Catholic Church in South Africa ‘struggles financially’ amid high cost of living: Bishop


“Generally, the Church employs a certain number of people. We find ourselves forced to cut our expenses and unable to pay the fees of seminarians,” Bishop Sipuka told ACI Africa, and reiterated, “Some dioceses have been forced to cut costs; they do not have the means to educate their seminarians and cannot contribute financially to the education of young people.

At the Tri-Nation Episcopal Conference level, he said, “there are many offices that we would like to see fully functional, but we cannot afford them.”

In their Statement of August 8 which was shared with ACI Africa, SACBC members which include those at the head of the Catholic Dioceses of Eswatini, Botswana and South Africa called the government led by President Cyril Ramaphosa to put in place “more robust measures” to tackle the high cost of living, unemployment and the growing gap between rich and poor.

SACBC members lamented that the attention of political leaders in South Africa remains fixed on “narrow special interests and not on issues important to ordinary citizens, especially the homeless, unemployed and hungry”.

“We call on the government to introduce stronger social review mechanisms to ensure that austerity measures and other structural reforms are regularly scrutinized not only in terms of economic efficiency, but also in terms of negative impact on communities. poor,” SACBC members said in their August 8 statement signed by their president, Bishop Sipuka.

In the August 15 interview with ACI Africa, Bishop Sipuka said the August 8 SACBC statement was “mainly for the survival of people” who find themselves engulfed in debt and unable to meet the high cost of poverty. life.

The Local Ordinary of the Diocese of Mthatha in South Africa further stated that the leaders of the Catholic Church in South Africa are “open to engaging with the government to find possible solutions to the rising rate unemployment in the country, especially among young graduates”.

“There is a lack of attention to certain potentials,” said the 62-year-old Catholic bishop who has led the diocese of Mthatha since his episcopal ordination in May 2008, and urged the South African government to consider to engage with Church leaders “to ensure that the government is committed to implementing” initiatives necessary for the good of the people.

“It is time to cooperate, for us to find concrete ways to create jobs for young people,” Bishop Sipuka said, and stressed the need for “the government to focus on an inclusive and concrete economy that will also benefit the young unemployed people in rural areas”. .”

Sheila Pires is a veteran Mozambican radio and television journalist based in South Africa. She studied communications at the University of South Africa. She is passionate about writing about the works of the Church through Catholic journalism.


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