lectures, cultural performances, film screenings and multimedia displays) held -by ordinary people- in cities, communities, churches and campuses across the globe.
IAW seeks to raise awareness about Israel’s apartheid policies towards the Palestinians and to mobilize support for the growing Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

Last year IAW was incredibly successful with over 90 cities worldwide, and 9 universities in South Africa, participating in the week’s events.  We now urge churches in South Africa to join in collective intercession for Freedom in Palestine before the Israel Apartheid Week takes place in different parts of the World. On the 4th of March we will join in collective prayer to bring Palestine to God our Father.

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