Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Confirmation, and forced, paid for camps in the Archdiocese of Johannesburg!

(Tridentine South Africa)

Article by Marc Aupiais

The South African Catholic News Service (SACNS), has it on reliable sources, that it is practice in the Archdiocese of Johannesburg not to confirm children who are unable to go on one specific weekend retreat, even if their failure to attend is due to severe illness, or due to risk to health. Our service has in our possession, verified email correspondence between one former candidate, and a source high up in the ranks of the SACBC (Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference), who requested some sort of assistance or reprieve from the demand that they attend a camp, despite grave risk to their health, and previous incidence of this health hazard having caused danger of suffocation in the past.

The official spoken to by the candidate, as with the local parish priest concerned, of one of the more well known parishes in the Archdiocese, refused any allowance or assistance to the special need of the candidate, so far as the request, to skip the camp and still be confirmed. The candidate, as with another candidate, who was not confirmed, had high marks in tests conducted during the process. Confirmation officials, also stayed within what an inside source claimed to be a diocesan policy, which appears to be long-standing.

The Camp itself, reportedly involves learning about the mass, confession, which candidates are heavily encourages to partake in, singing, dancing, and a culmination of events in a mass carried out by candidates, in which they rewrite the mass, including the Our Father also called the Pater, and in which liturgical dancing is encouraged. Bread, made by candidates is then blessed, and the dirty-looking blessed bread is given to them after the mass, to do with as they will, according to a source.

The emails themselves, are of great concern to our service. At present we have kept names anonymous, due to a decision that the principle is more important than the individuals inside the system, however, our service has no problem proving any of these claims, nor any issue with giving out full details, should we once again face any form of malicious threat or blackmail from within the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference, as we experienced after our report on the use of money collected in parishes by a certain global Catholic organization, when we were monitored from a Vatican based computer, as well as on twitter, and were threatened. We may also pursue legal action.

Our service, which is loyal to the papacy, and to the local church as far as is permitted by Canon law, and conscience is regularly visited from the Vatican in any case, though the page requests in that case proved, that those events were related.

It appears as though this practice, involving the requirement of this retreat, which is paid for by Candidates or their parents, is long-standing. It has been claimed, that many Catholics leave after, or due to the process of confirmation, in the archdiocese, our service also understands that only about 10% of Catholics in the mentioned archdiocese attend mass regularly.

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