Lone Swaziland bishop says country can’t take painkillers without understanding the pain

By: Inés San Martín (ROME BUREAU CHIEF)

ROME – As violence continues to grip the small southern Africa nation of Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland and the continent’s last remaining monarchy, the country’s lone Catholic bishop says the challenge isn’t just to stop the bloodshed, but to understand why it’s happening.

“We need to understand how we reached to this point,” Bishop José Luis Gerardo Ponce de León told Crux. “It won’t be possible to move forward without it. It would be like going to the doctor because we are in pain and accepting to live on painkillers, without really knowing where the pain comes from.”

The current round of violence began in late May with the murder of a young law student, speaking protests from thousands of people which, in turn, triggered a harsh government crackdown.

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We dare to dream…

Bp José Luis IMC (Bishop of Manzini)

Bishop Zwane Memorial Lecture
Bishop’s remarks

This is the third “Bishop Zwane Memorial Lecture” we celebrate in our diocese and, I believe, we can now officially call it a diocesan tradition. One or two lectures might not make it so, but three probably put the foundation. I thank the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace working under Caritas Eswatini for making it possible. I am very much aware of the amount of work it entailed.

After the first lecture – in which we particularly remembered the impact of Bishop Zwane in our diocese, in our country and in Southern Africa – having consulted our priests, I decided that the following ones would address topics he had at heart or that we believe he would have had at heart today.

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The annual Bishop Zwane Memorial Lecture

By: Bp José Luis IMC (Bishop of Manzini)

“The Catholic Diocese of Manzini, through the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Eswatini (CCJP), celebrates the life and work of Bishop Aloysius Zwane who was one of the most progressive priests of his time. In fact, ahead of his time, we remember him as a uniquely fearless opponent of social and economic injustices and a man of great honor and principle”

With these words, the CCJP announces the coming lecture to be held on Saturday 22 May 2021 at the Cathedral.

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Sts Peter and Paul Parish Honours the Memory of the Departed Parishioners

By: Sibongile Hlatshwayo (Sts Peter and Paul Parish, Kwaluseni)

The Covid-19 Pandemic took away a number of our beloved family members and during the lockdown the church could not celebrate Mass for any of them because of the strict restrictions by the government. Gatherings of any sort were not allowed and so were the night vigils; the body of the deceased could be collected from the morgue straight to the burial site something that was very unusual to us since the tradition has always been that a Requiem Mass be celebrated for the deceased something that did not happen during lockdown.

It is because of this that Sts Peter and Paul Parish decided to set a day for a joint celebration in honour of all those who died during the lockdown. This was a moment for the families and the church community to come together and honour in a more descent way our departed parishioners. According to the Parish Death Register, a total of twenty two parishioners were recorded to have died between January 2020 to the time when the celebration was conducted on Saturday the 8th of May, 2021. All the families of the deceased were notified of the event and were requested to submit portraits of the deceased. The news was received with great joy by family members even as some mentioned how much they cursed the pandemic for robbing them of the possibility to accord their departed ones a proper and a descent sendoff.

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