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- Mike Batley

ShofarRiButovPixabay

With Rosh Hashanah on 30 September and Yom Kippur on 8 October, the Jewish community is currently marking the high point of its liturgical year. Apart from taking vague note of this and perhaps wishing them well, does this season have any deeper meaning for followers of Jesus? Mike Batley explains the links between the Jewish and Christian seasons of repentance. With the proliferation of different streams of Christianity, together with a lot of ignorance, it seems that many believers […]

The post The links between Jewish high holy days and Christianity by Mike Batley appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Luc Bourgoin

TaizeStanislawDziuba03

Br. Luc Bourgoin, from the Taizé Community in France, has been working in Cape Town for the past 18 months to prepare a Pilgrimage of Trust, which took place from 25-29 September. He describes how Taizé has had ties with South Africa since the 1970s, and how this pilgrimage brought together young people from all over the world to celebrate their cultural diversity and unite in prayer around their common faith. He also highlights the need for silence and prayer […]

The post Taizé pilgrimage of trust — a space for silence and prayer by Luc Bourgoin appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Sarah-Leah Pimentel

PilgrimsArrivingLucAlois

This is the second of a three-part series, containing stories of hope by the participants at the recent Taizé Pilgrimage of Trust held in Cape Town between 25-29 September. The stories were written during one of the workshops held at Holy Redeemer parish (Bergvliet) as part of the morning programme as one of the host parishes. Sarah-Leah Pimentel compiles their experiences about how they have overcome difficulties, discovered God’s plan for their lives and are making a difference in the […]

The post Stories of hope — Part 2 by Sarah-Leah Pimentel appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Sarah-Leah Pimentel

TaizeLukeGoemans01

The Taizé community held a Pilgrimage of Trust in Cape Town between 25-29 September. Each morning, the pilgrims gathered at the parishes of their host families for morning prayer and different workshops. At Holy Redeemer parish (Bergvliet), the pilgrims made sleeping bags for the poor, learnt about prison ministry, and wrote their own stories of hope. Sarah-Leah Pimentel has compiled their experiences about how they have overcome difficulties, discovered God’s plan for their lives and are making a difference in […]

The post Stories of hope — Part 1 by Sarah-Leah Pimentel appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Annemarie Paulin-Campbell

AmazonSynod_Synod.va

The Amazon Synod is due to begin in early October. It is expected to discuss and vote on environmental concerns in the Amazon region and its inhabitants’ access to the sacraments. In particular, the synod will examine how ordained deacons and women can assist in the celebration of the sacraments and building the life of the church. In light of this, Annemarie Paulin-Campbell finds it unacceptable that women will once again be barred from voting at a synod in which […]

The post Women are (again) barred from voting rights at the Amazon Synod by Annemarie Paulin-Campbell appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya

GoranHPixabay

A disturbing number of schoolyard murders and other acts of violence have shocked South Africa in the last week. Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya argues that given the celebration of violence and toxic masculinity in the entertainment industry, we should not be shocked that schools are scenes of the violence we have seen. The Church’s voice needs to be louder and heard before the damage is done. A few weeks ago, coaches of two local football teams, Cape Town City and Orlando Pirates, […]

The post Schoolyard violence is a mirror of our society by Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya

Pixabay

The decision by the Zambian Football Association to refuse to play an international friendly against South Africa in protest of the xenophobic attacks, reminds us that sometimes sport can be a useful weapon of international diplomacy and punishment. With so many other countries on the continent that flagrantly abuse human rights, Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya asks why this tool is used so sparingly. It was not the first time that a state had used sport to register its disapproval of the actions […]

The post Not playing nicely… by Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Russell Pollitt SJ

Church of Fr Laval, Port Louis

Pope Francis celebrated mass in Port Louis, Mauritius, on the last full day of his week-long African apostolic visit. Twenty-two South Africans were in Port Louis for the mass. They were part of The Southern Cross, Spotlight Africa and Radio Veritas pilgrimage. Russell Pollitt SJ writes from Mauritius.

The post Beatitudes are “Christian’s identity card” Pope says in Mauritius by Russell Pollitt SJ appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Catholic News Agency

Pope_Francis_arrives_for_Mass_in_Antananarivo_Madagascar_Sept_8_2019_Credit_Edward_Pentin_CNA

Pope Francis celebrated Sunday Mass on 8 September in Antananarivo, Madagascar, as part of his 4-10 September pastoral visit to Southern Africa. He had already been in Maputo and travels on to Mauritius on Monday, 9 September. The Catholic News Agency reports on the Mass at the diocesan grounds of Soamandrakizay.

The post In Madagascar, Pope Francis says that joy lightens the demands of discipleship by Catholic News Agency appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Claire Mathieson

Enough condemnation, we need protection; we need action

Capetonians took to the streets outside Parliament on Thursday, 5 September to raise their voices and take a stand against the onslaught of femicide and gender-based violence that has rocked South Africa in recent weeks. Claire Mathieson was on the streets and created this pictorial of the day's events.

The post Enough condemnation, we need protection; we need action by Claire Mathieson appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya

GoranHPixabay

A disturbing number of schoolyard murders and other acts of violence have shocked South Africa in the last week. Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya argues that given the celebration of violence and toxic masculinity in the entertainment industry, we should not be shocked that schools are scenes of the violence we have seen. The Church’s voice needs to be louder and heard before the damage is done. A few weeks ago, coaches of two local football teams, Cape Town City and Orlando Pirates, […]

The post Schoolyard violence is a mirror of our society by Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Stan Muyebe OP

GeraltPixabay

Part of the Church’s mission is to be a prophetic voice in the world. However, as Fr. Stan Muyebe points out, a prophetic voice must always be accompanied by a prophetic presence, especially among the most marginalised. He highlights some of the work that the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference’s (SACBC) Justice and Peace Commission does with social movements and explains the challenges it faces in working with communities. The prophetic ministry of the Church should be seen as a […]

The post Prophetic mission of the church still weak and limping by Stan Muyebe OP appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Michaela van Nierop

wokandapixPixabay

Michaela van Nierop writes about being diagnosed with depression and surprisingly, attention deficit disorder (ADD). As she comes to term with her conditions and what she needs to do to manage them, she explains that her identity is more than her labels, but that the labels help her to understand herself. I was talking to my dad recently about the implications of having post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health problems. The conversation came up when I was thinking […]

The post My identity is more than a label by Michaela van Nierop appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya

Michael Johnson | Flickr

The seemingly unending stream of corruption and wrongdoing by high-ranking politicians points to the moral bankruptcy of South Africa’s political elite. Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya comments that the failure of our leaders to act in ethical ways provides an opportunity for religious leaders to initiate moral regeneration programmes to create a more ethical and hopeful society. South Africa’s political leaders have an increasing credibility deficit. South Africa’s official opposition, the Democratic Alliance (DA), has been rocked by reports that party leader Mmusi […]

The post Religious leaders can help to restore national values by Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Annemarie Paulin-Campbell

AmazonSynod_Synod.va

The Amazon Synod is due to begin in early October. It is expected to discuss and vote on environmental concerns in the Amazon region and its inhabitants’ access to the sacraments. In particular, the synod will examine how ordained deacons and women can assist in the celebration of the sacraments and building the life of the church. In light of this, Annemarie Paulin-Campbell finds it unacceptable that women will once again be barred from voting at a synod in which […]

The post Women are (again) barred from voting rights at the Amazon Synod by Annemarie Paulin-Campbell appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Stan Muyebe OP

FarmWorkersJusticePeaceCommission

Farm workers are among the most exploited of labourers in South Africa. Stan Muyebe OP explains the challenges around the precariousness of labour in our strained economy and shines a light on the efforts of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) Justice and Peace Commission to secure basic rights for rural farm workers.

The post Farm workers’ struggle for dignified working and living conditions by Stan Muyebe OP appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Mike Batley

SouthAfricanMoney

South Africa’s financial situation remains constrained despite hopes that President Cyril Ramaphosa would create much-needed jobs and restore investor confidence. Mike Batley warns of the dangers of unilateral solutions for South Africa’s economic challenges. He calls for a more holistic and reflective approach to overcome the endemic structural inequalities of our economic landscape. Recent major news stories about the new levels of unemployment in our country have rightly been labelled as an indication that we are in a “crisis”. Added […]

The post South Africa’s economic crisis — How ordinary citizens can shape new policies by Mike Batley appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Stan Muyebe OP

TshekisoTebaloMiners

The 26 July settlement to compensate former miners who contracted lung diseases is a victory that merits celebration. Stan Muyebe warns, however, that those affected will draw direct benefit from this ruling only if the trust charged with compensating the miners is well-managed. The Justice and Peace Commission continues to promote the transformation of the extractive industry to eliminate mining-related illnesses. On 26 July, the Gauteng High Court approved a R5 billion settlement between gold mining companies and former mineworkers […]

The post The R5 billion silicosis settlement is a victory, but miners’ struggle for justice continues by Stan Muyebe OP appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Mike Pothier

ScalesofJusticeSuccoPixabay

The Constitutional Court has sanctioned the public protector, Adv Busisiwe Mkwebane, for abusing the position of her office in failing to report her findings in an objective manner. Legal expert Mike Pothier considers the possible reasons for the public protector’s chequered performance.

The post Legal sanctions against public protector suggest incompetence or deliberate sabotage by Mike Pothier appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Chris Chatteris SJ

Génération Identitaire press conference

The upsurge of extreme-right politics on the global stage is alarming. Chris Chatteris SJ looks at a French movement promoting a dangerous and exclusionary worldview that appears, simplistically, to be anti-migrant. But their real qualms are deeper and, perhaps, they need to be heard.

The post Nostalgics, not Nazis but dangerous nonetheless by Chris Chatteris SJ appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Stan Muyebe OP

Abinism_Beautiful

People living with albinism in southern Africa fear for their lives. Many are killed for their body parts, which are then used in rituals. Stan Muyebe OP calls on government to enact legislation that deliberately cracks down on the ritual killings of people living with albinism, and further urges parishes to use Albinism Awareness Month to create awareness and debunk the myths that encourage violence. September is Albinism Awareness Month. At the moment, the nation is focused on gender based […]

The post Albinism Awareness Month – an opportunity to debunk harmful myths by Stan Muyebe OP appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Anthony Aduaka SJ

Xenophobia or ignorance: changing the narratives

Anthony Aduaka SJ tries to understand the psychology behind the xenophobic attacks in South Africa in early September. He argues that much of the distrust by black South Africans towards other black Africans stems from South Africa’s failure to overcome the racial divisions of apartheid and create the educational and economic conditions for black South Africans to overcome historic injustices. “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Lk 23:34) I am aware that so many […]

The post Xenophobia or ignorance: changing the narratives by Anthony Aduaka SJ appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya

Pixabay

The decision by the Zambian Football Association to refuse to play an international friendly against South Africa in protest of the xenophobic attacks, reminds us that sometimes sport can be a useful weapon of international diplomacy and punishment. With so many other countries on the continent that flagrantly abuse human rights, Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya asks why this tool is used so sparingly. It was not the first time that a state had used sport to register its disapproval of the actions […]

The post Not playing nicely… by Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Claire Mathieson

Enough condemnation, we need protection; we need action

Capetonians took to the streets outside Parliament on Thursday, 5 September to raise their voices and take a stand against the onslaught of femicide and gender-based violence that has rocked South Africa in recent weeks. Claire Mathieson was on the streets and created this pictorial of the day's events.

The post Enough condemnation, we need protection; we need action by Claire Mathieson appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Sarah-Leah Pimentel

VirusGertAltmanPixabay

One year after an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the crisis is far from over. Sarah-Leah Pimentel and Shrikant Peters examine the complex challenges that have prevented the effective containment of the epidemic. There is a real risk of Ebola spreading to neighbouring countries unless the DRC government, regional and international bodies, and local communities work together to eliminate it. The 1 August marked the one-year anniversary of the latest outbreak of the deadly Ebola […]

The post IN-DEPTH — Why the Ebola outbreak in the DRC should be everyone’s concern by Sarah-Leah Pimentel appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Chris Chatteris SJ

FirefightersPixabay

The massive forest fires in the Amazon have reached unprecedented proportions. Chris Chatteris comments on the lack of political goodwill in putting an end to the fires, and far more importantly, a change to environmental policies. The victims, he says, are the world’s people, but expresses hope that public activism will put politicians under increasing pressure to change the way we treat our common home. The Amazon rain forests are burning. An area the size of Manhattan is going up […]

The post Amazon fires — political ploy to privatise public land by Chris Chatteris SJ appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Martin van Nierop

Amazon1_MartinVNierop

Martin van Nierop responds to the reports of widescale fires in the Amazon that have made headlines in the international media. He relates his experience of visiting the Amazon and the people who he met there. Nierop reflects on the direct consequences these fires have for those communities and the far-reaching impact on climate change in South Africa and worldwide.

The post Burning Amazon — World’s lung under threat by Martin van Nierop appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Chris Chatteris SJ

Bob Blob, Unsplash

Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg has captured the imagination of climate change activists. Chris Chatteris SJ examines the environmental impact of a consumer economy on the future of the planet.

The post Teen climate change activist challenges global economic model by Chris Chatteris SJ appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Chris Chatteris SJ

The new asceticism

Ancient ascetic ideas seem to be making a resurgence but, as Chris Chatteris reflects on an article recently published by a French sociologist of religion, it seems that it now has more secular than religious appeal.

The post The new asceticism by Chris Chatteris SJ appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya

Israel Folau catches a high ball // David Molloy, Flickr

Australian rugby sensation, Israel Folau and those who support his outrageous comments on social media might think that his actions make him a martyr for Christianity. For Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya, his posts make him a bigot.

The post Folau gives faith a bad name by Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Anthony Egan SJ

‘In the Closet of the Vatican’ — the impact of a book on the Catholic Church today

A recent book touting homosexuality among senior clergy in the Catholic Church by French author Frédéric Martel has provoked a mixed reception. Anthony Egan SJ shares the power that he believes such a book could have for the scandal-plagued Catholic Church, today.

The post ‘In the Closet of the Vatican’ — the impact of a book on the Catholic Church today by Anthony Egan SJ appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Mphuthumi Ntabeni

REVIEW — Living with the Gods

In ‘Living with the Gods’, Neil MacGregor says that a set of shared beliefs and assumptions (faith, ideology, religion, etc) are at the centre of human existence and progress. Mphuthumi Ntabeni was enthralled by MacGregor’s idea that no organised society, in the past, has ever been able to thrive without a shared set of beliefs. It is simply a crucial part of our shared identity. Living with the Gods by Neil MacGregor. Penguin Books (Imprint: Allen Lane). Published: 17/09/2018. ISBN: […]

The post REVIEW — Living with the Gods by Mphuthumi Ntabeni appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Anthony Egan SJ

Peter Storey at the launch of his autobiography in Cape Town. // Izak de Vries, Twitter

Retired South African Methodist Bishop Peter Storey’s autobiography evokes on one level the chaotic and heroic struggle of the churches against apartheid in the second half of the twentieth century. But on a deeper level it is a profound meditation on conscience, courage and what it is to be human writes Anthony Egan SJ.

The post REVIEW — I beg to differ: ministry amid the teargas by Anthony Egan SJ appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Mphuthumi Ntabeni

REVIEW — I’m Still Here: Black Dignity In a World Made For Whiteness

Present happenings in South Africa show a growing urgency and a desperate need for talking about racism; but perhaps in ways that, before, we have been too afraid or too uncomfortable to do. We need to build firm and sustainable bridges between black and white people that do not ignore the pain wrought and the anger that is still widely felt. In this review by Mphuthumi Nthabeni he shares the living struggles of black American Christian author, Austin Channing Brown, and […]

The post REVIEW — I’m Still Here: Black Dignity In a World Made For Whiteness by Mphuthumi Ntabeni appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Mphuthumi Ntabeni

REVIEW — Women, power and the reinforcement of patriarchy

August is a time dedicated to the advancement of women, but despite lots of talk over the years, little has changed. Mphuthumi Ntabeni looks at Mary Beard's seminal book on the origins of misogyny and modern society perpetuates these. 

The post REVIEW — Women, power and the reinforcement of patriarchy by Mphuthumi Ntabeni appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Russell Pollitt SJ

Br Alois at a prayer gathering in Basel City // Spotlight.Africa

Br Alois Löser is the Prior of the ecumenical Community of Taizé in France. Next year he will visit South Africa where his community will host a gathering called “The Pilgrimage of Trust on Earth”. Some brothers are already living in Cape Town preparing for the meeting which will attract thousands of young people from across the world. Br Alois was in Rome for the Synod of Bishops on Young People. He spoke to Russell Pollitt SJ about South Africa […]

The post South Africa teaches the world to hope, Taizé Prior says by Russell Pollitt SJ appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Russell Pollitt SJ

Pope Francis greets a young auditor at the closing mass of the Synod of Bishops on Youth //Vatican Media

On Sunday 28 October Pope Francis celebrated mass in St Peter’s Basilica to mark the end of the month-long worldwide gathering of bishops for the Synod on Young People. The final document of the Synod was released late Saturday evening. Russell Pollitt SJ has been following the Synod in Rome, he takes a look at the final document.  Late in the evening of Saturday 27 October the final document of the Synod of Bishops on Young People, the Faith and […]

The post Synod 2018 – ENDS: Women, sex abuse & a synodal Church by Russell Pollitt SJ appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Russell Pollitt SJ

Pope Francis surrounde by Synod Fathers at Mass in St Peter's Basilica //Vatican Media

The Primate of all Ireland said at Friday’s Synod of Bishops press briefing that he has not engaged with and encouraged young people enough, writes Russell Pollitt SJ from Rome. A graced month Both Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Austria and Archbishop Eamon Martin of Ireland said that the Synod has been a time of grace – despite their personal apprehension before it started. Cardinal Schönborn said that when appointed he was concerned about being away from Vienna for such a long time. […]

The post Synod 2018 – Now “determined in missionary spirit” by Russell Pollitt SJ appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Russell Pollitt SJ

Synod Father and an auditor address the press on Thursday //Vatican Media

On Thursday two main issues were discussed at the press briefing for the Synod of Bishops on Young People: Synodality as the way forward and the scandal of sex abuse in the Church. Russell Pollitt SJ writes from Rome. The Synod Fathers and auditors did a 6 kilometer pilgrimage today from Monte Mario to St Peter’s. At St Peter’s, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation, presided at Mass.  The Holy Father […]

The post Synod 2018 – “Synodality” is the keyword by Russell Pollitt SJ appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Russell Pollitt SJ

Holy See Press Briefing for Synod on Youth //Vatican Media

Although many young people attend mass and go to confession, and despite 12 years of catechism, God still remains an abstract thought for them, a bishop says at Wednesday’s press briefing. Russell Pollitt SJ reports from Rome. On Wednesday the Synod Fathers discussed the draft of the final document of the Synod of Bishops on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment. A letter to young people, from the Synod, was also read out in the General Assembly. It is […]

The post Synod 2018 – God is an abstract thought for the young by Russell Pollitt SJ appeared first on spotlight.africa.

Spotlight.Africa

Spotlight Africa strives to be a reliable, reasoned and informed source. It is a ministry of the Jesuit Institute South Africa and will shed light on the social, political and economic happenings in Southern Africa.
It offers analysis and commentary – informed by Catholic Social Teaching and Christian ethics – covering, specifically, things that are and should be important for the local Church and Catholics in Southern Africa.

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TWEETS & RETWEETS


Oct 9, 2019 at 1:30am
Here is the cross chosen by Card @jesuitczerny. He doesn’t forget about his #migrant brothers and sisters. The wood comes from a boat used by migrants to cross the Mediterranean Sea. The nail recalls the symbol of the Jesuits; the back bears the word “Suscipe”: to receive. https://t.co/iQSZTXIgjt SAJesuits photo
Oct 3, 2019 at 2:35am
Jesuit priest Fr. Paul Béré from Burkina Faso is making history as the First African ever to win Ratzinger Prize which rewards the work of theologians and specialists from related disciplines. https://t.co/Roz4B0V6TS https://t.co/aLbJL4xbxD SAJesuits photo
Oct 1, 2019 at 7:53am
“Love ought to show itself in deeds more than in words.”
St. Ignatius of Loyola
Put more love in your actions today https://t.co/Y55ysazWW8
SAJesuits photo
Oct 1, 2019 at 7:53am
Professor at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, Jesuit Father Paul Béré, from Burkina Faso, will receive the Ratzinger Prize on November 9, 2019 at the Vatican Apostolic Palace. He is the first African theologian to be awarded this prestigious prize.
@JesuitsAfrica https://t.co/9eMkppwTHj
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