Sunday 29 September 2019

Archbishop issues Pastoral Letter to Diocese of Natal after Bishop's resignation

The text of a Pastoral Letter sent after the Synod of Bishops meeting in Benoni last week:

26 September 2019


Resignation of the Rt Revd Dino Gabriel as Bishop of Natal

To the People of God in the Diocese of Natal,

Greetings in the name of our blessed Lord.

I write to you, lay Anglicans and clergy in the Diocese of Natal, in consequence of the sudden resignation of your Bishop, the Right Revd Dino Gabriel, and after a discussion of his decision to resign by the Synod of Bishops on Monday 23 September.

It is my duty to inform you that Bishop Dino has made clear that his decision is irrevocable and that I have accepted it.

In summary, his resignation was precipitated by the consequences of pressures on Diocesan finances. Those pressures do not involve any financial wrongdoing, but rather are the result of an ambitious growth projectory which could not be sustained.

There is a sense in which Bishop Dino's resignation is an unexpected bringing forward of the inevitable, since he was due to retire soon. Nevertheless, I am heartbroken over this development and its implications for the Diocese.

Ever since I was Bishop of Grahamstown, the second oldest diocese in our Church, the Diocese of Natal, as the third oldest, has held a special place in my heart. You have produced many of our best theologians and teachers of theologians, and you continue to be one of the greatest supporters of the College of the Transfiguration and the future of theological education. Your last two bishops have served as Deans of the Province, Bishop Michael Nuttall as “Number to Tutu” and Rubin Phillip to me.

But precisely because of the inherent strengths of your Diocese, I am hopeful for the future, in particular for your capacity to come together, soberly and prayerfully, to reach out to one another across the differences you will experience and to chart the way forward with integrity and compassion.

The Synod of Bishops wants me to assure you of their deep concern and care for all of you. The appropriate steps will be taken to ensure that the Diocese is administered in accordance with the Church's Canons in the interregnum and that the spiritual well-being of the Diocese is attended to.

A detailed plan of pastoral oversight for the Diocese will be developed to ensure that pastoral, liturgical and administrative ministry is exercised with love and care. The Synod of Bishops will also ensure that pastoral and personal care will be provided for Bishop Dino and his family.

It is the Synod of Bishops' sincere prayer and desire that you will find God’s will and one another as you continue to seek resolution to the challenges you are facing as a diocesan family. At a time which is appropriate to meeting those challenges, I look forward to presiding over an Elective Assembly.

May almighty God, in His infinite love and mercy bring peace and wholeness to each one of you, members of God’s family.

Yours in His love and service,

++Thabo Cape Town

Saturday 28 September 2019

Archbishop responds to Synod debate on ministry to LGBTQI Christians

Responding to debates at this week's meeting of Provincial Synod, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba - who is on record as saying that ministry to the LGBTQ community should be dealt with as a pastoral matter in local communities - gave the following comments:

 “Because the Archbishop’s Commission has sensitised more people to the issue and got the broader church to think and reflect, there has been movement forward since 2016. At least we are now engaging with one another. 

“But the discussion is still painful for everyone, and emotion, prejudice and fear rather than theological substance dominated this year’s deliberations on both sides.

“I am obviously disappointed in this year’s outcome, but take heart that (1) we now have a permanent commission, (2) we have tangible suggestions that we are sending to the faithful, and (3) that we have a year to review the situation. I will continue to soak everyone involved in prayer.” 

A report on the debates -- including the Archbishop's comments in their context -- appears here:

Tuesday 24 September 2019

Archbishop's Charge to Provincial Synod 2019

Review, Renew and Restore: Reconnecting Faith to Daily Life Inside and Outside the Stained Glass Windows
Charge of the Archbishop and Metropolitan, the Most Revd Dr Thabo Makgoba to Provincial Synod 2019 

A PDF version of this Charge is available here >>

Readings: Esther 5:1-14; Psalm 124 and Luke 8:19-21

Greetings and Appreciation

May I speak in the name of God who creates, redeems and sustains us. Amen.

Wednesday 11 September 2019

Archbishops of Nigeria and Southern Africa issue joint statement on attacks on migrants

Joint statement by the Primate of Nigeria, His Grace the Most Revd Nicholas D. Okoh, and the Metropolitan of Southern Africa, His Grace the Most Revd Thabo C. Makgoba

As the Archbishops of Nigeria and Southern Africa, we condemn the breakdown of law and order consequent upon the xenophobic attacks carried out on Africans from other parts of the continent, including Nigerians, who live and work in South Africa. No matter what grievances people have, mob violence is no way to respond, and we condemn the violence outright. We express our sympathy to those who have been injured in the attacks and our regrets at the loss of property and businesses.

Within and between our respective churches, we commit to opening dialogue with all involved with a view finding lasting solutions to the tensions. As two leading nations on the continent, Nigerians and South Africans should be working together to the mutual benefit of friendship and productive economic relations between our peoples. We pray for peace among our peoples, and for God's blessings on Nigeria, South Africa and all Africans affected by these deplorable attacks.

We prayerfully task our two Presidents (Nigeria and South Africa) to seek a diplomatic solution to the issues causing tension and bitterness.

++Nicholas Nigeria ++Thabo Cape Town    

Sunday 8 September 2019

Sermon for a Combined Confirmation Service for Anglican schools in Cape Town

Sermon for a Combined Confirmation Service for Anglican schools in Cape Town, St Saviour's Church, Claremont:

Readings: Jeremiah 18: 1-11; Psalm 139:1-5,12-18; Philemon 1-21; Luke 14: 25-33

May I speak in the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, dear people of God, heads of participating schools – Mr Stewart West of Herschel, our host school this year; Mrs Sue Redelinghuis of St Cyprian’s; Mr Guy Pearson of Diocesan College; and Mr Julian Cameron of St George’s Grammar School – also friends and families, it is a great joy to be with you today and share in this important milestone in the lives of the confirmation candidates. Let me also greet Bishop Garth and Marion, whom I saw as I entered the church today. Indeed, there is life after retirement!

Saturday 7 September 2019

Archbishop Thabo issues message condemning South African attacks on other Africans

Transcript of the message:

I am Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of Cape Town, and on behalf of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, its Synod of Bishops and its people, drawn from Angola, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, St Helena and Swaziland, as well as across South Africa, we are deeply disturbed by the recent orchestrated attacks on citizens from outside our country – sadly called foreign nationals, for no one is foreign, all are all God's people and all are Africans.

Tuesday 3 September 2019

Archbishop Thabo writes to South Africa's President about attacks on migrants

In 2017, then Deputy President Ramaphosa at Bishopscourt.

His Excellency M. Cyril Ramaphosa
President of the Republic

Dear Mr President,

We know that you are as distressed as we in the churches are at the injury to people and the wanton looting of the property of those perceived to be migrants that we have seen in recent days. In a number of areas, the police seem to be overwhelmed.  One fears for the chaos that will ensue if this spreads completely out of control of the law enforcement agencies.

Monday 2 September 2019

Statement on the death of Uyinene Mrwetyana

On my own and the Anglican Church's behalf, my deepest condolences to the family of Uyinene Mrwetyana, to her friends and fellow students and to staff at UCT. May her soul rest in peace.

As the father of a daughter at the same institution, I feel this loss especially painfully. Society must rally against the dreadful prevalence of violence against women and children, and the quick investigation and arrest in this case is to be commended.

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba