Former Bethlehem Bishop Publishes Book in Germany
The former bishop of Bethlehem, Free State, has published a book in Germany about his experiences as a missionary in South Africa.
Bishop Hubert Bucher, who headed Bethlehem diocese from 1977 to 2008, now lives in a house with his sister in Nittendorf, near his Bavarian hometown of Regensburg.
His new book is based on personal documents he accumulated over the years.
Titled Ein Leben für die Mission – Meine Erlebnisse in Afrika, Briefe, Tagebücher & Biografien (A Life in Mission: My experiences in Africa; letters, diaries and biographies), it is published by the Pustet-Verlag.
It follows his story as a young missionary in Aliwal to his service as bishop of Bethlehem.
After retiring as bishop of Bethlehem, Bishop Bucher lived in Marinating with his two friends who came with him to South Africa in 1956 and also became bishops: Bishop Fritz Lobinger and the late Oswald Hirmer.
The now 86-year-old bishop left for Germany earlier this year to keep his widowed sister company.
In an interview with onetz.de, Bishop Bucher recalled the importance for missionaries to assimilate in the local culture they serve.
“Some Germans never stop making comparisons, saying ‘back home it’s different’. Such people are incapable of learning. The task of the missionary is not to make Germans of others.”
He said that during apartheid, the missionaries were on the side of the oppressed. “We were impressed that the people knew no hatred, although they were so cruelly oppressed.
The interview, in German, can be accessed at bit.ly/2yyYVYs