Updates from the Archdiocese of Cape Town.
This page contains a selection of announcements and articles from the Archdiocese that are relevant during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Please visit the Archdiocese of Cape Town website for more details.
Prayer and Reflections by Archbishop Stephen Brislin
Visit the Archdiocese of Cape Town’s YouTube Channel to watch Archbishop Stephen Brislin offer his prayers and reflections for the people of the Archdiocese of Cape Town during this time of the coronavirus pandemic.
Prayer and Reflections by Bishop Sylvester David OMI
Auxiliary Bishop Sylvester David offers his prayer and reflection for the people of the Archdiocese of Cape Town during this time of the coronavirus pandemic. Available on the Archdiocese of Cape Town’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.
Ongoing live-streamed Masses and devotions in the Archdiocese of Cape Town
Archbishop Stephen Brislin and Bishop Sylvester David have asked parishes, where possible, to provide live-streamed options for parish Sunday and weekday Masses, as well as other devotions. They assure us of their prayer during this trying time of Covid-19.
Homily from Archbishop Stephen Brislin
In the wake of the recent destruction and looting that has happened in KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng, Archbishop Stephen Brislin shares his homily for this Sunday 18th July 2021.
In the First Reading of today’s Mass we heard these opening words from the Prophet Jeremiah: ‘Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!’ says the Lord. The leaders of Israel, to whom these words were addressed, failed the people they were meant to lead. Furthermore, they failed God who entrusted them with the responsibility of leadership.
Human life is relational – in other words, the quality and meaning of our lives is to be found in relation to other people and, of course, in relation to God. To be fully human can only be achieved when we are in harmonious and fulfilling relationships, whether it be with a significant loved one, family, friends, the community in which we live and work. In the words of Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI, “man is the more himself the more he is with ‘the other’”. I cannot be my true self by myself. Jesus has also taught us that there is an inseparable link between love of neighbour and love of God. The Old Testament writers used the image of a shepherd and the flock in order to convey this truth. The shepherd is meant to guard and protect the flock, to take it to green pastures and fresh waters, he is meant to ensure its nourishment and well-being. He is meant to love the sheep and care for them, to seek out the lost, bandage the injured and ensure that the flock stays together. Leaders are meant to be like shepherds, to have the well-being of the whole flock at heart, to promote unity and togetherness. In short, to ensure that relationships with others are maintained and respected, through order and fairness.
Catholic Bishops call for an end too violence and looting
As we join other Religious Leaders in calling for calm, we wish to draw attention to the caution by Pope Francis during his visit to Mozambique in 2019 that, sometimes, it takes small steps of violence for a nation to descend into full-fledged anarchy, an endless spiral of violence and massive bloodshed. The Pope said: “No family, no group of neighbours or ethnic group and even less – no country has a future if the motor that unites them, brings them together and resolves their differences is composed of violence and vengeance.” (Pope Francis, 2 September 2019).
Presently, certain parts of our country, namely, Kwazulu-Natal and Gauteng are engulfed by violence and looting that started off as protest against the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma, with fear that this might spread wider. Let us not allow the difference of opinion on political matters to be hijacked by criminal intentions to create anarchy in our country that will result in a worse social and economic situation than we presently find ourselves in.
Statement on the violence by the Jesuit Institute
“WHOLESALE DESTRUCTION MOCKS LIBERTY”
Do not envy the violent or choose any of their ways!
The continued and escalating violence in South Africa is of grave concern. Violence always begets more violence. Violence causes immediate and long-term suffering to all and will not address the pertinent issues that need to be urgently addressed in this country.
South Africa has long been on a precipice. What we witness is symptomatic of a number of factors that cannot be ignored. The country’s tragic history, endemic corruption, political infighting, moral decay, disregard for the law, and the unfavourable global economic conditions, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, are among them. However, the burning, looting and destruction of property will not bring about change, it will deepen the crisis.
Lockdown level four, violence and destruction, and feeding the poor
Please see the following directive from our Bishops.
It has been announced that with effect from 13:00 today, 1st July 2021, the 50+ age group may register to be vaccinated against Covid 19.
Archdiocesan News 2 0f 2021
HOT OFF THE “DIGITAL PRESS”:
Celebrating 100 editions of Archdiocesan News; Churches dispute CoCT Rates Policy; Youth Day Mass; Caritas Cape Town; A Passion for Opera; From the Heart (of our Archbishop); Noah’s Selling Seconds; WIN A PRIZE with St Kizito; From the Book; Laudato Si’ Week 2021; An update from the Catholic Schools’ Office; Parliamentary Liaison Office Responses and Digests; CPD Training Courses; Celebrating the Year of St Joseph; Mgr Borello’s final Theology Today article; Does God Allow Suffering – Virtual Winter Living Theology 2021; When the Famine Strikes; Stories of Hope from St Joseph’s Home
Pastoral letter from Bishops of the Xhosa-speaking region on the Year of St Joseph
Fraternity and social friendship are the ways the Pontiff indicates to build a better, more just and peaceful world, with the contribution of all: people and institutions. With an emphatic confirmation of a ‘no’ to war and to globalized indifference.
What are the great ideals but also the tangible ways to advance for those who wish to build a more just and fraternal world in their ordinary relationships, in social life, politics and institutions?
This is mainly the question that Fratelli Tutti is intended to answer: the Pope describes it as a “Social Encyclical” (6) which borrows the title of the “Admonitions” of Saint Francis of Assisi, who used these words to “address his brothers and sisters and proposed to them a way of life marked by the flavour of the Gospel” (Par 1). The Encyclical aims to promote a universal aspiration toward fraternity and social friendship. In the background of the Encyclical is the Covid-19 pandemic which, Francis reveals, “unexpectedly erupted” as he “was writing this letter”. But the global health emergency has helped demonstrate that “no one can face life in isolation” and that the time has truly come to “dream, then, as a single human family” in which we are “brothers and sisters all” (Par 8).
You can read or download the encyclical here: papa-francesco_20201003_enciclica-fratelli-tutti
Please read through the attached letter from Archbishop Stephen Brislin regarding the Synod survey and then click on one of the following links to complete the questionnaire:
Synod Letter – Priests and Parishioners
Confession in a time of coronavirus (revised)
Queries have been raised from some of the faithful in the Archdiocese about going to Confession during this time of lockdown, due to the coronavirus. Bishop Sylvester David responds, giving guidance in this comprehensive attachment.
Archdiocese of Cape Town Releases Updated Safety Measures for The Coronavirus Threat – Tuesday, 17 March 2020
Today (17 March 2020) in Cape Town, the Archdiocese of Cape Town has released an updated document detailing the safety measures of the Catholic Church in Cape Town.
- All public masses are cancelled until further notice. Following this the laity and deacons are dispensed from Sunday Mass obligations until further notice.
- The Easter Triduum is also cancelled. It will only be celebrated for the Elect and their sponsors.
- All devotional services are cancelled until further notice too. This applies to our services like Stations of the Cross , Peace service and the Rosary.
- All Catechism Classes have been cancelled
- All non-essential meetings are cancelled.
- Masses continue in Religious communities only for members of the community.
- Penitential services are cancelled in favour of individual confessions that need to be conducted with due care.
- Anointing of the Sick can take place but priests must take all reasonable precautions.
- Communion to the sick may continue in serious cases.
- Weddings and funerals to be attended only by immediate family.
- Parishioners are requested to continue their financial support to parishes through these trying times.
- The Chancery will be closed to the public and visits permitted by appointment only.
- Everyone is urged to continue the hygiene measures of frequent and thorough hand-washing, ‘social distancing’ and other common sense practices.
These are extraordinary times and as we have seen across the world, the virulent nature of this virus calls for extreme measures in order to protect the lives of our people and to curb its spread across our nation. The State has declared the situation to be a National Disaster and we are obliged to comply with the law.
For us Catholics the cancelling of Mass is an enormous sacrifice – an unthinkable thing. You will see in the message from the Archdiocese, that we are called to continue to live our faith in spite of these measures. In some ways it feels like the experience of the early Christians who lived their Christian lives faithfully in the face of huge danger and persecutions. Our times are different, our persecution different too, but our resolve and faith is the same as our courageous forebears.
The diocese will seek to provide online access to live streaming of masses and resources for home devotions and Sunday celebrations; and in our parish we will energetically and tirelessly put into place systems and communication channels to stay in touch with all our parishioners, and provide moral, and spiritual support to everyone.
On Thursday we will send out our parish response to this announcement. We will clarify where there are questions and we will announce our local parish measures that we will put in place as a result of the notice today. Please watch out for our email on THURSDAY with these details. We are also creating a page on our website where you can go to for ongoing updates – this will be live in the coming days.
While these measures cause physical separation, now is the time for us to be spiritually united, for us to pray more than ever before and to live our Christian lives as Christ showed us. Now is the time to watch out for our neighbours, to care for the vulnerable and to pull together in our families and in our community. There are a lot of resources we can use and create for ourselves during this time. It starts in our families, going back to basics, redefining what is important in life and drawing ever closer to Christ.
Please take care of yourselves. May God watch over you, protect you, and give you courage, comfort and strength. May the Holy Spirit pour his abundant gifts into your heart, and may your faith grow ever stronger with each day.
“Be strong and steadfast; have no fear or dread of them, for it is the LORD, your God, who marches with you; he will never fail you or forsake you. “ Deuteronomy 31:6
“No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. ” Romans 8: 37- 39