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     Home > Charity and Solidarity  >  2013-12-06 15:49:18
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Southern African bishops pay tribute to Mandela

December 06, 2013 - The Catholic Church of southern Africa joined world leaders and nations in paying tribute to former South African president Nelson Mandela, who passed away Thursday at the age of 95. The country's first black president and anti-apartheid icon known in South Africa by his clan name of Madiba, died peacefully at his Johannesburg home after a prolonged lung infection. In a statement the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) extolled Mandela’s greatness and inspiration, expressing the Catholic Church’s gratitude to him for the sacrifice he made for all peoples of South Africa and for the leadership and inspiration he gave in leading them on the path of reconciliation. “He never compromised on his principles and vision for a democratic and just South Africa where all have equal opportunities, even at great cost to his own freedom,” said the statement signed by SACBC president, Archbishop Stephen Brislin of Cape Town. “Despite great suffering throughout his life he did not answer racism with racism and his words at the treason trial still inspire,” the southern African bishops said, recalling his words, “I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities”. The SACBC said the greatest way they could acknowledge the life of Nelson Mandela was to strive for the ideals he cherished: “freedom, equality and democracy, and to defend these ideals from those who would corrupt them.” The Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference is made up of bishops of South Africa, Botswana, and Swaziland. (Source: SACBC)


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