“Pastoral challenge”

Archbishop Stephen Brislin has denounced abuses in South Africa's politics and church. His criticism is directed above all against a "populist and irresponsible rhetoric" and the still existing "racial divide".

The parliamentary and presidential elections on 8. May were taking place in an "explosive and complex socio-political situation," Archbishop Stephen Brislin was quoted as saying by the Catholic news service Spotlight Africa on Thursday. This, he said, creates "fertile ground for populist and irresponsible rhetoric".

Recognizing tensions as a pastoral challenge

The outgoing president of the South African Conference of Bishops (SACBC) also condemned the "racial divide" that still exists 25 years after the end of apartheid. She often gives the impression of living in a "different world". South Africa's bishops should recognize and address the tensions as a "pastoral challenge".

Brislin also criticized policies in the neighboring kingdom of eSwatini, formerly known as Swaziland. Churches there recently condemned abuses such as electoral fraud, ritual killings, high national debt and shortages of medicines in clinics.

Abuse scandals will be ie in future, he said

Brislin took the Catholic Church in general to task for the "sexual abuse scandals by clergy". The ie will continue to occupy attention "for the foreseeable future," he said, and requires above all a response from bishops in the affected dioceses.

Brislin (62) has been president of the bishops of South Africa, Swaziland and Botswana since 2013. In February, he hands over the office to Sithembele Sipuka, bishop of Mthatha.

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