Stand up against Racism – Resources from the SACBC

Dear People of God

The Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) is much aware of the problem of Racism which is still affecting the unity of our country, even after 20 years of democracy. The Catholic Church is determined to stand up against the problem and totally uproot it.  There is no way that the church can achieve this mandate alone. All the people of God in and outside of South Africa are invited to stand up against Racism in all corners of our society.

As a response to the Bishops’ 2016 Pastoral Letter “A Call to Overcome Racism” you are humbly requested to be part of this mandate on all platforms of your daily engagements, such as your family, parish, deanery, diocese, work, etc. To assist you, the Bishops have produced the following documents below, which have been made available for download: Prayer Resources, a Discussion Guide, and Ten Things you can do to overcome Racism – available here in English, Afrikaans and Xhosa.


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Catholic Bishops Call for Calm in the Midst of Political Uncertainties

New and dangerous tensions are arising as the ruling party storms through a period of transition. The Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference calls on all engaged in political decisions regarding in particular the future role of President Zuma to exercise calm and patience.

Already opposing groups are gathering on the streets, whole provinces are becoming agitated and if these tensions are not resolved with goodwill the political climate will be further poisoned for generations. Without a quick decision the new administration of the ruling party will be judged as disunited and vacillating.

We call on President Zuma to act as an elder statesman and to put the good of the country first.

The Catholic Bishops also appeal to all South Africans to pray for stability and justice. We pray that the ruling party find a quick solution to the

present problem of transition of power for the sake of our people who struggle with poverty and unemployment.


Archbishop W. Slattery OFM 

For more information kindly contact: 

Archbishop William Slattery ofm, Archbishop of Pretoria (SACBC Spokesperson) 

Contacts: +2783468547. 

Giving Witness to 200 Years of Catholic Faith

At 14.00 on Sunday 4th February 2018 – on the Archdiocese of Cape Town’s patronal feast of Our Lady of the Flight into Egypt – over 4000 Catholics from parishes across the Archdiocese of Cape Town gathered at Holy Cross Church, District Six fo r a Eucharistic Procession to St Mary’s Cathedral. The purpose of the procession was to give witness to the presence of the Catholic Church in Southern Africa over the past 200 years.

The theme of the day was “The Importance of Marriage and Family in the Life of the Church and Society”.

After introductory prayers, the procession moved off at 14.30, following the Blessed Sacrament, led by Archbishop Stephen Brislin. It made its way through the streets of Cape Town, concluding at St Mary’s Cathedral where Archbishop Brislin gave Benediction to all those who were assembled.

It was indeed a wonderful opportunity for Catholics of our Archdiocese to be together, celebrating our faith and praying together in public – laity (including members of sodalities, spiritual movements and young people from our Catholic schools), consecrated persons, deacons and priests. Many also came as families, celebrating the theme of the day. Here are some pics from the day.


Bicentennial Procession

A BICENTENNIAL EUCHARISTIC PROCESSION will take place from Holy Cross, District Six to St Mary’s Cathedral on Sunday 4 February 2018 at 14.00 for 14.30. Starting at Holy Cross, Nile Street, District Six, the procession will move through the streets of Cape Town, following the Blessed Sacrament, and ending at St Mary’s Cathedral. A blessing will be given by Archbishop Brislin from the Cathedral steps

For further information please contact Joan Armstrong at 021 462 2417 or

Download (PDF, 3.9MB)


Responding to the North Gauteng High Court Ruling against President Jacob Zuma

In 2015 the Dominicans in South Africa (an order of priests and brothers in the Catholic Church founded by St. Dominic in 1216) were the first complainants to approach the former Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela, requesting that she investigate State Capture. The Dominicans had become increasingly aware of the growing allegations that South Africa’s hard-fought democracy was being eroded by those who were supposed to protect it, including the president and other state officials close to him.

Advocate Madonsela, responding to the complainants, launched an investigation. Her report recommended that a judicial inquiry be appointed, headed by a judge, because the president was conflicted.

President Zuma, who did not cooperate with the public protector’s investigation, objected to the instruction. He arrogantly argued that only he, as president, has the power to make such decisions. He said that he would take the report on review. He has since then, done nothing else but deceive and abuse the country’s judicial system to prevent this important commission from being set up.

The landmark judgement handed down by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday is a victory for the people of South Africa, the former public protector and the Dominicans who initiated this investigation. Judge Dunstan Mlambo said that the remedial action ordered by Advocate Madonsela was “reasonable, rational and appropriate.”

Judge Mlambo further confirmed the complainant’s suspicions saying that the president had a “personal conflict” and this presents an “insurmountable obstacle for [him] and lends credence” to the public protector’s recommendation. He also said that the president’s review application was a “non-starter and the president was seriously reckless in pursuing it as he has done.” He said that the president was “ill-advised” and “had no justifiable basis to simply ignore the impact of corruption on the South African public.” It was precisely the impact of corruption on ordinary South Africans, especially the poor, that led the Dominicans to request an investigation.

In his judgement Mlambo said that President Zuma’s conduct “falls far short of the expectation on him as the head of state to support institutions of democracy.” The complainants concern, therefore, that South Africa’s democracy is not in safe and trustworthy hands and is being undermined is a reality that needs to be investigated.

Zuma’s refusal to cooperate with the law and follow the recommendations of the public protector reveals yet again that he has respect neither for his office nor the people of South Africa. Judge Mlambo noted that he had “an opportunity to confront and address the problem” but failed to do so.

The judgement in the high court damningly said that President Zuma was “vindicating his personal interest when initiating this litigation,” and ordered that Advocate Thuli Madonsela’s remedial actions be upheld.  The Jesuit Institute supports the court’s decision and agrees that this must be done so that a credible investigation can be carried out.

The Jesuit Institute South Africa commends the complainants for approaching the public protector in the interest of truth and the common good, key principles in Catholic Social Teaching.

The Institute further commends the judiciary for being a courageous moral compass. South Africans can be proud of our judiciary which has never failed to hold those who are meant to serve the people of the country accountable when leadership have shown, over and over, that they have no intention of being honest or of service.

We have noted the ANC’s response to the judgement and call on the party, once and for all, to act decisively against its president who has not only damaged the party’s reputation but also abused the country’s justice system and caused harm to the nation. President Jacob Zuma has proved, once again, that he does not have the integrity to lead. He is a compromised man whose dishonesty is a burden to South Africa. He is dangerous because he is either ignorant of the law or chooses, deliberately, to snub the law. He and his cronies can no longer be shielded.


For more information contact:

Fr Russell Pollitt SJ, Director. Tel +27 82 737 2054

or email


Fr Anthony Egan SJ, Ethicist. Tel +27 72 938 4553

or email

Anti-Domestic Violence Workshop

On Saturday, 9 December, Justice and Peace will host an Anti-domestic Violence workshop for anyone who is interested in knowing more about what it is, where and how to seek help, what to do when someone needs help and more information about the Child Protection Policy.
Invitation with all the details attached.

Download (PDF, 123KB)