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- Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya

Women refugees and asylum seekers gather vegetables from NGO FutureFamilies. The NGO helps keep refugee families together and integrate them into their new communities. [Rampeoane Hlobo SJ]

Women bear more than their fair share of the burdens left by the violent conflicts existing across Africa. Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya recently visited a women’s shelter run by religious sisters near the Zimbabwe-South Africa border. There, he spoke to women trying to rebuild their lives and make sense of where they now find themselves. Here is the devastating story of Shakira, not her real name, who awaits a ray of hope in the form of recognised refugee status. Hope, that only […]

The post A refugee woman’s pursuit of happiness appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Mphuthumi Ntabeni

Public domain

Educational authorities in South Africa have announced their decision to introduce KiSwahili to the pool of additional languages available to school learners. This decision has met with a controversial reception. Mphuthumi Nthabeni presents the arguments being made against its inclusion in the curriculum and argues that we would be ill-informed and unwise to reject the additional language. I don’t really understand the bases for the objections that are being levelled against the introduction of KiSwahili in our schools’ national curriculum. […]

The post kiSwahili – not just any other African language appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya

Louis Hansel | Unsplash

The Constitutional Court in South Africa has ruled  that adults found using, in private possession of, or cultivating dagga for their personal use will not be prosecuted. The ruling is a controversial one that has sparked reactions from all sides. For Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya the ConCourt decision leads him to consider the curious relationship that can exist between legality and morality. He is not much concerned with the particular ruling – his is a more philosophical investigation. One does not need […]

The post Of marijuana and morals appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Mphuthumi Ntabeni

Unsplash

In an open letter to the South African President, Mphuthumi Nthabeni cautions President Cyril Ramaphosa about being too worried or paying disproportionate atttention to seemingly dominating and overly-pessimistic narratives concerning our current state of economic affairs. He also uses the letter as an opportunity to convey what he sees as the wisdom of Catholic Social Teaching with respect to the economy, that it needs always to be at the service of the common good. Dear President Ramaphosa I was extremely […]

The post On our current economy — An open letter to SA President appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Anthony Egan SJ

Flickr

“There is no state that is captured”, this was the much-reported remark of Jacob Zuma as he addressed university students at Walter Sisulu University in the Eastern Cape earlier this week. Anthony Egan, moral theologian, ethicist and Jesuit priest looks at the outrageous claim put forward by the former president and assesses whether it has any merit.  “I want the people to know that they still have two out of three branches of the government working for them, and that […]

The post Zuma:‘No’ State Capture! Satire, Farce or Tragedy played for laughs? appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Peter-John Pearson

Artistic Panel in the Hospital de la Providencia chapel in San Salvador where Romero was murdered in 1980. // Ricardo da Silva SJ

The canonisation of murdered Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador was greatly contested within the Church. His model Christian life was a threat to his brother clerics who found his ways too radical and too challenging of their own lifestyles. They saw him as a very dangerous counterpoint. A man who was unafraid to challenge the unforgiving Salvadoran military forces. Many sought to have him silenced and removed. Ultimately he was killed for his Gospel convictions. Peter-John Pearson, Vicar General […]

The post St Romero: the people of God knew him a saint long before the Church officially declared him one appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- spotlight.africa

Fr Peter-John Pearson, Vicar General of Cape Town in St Peter's Square. // Russell Pollitt SJ

Fr Peter-John Pearson, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cape Town and Director of the Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office, is in Rome for the canonisation of seven new saints. Among the seven we can now officially call saint was Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador, “the martyr for justice”. Watch as Fr Peter-John shares with us his impressions of this momentous occasion at St Peter’s Square in the Vatican yesterday, 14 October 2018. He says it is “a huge affirmation of […]

The post WATCH — Vicar General of Cape Town on canonisation of Oscar Romero appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Anthony Egan SJ

Façade of St Peter's Basilica in Vatican City adorned with portraits of seven new saints. // Vatican News

Today, 14 October 2018, will go down in history as the day that Pope Francis recognised seven new saints: Pope Paul VI, Archbishop Oscar Romero, Francesco Spinelli, Vincenzo Romano, Maria Caterina Kasper, Nazaria Ignazia of Saint Teresa of Jesus, and Nunzio Sulprizio. Here, Fr Anthony Egan SJ looks at the lives of two prominent and complex figures of our Catholic faith, Oscar Romero and Paul VI, drawing comparisons between them and showing their long, contested and controversial path to sainthood. Among the canonisations celebrated in Rome today, […]

The post Our Church’s newest saints walked a controversial road to holiness appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Ricardo da Silva SJ

Elvert Barnes, Flickr

Pope Francis has received the resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington after weeks of mounting pressure for the senior US prelate to resign. The resignation comes after serious allegations that he did not act on sexual abuse committed by priests under his watch. The Holy See announced at midday on Friday 12 October that Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of the Archbishop of Washington DC, Cardinal Donald Wuerl. The resignation comes after much criticism and controversy over that […]

The post Pope accepts Cardinal Wuerl’s resignation after it’s alleged that he failed to act on sexual abuse appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Janine Scott-dos Santos

CIE Thabiso Skills Institute

Last week's Jobs Summit held in Johannesburg at President Cyril Ramaphosa's behest, highlighted the great urgency to adequately equip young people for the world of work. Janine Scott-dos Santos, an HR professional, presents the work of the Catholic Institute of Education's (CIE) Thabiso Skills Institute, an organisation that is going to great lengths to teach young people the skills and work ethic needed to be workplace ready and keep a job. As someone who works in HR, I get exposed […]

The post Youth need key skills if they are to keep jobs appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- spotlight.africa

Pope recognises illicitly ordained Chinese bishops

Saturday 22 September 2018 saw the signing of an agreement between the Vatican and China which is set to be a watershed moment in diplomatic and church relations, after years of much controversy and turmoil between them, reports Hannah Brockhaus.  After the signing of a provisional Vatican-China deal on the nomination of bishops, on Saturday 22 September 2018, the Vatican announced Pope Francis’ recognition of seven illicitly ordained Chinese bishops. The decision was made “with a view to sustaining the […]

The post Pope recognises illicitly ordained Chinese bishops appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Mphuthumi Ntabeni

Flickr, remixed by Ricardo da Silva SJ

Fearmongering seems to be the present modus operandi and the motor force for delivering fake news. Many are finding themselves brainwashed and worshipping at the feet of the purveyors of falsehoods. Mphuthumi Nthabeni looks at widely reported fears held throughout Africa, especially with respect to the exponential levels of Chinese interest and investment across the continent. Is it simply mere self-interest and a ploy for continental takeover? The situation We’ve recently seen one Western leader after another visit African states. What’s […]

The post The new scramble for Africa: China and the West appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Ricardo da Silva SJ

Vatican Media

Responding to the shameful abuse crisis plaguing the Catholic Church at present, Pope Francis has called the president of every bishops’ conference around the world to a meeting at the Vatican next year. Following extensive criticism of the Holy Father and the Church hierarchy for not taking concrete actions, the Vatican has now announced a major step in addressing the matter of sexual abuse of minors by clergy. On Wednesday, 12 September 2018, the Vatican press office communicated that Pope  Francis has […]

The post Breaking: Pope takes major action in response to abuse crisis appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya

Young pregnant and poor — a global reality

Earlier this week we reported on the Stats SA report on live births and the startling revelations it contained of pregnancy among young South African girls. In light of this, Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya was keen to investigate whether there was an international trend with respect to teenage pregnancy. Worryingly, it appears that motherhood at a young age is a world phenomenon that sets our young girls on a sad life trajectory. This affects not only their long-term physical wellbeing but also any prospects […]

The post Young pregnant and poor — a global reality appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Annemarie Paulin-Campbell

Victims of clergy sexual abuse  — their lifelong wounds

As a psychologist and spiritual director, Dr Annemarie Paulin-Campbell has received and counselled victims of clergy sexual abuse. The sexual abuse crisis in the Church looms large and we need to understand the long-term psychological, physical and spiritual effects of abuse on those whom this evil has been inflicted, as she carefully and painfully explains. The recent release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report revealed that over the course of 70 years 300 perpetrators in six states sexually abused at […]

The post Victims of clergy sexual abuse — their lifelong wounds appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Mike Pothier

President Cyril Ramaphosa prepares SONA 2018 speech, Cape Town. // Photo: GCIS

The positive significance of two recent political developments in South Africa cannot be overstated. The voluntary resignation of Mr Nhlanhla Nene and the unprecedented decision by President Cyril Rampahosa not to exercise the right to use his unilateral power to appoint the new NPA head but to seek external advice. For Mike Pothier these indicate that significant ethical change is taking place at the uppermost levels of national governance. Recent weeks have brought news of two very significant and positive […]

The post Ramaphosa’s decisions show and advance ethical governance appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Puleng Matsaneng

Wikipedia remixed by Ricardo da Silva SJ

We live in a time where corruption is rife—in our country and our world—and every day brings new revelations of nefarious dealings by politicians or other senior members of society. Puleng Matsaneng looks at our present state of corruption and asks whether the phenomenon is altogether new in South Africa or whether we are just more aware of it in the present time. She suggests corruption has been with us always—old and new South Africa alike. Over the past few […]

The post Nothing has changed: corruption before and after democracy appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Paulina French

Fancycrave, Pexels

There has been much talk of zero-rated VAT following the unprecedented increase to 15% earlier this year, just as Nhlanhla Nene the now ex-Minister of Finance took to the helm of the national coffers. Paulina French has been following the complex and technical high-level discussions on 0% VAT items and unpacks these here for us. She suggests that it is unlikely that this will bring to the poor the relief they desperately need. We can only hope that Mr Tito […]

The post Zeroing in on VAT appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Annemarie Paulin-Campbell

Victims of clergy sexual abuse  — their lifelong wounds

As a psychologist and spiritual director, Dr Annemarie Paulin-Campbell has received and counselled victims of clergy sexual abuse. The sexual abuse crisis in the Church looms large and we need to understand the long-term psychological, physical and spiritual effects of abuse on those whom this evil has been inflicted, as she carefully and painfully explains. The recent release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report revealed that over the course of 70 years 300 perpetrators in six states sexually abused at […]

The post Victims of clergy sexual abuse — their lifelong wounds appeared first on spotlight.africa.

- Mphuthumi Ntabeni

Why public hearings on land must continue

Much undue criticism has come from the parliamentary process of holding public assemblies across the country giving diverging South African constituencies the opportunity to hear and to speak on the issue of land expropriation without compensation. Mphuthumi Ntabeni reflects on the need for such public hearings in a still fledgeling constitutional democracy such as ours. The sometimes dramatic public hearings that have been taking place across South Africa form part of the constitutional process debating the proposed amendments to Section 25 […]

The post Why public hearings on land must continue appeared first on spotlight.africa.

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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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