The Catholic bishops of Southern Africa have begun their 2018 January plenary Pretoria at the national seminary, St John Vianney. Spotlight Africa, a publication run by the Jesuit Institute, is offering coverage of the plenary.

The plenary began with an opening mass, presided over by the presides of the Conference, Archbishop Stephen Brislin. The homily was delivered by the bishop of Dundee.

At the end of mass the bishops acknowledged and rewarded Msgr Barney McAleer for his many years of ministry in South Africa. Msgr McAleer has lived his life as “an evangeliser among us,” Archbishop William Slattery said. Slattery was asked to say a few words about McAleer’s work.

In his opening address at the plenary Archbishop Brislin  addressed issues related to the new proposed Pastoral Plan for the Church in Southern Africa and was critical of recent populist moves within the country. Whilst acknowledging the problems of the current time, he encourages members of the Church to remain hopeful, and to work for the country we all want. This involves confronting the problems of racism and economic injustice.

For full coverage of the Bishops’ Plenary go to Spotlight Africa