Postponement: Winter Living Theology and Visiting Scholars
It is with deep regret that we write to inform you that Winter Living Theology 2020 (WLT) has to be postponed due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic. Fr Carlos Alvarez Mendoza, OP, our guest speaker, who was to talk on Suffering, resistance and hope in an era of violence, can no longer travel to South Africa. We, therefore, have to postpone Winter Living Theology until 2021. He was to travel to South Africa, eSwatini and Gaborone.
However, Fr Alvarez has communicated his willingness to come in 2021 should the prevailing conditions change and travel be allowed. By cancelling WLT, we, in turn, will have to cancel bookings made around the country which will result in loss for some of our church-run institutions. This is a sad and harsh reality for us all as we know that many of our institutions are fighting for survival.
We have also been forced to postpone the visits of Fr Bryan Massingale in July and Prof Massimo Faggioli in early August, given the predictions made by the South African Government about the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. Both of these have been banned from travel by their institutions of employment. Prof Faggioli has also expressed his willingness to come when conditions allow.
This is a time of challenge and has stretched us to think and work in different ways. We will continue to endeavour to do what we can to offer resources to the Church in South Africa and engage in ways that we can change to meet the needs in our difficult context. The future is unpredictable and so we cannot make any plans now. We will, however, communicate any new endeavours to you as soon as things stabilise and become possible again.
We know that this is a very difficult time for all God’s people who cannot gather for worship, for priests, parishes, bishops and dioceses. As we find other ways of living and worshipping together in our diaspora please be assured of our prayerful support.
14th May 2020
For more information:
Fr Russell Pollitt SJ
Director: Jesuit Institute South Africa
+27 82 737 2054