God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

08.12.2009 4 murdered priests in 9 month

4 Catholic priests have been murdered in the last 9 month – again yesterday a foreign priest, having dedicated his life for the needy and poor in South Africa. It seems that priests are becoming indeed soft targets, putting into account also all the robberies and burglaries of parish houses and convents.  My fellow German priest in Johannesburg, who served the German-speaking Catholic Community until 3 years ago was also held up a whole night with some gun swinging gangsters. And it is not only the priests – how many funerals have we as priests held for murdered people?
I don’t write this now to paint an odd picture of South Africa – but with 50 murders per day we definitely are having a problem here in the south of Africa. And the brutality and disrespect for life is surely something to be addressed urgently. Not only because we have this statistics, but also, because it seems that we are getting so much used to hear such news, that they only shock us partly. We take it as given, that we are burgled, robbed, that people are stabbed, gunned down – we mourn about it, but then we attend again our daily struggle – until the next time.

For me, this disrespect for life is one of the deepest trouble of South Africa as a nation – and we have to address it. May the Soccer World cup and the focus of the world on South Africa help not only to put infrastructure for cars and transport in place, but also an infrastructure in our South African hearts so that we learn again about the sanctity of life.

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