The grapevine in any big organisation, including the Church, is a rumour-mongering engine that tickles the ears of one and all. Because it does not contain formal or decisive statements from the top, it thrives on a handful of unverifiable “facts”.
By Michael Shackleton – Senior readers will remember the opening words of the old Latin Mass: “Introibo ad altare Dei, ad Deum qui laetificat iuventutem meam”, meaning “I shall go to the altar of...
By Michael Shackleton – Our special supplement on Catholic Education provided a reasonably comprehensive assessment of the state of education in South Africa, with special attention to our own schools. The positives and the...
Pope Francis reassured some people and confused others when he reportedly told a young homosexual man that “God made you like that and he loves you like that and I do not care”.
As the Church in South Africa celebrates the 200th anniversary of its establishment, it is a good time to pay tribute to the remarkable history and ongoing contribution of Catholic education in this country.
On reading the headline, some readers might have decided not to read on. That would be a pity, because the debates on race and racism are important — and they concern us all.
What is the identity of Catholics and their Church? This week a columnist addresses that question, one which is becoming increasingly relevant with the rapid secularisation of the societies which over centuries shaped Catholic identity, and the assertion of the Church in what used to be the periphery.
At a time when the quality of homilies is a recurring talking point in the global Church, the example of Pope Francis’ preaching style can offer some direction.
In his homilies and talks at audiences, the Holy Father uses many of the methods which emulate Jesus’ approach to preaching: keeping the message and the way in which it is delivered simple, emphasising it with references to real life — Jesus would use parables to do that — and then driving home the point.
For almost half of the 200-year existence of the Catholic Church in South Africa, this newspaper has edified, educated and entertained many generations of the faithful.
In two years’ time, in October 2020, we will celebrate the 100th birthday of The Southern Cross, being able to reflect on a century of spreading the Good News
One of the most profound episodes in the gospels is Jesus’ encounter with the woman of dubious repute at Jacob’s Well in Samaria (John 4:5-42). There were many reasons why Jesus should not have engaged with that woman. For one thing, as she rightly noted, he was a Jew and she a Samaritan, members of groups who maintained a mutual hostility.
When Pope Francis was elected to the Chair of St Peter, he reportedly whispered: “I am a sinner, but I trust in the infinite mercy and patience of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The question of land is putting South Africa’s prospects for peace and economic growth at risk, and needs to be solved with urgency and wisdom. Since parliament voted in February to place on the discussion table the option of expropriating privately-owned land without compensation, polemic on the issue has intensified, too often taking on racist dimensions.