LATEST NEWS


JESUIT INSTITUTE REFLECTS


EXPANDING HORIZONS


LATEST FROM SPOTLIGHT.AFRICA


  • CHURCH
  • NEWS
  • OPINION
  • ANALYSIS
  • AFRICA
  • INTERNATIONAL
  • REVIEWS
  • SYNOD ON YOUTH
- Matthew Charlesworth SJ

Pope appoints Rt. Rev. Zolile Peter Mpamabani SCJ as Archbishop of Bloemfontein

Pope Francis has appointed Zolile Peter Mpamabani SCJ as the Archbishop of Bloemfontein. The archbishop-elect has been working as the Bishop of Kokstad since 2013. In a press release from the Vatican at noon on 1 April, the Holy See announced that the Holy Father has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Jabulani Adatus Nxumalo of Bloemfontein. At the same time he has appointed Zolile Peter Mpambani, who up until now was the Bishop of the Diocese of Kokstad. Archbishop-elect Mpambani […]

The post Pope appoints Rt. Rev. Zolile Peter Mpamabani SCJ as Archbishop of Bloemfontein by Matthew Charlesworth SJ appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Paulina French

RobertCheaibPixabay

2020 is not turning out to be what we expected. The economy is in dire straits, schooling has been disrupted, and community-based worship has been suspended as a result of the national lockdown in efforts to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Paulina French explains her decision to stop going to Mass, even before the lockdown. Even though it was a difficult choice, she felt that it was more important to protect those around her. This sacrifice has brought her […]

The post We are the Church by Paulina French appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Mathibela Sebothoma

More than a building: The Church is not on lockdown

The coronavirus pandemic has had a deep impact on our ability to be community. Mathibela Sebothoma reflects that although we share the sorrow of not being able to attend Mass, we have been given the gift of restoring the tradition of prayer in the family and remembering that there is more beyond the fragility of the human condition. “Father, I have not seen something like this in a long time,” remarked Mr Khumalo with a beaming smile on his face. […]

The post More than a building: The Church is not on lockdown by Mathibela Sebothoma appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- spotlight.africa

Pope prays alone in St Peter’s for end to Coronavirus crisis

Below is the full text of Pope Francis’ address during the extraordinary Urbi et Orbi (to the City and the World) blessing he delivered on Friday evening while praying for an end of the coronavirus. The plenary indulgence attached to the Urbi et Orbi blessing is subject to the conditions foreseen by the recent Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary.  “When evening had come” (Mk 4:35). The Gospel passage we have just heard begins like this. For weeks now it has been evening. Thick darkness […]

The post Pope prays alone in St Peter’s for end to Coronavirus crisis by spotlight.africa appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Mike Pothier

Querida Amazonia, Redemptorist Publications

Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, Querida Amazonia, generated a great deal of commentary immediately after its publication in February. Mike Pothier argues that it is necessary to read the text reflectively to find its treasures and assess its weaknesses. He focuses on five passages that encapsulate the main themes of the apostolic exhortation. Now that the dust has settled concerning Pope Francis’ decision not to endorse the idea of married priests in the Amazon region, we can read his Apostolic Exhortation […]

The post Querida Amazonia in Five Sentences by Mike Pothier appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Margaret Blackie

FaceMask_MohamedHassan_Pixabay

There are divergent views on whether the use of masks in public can help to slow the spread of COVID-19. Margaret Blackie looks at the example of the Czech Republic, which to date has had one of the lowest infection rates in Europe. Its citizens adopted the use of masks within a week. Masks alone cannot stop the virus, but the principle of “I protect you; you protect me” can only help to stem its spread. Several countries seem to […]

The post Masks for all: Protecting one another by Margaret Blackie appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- spotlight.africa

President declares 21 day lockdown to stop COVID-19 progression

On 23 March, President Cyril Ramaphosa declared nationwide lockdown beginning at midnight on 26 March. This means that South Africans will only be allowed to leave their homes to buy groceries or to seek medical healthcare. Health professionals and those who will keep the supply chain and basic services operational can go to work. Everyone else must stay home, and practice good hygiene, to reduce the potential for the spread of the coronavirus. This is not an option. It is […]

The post President declares 21 day lockdown to stop COVID-19 progression by spotlight.africa appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Margaret Blackie

Covid-19 – is the drastic action overreaction?

On 15 March, President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the people of South Africa to communicate a series of measures that the government is implementing to minimise the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Margaret Blackie explains why it is important to take these measures seriously, not only for ourselves but for the members of our communities who have reduced immunity. Covid-19 is a virus which affects the lungs. It presents as a dry cough with a fever. Most people who get it […]

The post Covid-19 – is the drastic action overreaction? by Margaret Blackie appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- spotlight.africa

Archdiocese of Cape Town implements coronavirus prevention measures.

As South Africa confirms its first coronavirus case, the Archdiocese of Cape Town is proactively implementing measures to prevent the spread of the disease while the faithful are attending mass. These measures include removing holy water from the fonts, refraining from shaking hands at the sign of peace, receiving communion on the hand, and stopping administering the Precious Blood during communion. Churches are also encouraged to run awareness campaigns on routine hygiene practices that can help to contain the spread […]

The post Archdiocese of Cape Town implements coronavirus prevention measures. by spotlight.africa appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Mike Pothier

Minister Tito Mboweni with SA President Tito Mboweni after delivering 2019 Budget speech. // GCIS, Flickr

South Africa’s Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, in his Budget Speech on 26 February, brought some relief, a few surprises, and indications that the government is finally prepared to put the brakes on unproductive public spending. Mike Pothier, the programme manager for the Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office (CPLO), assesses some of the reassuring signs and areas of concern emerging from the 2020 Budget Speech. The fact that Tito Mboweni came up with a small amount of personal tax relief in yesterday’s […]

The post CPLO Unpacks the 2020 Budget Speech by Mike Pothier appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Ncamiso Vilakati

FedericoTak_Lockdown_Pixabay

Ncamiso Vilakati is a priest from eSwatini who is currently studying in Rome. He has witnessed the devastation of the coronavirus first hand. He shares his experiences of being in lockdown and his hopes for his return to his homeland. He also makes a very urgent plea for the citizens of Southern Africa to take the dangers of the coronavirus seriously and to put aside petty politics. Instead, he calls for a spirit of responsibility, national unity and discipline as […]

The post Stay home and all will be well by Ncamiso Vilakati appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Shrikant Peters

Flickr | Richard Cassan

South Africa will wake up to a nationwide lockdown on 26 March and many other countries around the world are already facing similar restrictions to the individual freedom of movement. The ever increasing number of COVID-19 infections are also instilling fear and anxiety. Shrikant Peters reminds us that despite the frightening times that the world is experiencing, it is necessary to stay in touch with our spiritual lives by seeking opportunities for prayer and contemplation. A spiritual discipline, he says, […]

The post Finding peace during lockdown by Shrikant Peters appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Ranjeni Munusamy

Greed, selfishness and venality increase the power of the virus

We are interdependent. As a global community we are facing the largest health, economic, and social challenge in this millennium. Ranjeni Munusamy reflects on how the Covid-19 pandemic has forced nations to work together for our collective survival and hopes that the lessons learnt will teach us how to cooperate with other global problems and to appreciate the true value of “human touch.” One of my scariest childhood memories is of a television series called V. The plot was about […]

The post Greed, selfishness and venality increase the power of the virus by Ranjeni Munusamy appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Sarah-Leah Pimentel

HoldingHandsTruthSeeker08_Pixabay

The coronavirus has now spread to all continents and, in response, nations are issuing travel restrictions or placing entire cities on lockdown in an effort to contain the pandemic. Sarah-Leah Pimentel reflects on the positive reaction of governments but expresses concern and sadness at the way in which public panic has revealed unbridled levels of selfishness, even within religious circles. Two things happen in a crisis. People pull together and find creative solutions to a difficult situation. Or else they […]

The post A far more serious disease than coronavirus by Sarah-Leah Pimentel appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Ranjeni Munusamy

Ranjeni Munusamy // spotlight.africa

Pope John XXIII wrote in 'Pacem in Terris' that a person "has a natural right to be respected", to a "good name", "to freedom in investigating the truth", "and — within the limits of the moral order and the common good — to freedom of speech and publication," "the freedom to pursue whatever profession he or she may choose", and “to be accurately informed about public events”. To further the rights proclaimed in the Pope's 1963 letter, spotlight.africa publishes this article by Ranjeni Munusamy.

The post Me, Myself and Ranjeni: The unbearable heaviness of being by Ranjeni Munusamy appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Shrikant Peters

The influence of economics on health

Many South Africans had hoped that the 2020 Budget Speech on 20 February would provide greater clarity on plans for the National Health Insurance (NHI) plan. However, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni mentioned the NHI only once, in passing. Shrikant Peters observes that despite the moral duty to grant quality healthcare to all sectors of the South Africa population, the feasibility of NHI is at the mercy of economic performance. An improved economy, he says, will result in a healthier population […]

The post The influence of economics on health by Shrikant Peters 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.

- Anthony Aduaka SJ

OverSummitizationAfrica

Africa appears to have captured the interests of the world’s key political and economic powers. Anthony Aduaka SJ observes that a spate of recent summits that bring African leaders together with political heavyweights, seemingly, to foster deeper multilateral ties and sign attractive trade deals, represent a new form of African dependency on the West. He calls on African leaders to put aside narrow political or personal interests and ensure that any bilateral partnerships benefit Africa equally. In one of his […]

The post The global “over-summiting” of Africa by Anthony Aduaka SJ appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Jesuit Communications Zimbabwe and Mozambique

Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops appeal for food aid for starving millions

In December 2019, the United Nations warned that Zimbabwe faces a “man-made” famine. Drought, hyperinflation, and poor economic and agricultural policies have transformed the once abundant “bread-basket” of Southern Africa into an arid wasteland. Nearly 8 million people will face severe food shortages this year. The Zimbabwean Catholic Bishop’s Conference has called for US$1 million to address the most severely-affected by the famine. Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops have made an urgent appeal for food aid in cash or kind amid a […]

The post Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops appeal for food aid for starving millions by Jesuit Communications Zimbabwe and Mozambique appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar

Jesuit Superiors on the situation in Cameroon

Cameroon is a country of deep-seated divisions. In particular, the English-speaking North West and South West regions have repeatedly been excluded from the political process in the mainly French-speaking country. In 2017, Anglophone separatists began attacking government institutions and civilians perceived to support the government. Government forces have responded to the attacks but have been accused of using excessive force against civilians, torture, abuse, and the destruction of homes and property in Anglophone villages. The violence has resulted in 3,000 […]

The post Jesuit Superiors on the situation in Cameroon by Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Anthony Aduaka SJ

VanessaNakate

Associated Press (AP) recently cropped Ugandan climate change activist, Vanessa Nakate, from a group photograph in which she appears with her peers at the World Economic Forum. Anthony Adauka SJ points out that incidents like this are not new, and are indicative of the underlying racism that continues to exist. He argues that we cannot speak about care for our common home and equality until we’ve eliminated all forms of exclusion. “But they don’t know it is also risen, with […]

The post Racism, they say, is dead by Anthony Aduaka SJ appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Sarah-Leah Pimentel

CardinalAmbongoCongoTVYoutube

A statement by Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) accusing political groups of fuelling ethnic tensions in the country has generated controversy in the region. Sarah-Leah Pimentel examines the Church’s duty in speaking out against any form of oppression, but points out the dangers that can cloud a sound discernment in speaking truth to power. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is a place of untold hardships. Violence, countless rebel groups, belligerent political groups, […]

The post Church in the Congo: The delicate balance of speaking truth to power by Sarah-Leah Pimentel appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Ncamiso Vilakati

FedericoTak_Lockdown_Pixabay

Ncamiso Vilakati is a priest from eSwatini who is currently studying in Rome. He has witnessed the devastation of the coronavirus first hand. He shares his experiences of being in lockdown and his hopes for his return to his homeland. He also makes a very urgent plea for the citizens of Southern Africa to take the dangers of the coronavirus seriously and to put aside petty politics. Instead, he calls for a spirit of responsibility, national unity and discipline as […]

The post Stay home and all will be well by Ncamiso Vilakati appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Shrikant Peters

VirusGertAltmanPixabay

The recent outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has, understandably, created a lot of anxiety, especially among those whose immune systems may be weak. That, however, says Shrikant Peters, is no excuse for discrimination, human rights violations, or any other form of harmful stereotyping. All people are created in God’s image and deserve respect and, should they contract the illness, access to dignified and adequate healthcare. Although it has captured the imagination and invoked fear in global audiences only recently, coronaviruses […]

The post The uncommon cold – a healthy response to the coronavirus by Shrikant Peters 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

AgeAnger, Pankaj Mishra

Our society — not just South Africa — seems to have become increasingly violent. People are angry. Political and economic exclusion has often been pinpointed as the reason for the anger and resentment of our times. Chris Chatteris SJ reviews the 2017 treatise by Indian novelist and thinker, Pankaj Mishra, Age of Anger: A history of the present, who explains that the current extremist movements are inspired less by religion than they are by exclusion. If you’re looking for a […]

The post Age of Anger: a history of the present by Chris Chatteris SJ appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Anthony Egan SJ

AnneHopeStruggleFreedom

On 17 October, Stephanie Kilroe launched her new biography about Anne Hope, a South African anti-apartheid activist, the president of the lay Catholic community, The Grail, and the founder of community development programme, Training for Transformation, at St. Augustine College. Anthony Egan SJ reviews the book, describing it as a “spiritual biography” that shows “how deep faith engages with the public and private lives of a complex person.” Although Anne Hope (1930-2015) was well-known in certain Catholic circles in southern […]

The post Book review — Anne Hope: The Struggle for Freedom by Anthony Egan SJ 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.

- 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.

ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE


INSTAGRAM


Nov 14, 2016 at 12:20am
  • 13
  • 0
Nov 3, 2016 at 1:01am
  • 17
  • 0
Oct 28, 2016 at 10:27pm
  • 10
  • 0
Oct 24, 2016 at 4:50pm
  • 12
  • 0
Oct 17, 2016 at 5:23pm
  • 6
  • 1
Oct 16, 2016 at 6:33pm
  • 7
  • 1

TWEETS & RETWEETS