The President of SACBC Bishop Sithembele Sipuka is on a solidarity visit to eSwatini to get the feel of the situation first hand. He is accompanied by the Secretary General of the Bishops’ Conference, Fr. Hugh O’Connor, together with the Associate, Sr. Phuthunywa Siyali.
In Mbabane, eSwatini, on the 7th October 2021 Bishop Sipuka, together with Bishop José Ponce de León, the local Bishop of Manzini, met with the Prime Minister of eSwatini, His Excellency Sipho Cleopas Dlamini, to explain the purpose of the visit. After thanking the Prime Minister for his generosity to receive them at a short notice the Bishop said after hearing about challenges their beautiful country is facing, some of them similar to those of South Africa they decided as both neighbours and Church Leaders, to make this solidarity visit. He also noted that he is not at all claiming that the Church has a solution.
Bishop Sipuka went on to point out that the development of peoples depends, above all, on “ a recognition that the human race is a single family working together in true communion”, adding that the Catholic Church strongly affirms the possibility of overcoming the obstacles that prevent a solution to these experiences, basing this first on the peace-loving character of EmaSwati and on the divine promise.
Bishop Sipuka said the tremendous challenge of the present times is a threat to the whole Southern African Region. He stated that, “at stake is also the dignity of the human person, whose defence and promotion have been entrusted to us as leaders by the Creator,” and that the present situation does not seem to correspond to the defence of this dignity. Restating the purpose for the visit the Bishop said the humble presence of SACBC there is to add their voice for peace, development and promotion of justice.
“We believe that it is the Kingdom and its citizens who will resolve the present challenges, and the purpose of our solidarity visit Your Excellency is to appeal to everybody to help in building a just and a peaceful society,” said the President of SACBC, also assuring the Prime Minister that the Catholic Church in Southern Africa is praying for eSwatini which has served for many years as a reference point for peace in the region.
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