Happy Birthday Bishop Sylvester!

Our auxiliary bishop, Bishop Sylvester David OMI, celebrates his 70th birthday while at the Bishops’ Conference Plenary Session at Mariannhill, KZN. Here he is seen cutting his birthday cake while his fellow bishops sing “happy birthday“.

Interview with Vatican News

Cardinal-designate Stephen Brislin was interviewed by Vatican News on his recent appointment by Pope Francis.

Interviews with Cardinal-elect Stephen Brislin

Cardinal-elect Stephen Brislin recently conducted a number of interviews with the media upon the announcement of his appointment as a Cardinal by Pope Francis. Here are two of those interviews, one with Cape Talk and the other with eNCA.



Cardinal-elect says the church must “work much harder for reconciliation”

by Sheila Pires, SACBC Communications Office

The Cardinal-elect of the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference (SACBC) says he would like to see a Church that works “much harder for reconciliation,” as countries such as South Africa need “healing.”

In an interview with the SACBC communications office, the Cardinal-elect Stephen Brislin of Cape Town Archdiocese says he “would really like to continue the wonderful tradition that has been given to South Africa through” his predecessors Cardinal Owen McCann and Cardinal Wilfrid Napier “who always gave excellent service not only to the Church of Southern Africa but also to society itself and to the good of the country.”

“When I think of South Africa, and how we are faced with many problems, many difficulties, I think we are a country that’s very much in need of healing, and I suppose most especially the healing of relationships, and this is a type of healing that I think is not possible simply with human energy,” says the Cardinal-elect.

He says that as a nation and as a church, “We must call upon God to heal us.”

“I would really like to see in the coming years that we as a church work much harder for reconciliation, much harder for healing, that we can get over our apartheid past and get over classifying people as black or white or coloured or Indian and just to see ourselves as being South Africans and that we are working together for the good of our country and especially for the upliftment and the opportunities for the young people,” he adds.

In the wide range interview, the Cardinal-elect says his appointment as SACBC President in … thought him about the importance of “proclaiming the Gospel of good news,” amid the socio-political challenges faced in the SACBC region.

“My election as the President of the Conference for two terms taught me a lot about how important it is for the Catholic Church to remain what it is. It is a church, and it is leading people to God and proclaiming the Kingdom of God, proclaiming the Gospel of good news,” he says.

He continues, “But we don’t do that in a vacuum, we do that in a particular context. We do that in our own South African context and our neighbouring countries Eswatini and Botswana.”

He goes on to say that It’s very important that Church leaders “engage with politicians. As Francis has said, it is a noble calling to be a politician, but we have also to ensure that where things are going wrong that we speak out about it. But we do so not simply by throwing stones, we do so as fellow South Africans, as fellow Africans as well.”

In the Monday, July 10 interview, the Cardinal-elect spoke briefly about the 15th BRICS Summit scheduled to take place in South Africa from 22 – 24 August 2023. He called on the South African government to “be much clearer” in its stance of neutrality in the Russia-Ukraine war.

The Cardinal-elect Brislin also thanked SACBC members for their congratulatory messages and support.

Pope Francis at the end of his Sunday Angelus address, announced a consistory for the creation of 21 new cardinals, from around the world to be held at the Vatican on 30 September 2023, just before the beginning of the Synod on Synodality, set to take place with representatives from all over the world in October.

Article Source: https://sacbc.org.za/cardinal-elect-says-the-church-must-work-much-harder-for-reconciliation/

Presidential Statements on Archbishop Brislin’s appointment as Cardinal

Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) president and bishop of Mthatha, Bishop Sithembele Sipuka, issued a statement on behalf of the Bishops’ Conference congratulating Archbishop Brislin on his appointment as Cardinal, assuring him of our prayers of support.

President Cyril Ramaphosa also warmly congratulates Archbishop Brislin, in a statement issued on the Government website.

Both statements can be found below.


Archbishop Brislin created a Cardinal

We congratulate His Grace, Archbishop Stephen Brislin, who has been created a Cardinal by Pope Francis at his Angelus address in Rome yesterday, 9th July 2023. The Church of Cape Town – and indeed the whole country – rejoices at this wonderful news! He has become South Africa’s third Cardinal, and will receive the red hat at the Consistory on 30 September in Rome.

Below is the YouTube video of the Pope’s address, as well as the text (in PDF format).


The Catholic Bishops of Botswana, eSwatini and South Africa (SACBC) were in Rome for their Ad Limina Visit from Monday, June 12 to June 17. The Bishops, together with Cardinal Wilfrid Napier OFM and the SACBC Secretariate, met with officials from the various departments and offices in the Roman Curia. They also celebrated Masses at the major churches of Rome: St Peter’s Basilica, St Paul Outside the Walls, St John Lateran and St Mary Major. 

In the following video update, the SACBC Spokesperson Archbishop Stephen Brislin of Cape Town speaks with the Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, and he also speaks with the Bishop of Mariannhill Diocese and the Auxiliary Bishop of Cape Town.

SACBC Spokesperson Archbishop Stephen Brislin of Cape Town Archdiocese also spoke with the SACBC Liaison Bishop for Christian Formation, Liturgy, and Culture Edward Risi of Keimoes-Upington Diocese about their visit to the Dicastery for Divine Worship on Wednesday, 14 June 2023.

On Tuesday, June 13, the Catholic Bishops of Botswana, eSwatini and South Africa celebrated Mass at the Tomb of St Peter. That was followed by meetings held at the Dicastery for Evangelization, a meeting with the Secretary of State as well as meetings with officials from the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development and Caritas Internationalis. Bishop Jose Ponce de Leon of Manzini Diocese, together with the SACBC President Bishop Sithembele Sipuka of Mthatha Diocese and Archbishop Zolile Mpambani of Bloemfontein Archdiocese, share their insights about the Ad Limina Visit.

On Friday, June 16 the Catholic Bishops of Botswana, Eswatini, and South Africa met with Pope Francis at Santa Marta. In an interview with the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference (SACBC) communications office, the First Vice President of the SACBC Archbishop Dabula Mpako said the Bishops are “very grateful that he (Pope Francis) was generous enough to give us that time.”