“Let us do it modestly without much fanfare and splashing,” the SACBC President said. 

Hinting at the topics for discussion at the Plenary, Bishop Sipuka said that the situation of Priests, who he referred to as the Bishops’ “closest collaborators” in the Southern African region needs to be discussed thoroughly.

Bishop Sipuka hinted at the possibility that some Priests in the region lack spiritual directors and do not go for regular confessions.

“There is a presumption that we make that, as was expected when they were still in the seminary, all our Priests have spiritual directors and regular confession, but this is not necessarily so,” the Bishop of Mthatha said.

He added, “I have no solution to this challenge because we do not have enough Priests and women Religious as spiritual directors. Still, I am raising this so we can grapple with it because, as you may agree, the consequences of a lack of spiritual direction and confession for Priests  are ghastly to contemplate.” 

Meanwhile, the Catholic Bishop has condemned the reported assault at a holiday resort in Bloemfontein, where some white people are said to have allegedly violently prevented some black teenagers from using a pool. 

The South African Bishop says the incident had resulted in racial tension, adding, “After almost 30 years of the new dispensation, this is yet another manifestation of the lingering lack of social cohesion in South Africa.”

“If we take seriously the continued conspicuous absence of white people in our Diocesan celebration and other manifestations of the lack of cooperation and fellowship between black and English-speaking Catholics, we, too in the Church, are sitting with a lack of cohesion and how do we hope to champion it in society when we do not have it ourselves,” he said.

According to the Bishop who has been at the helm of Mthatha Diocese since his Episcopal Ordination in May 2008, white people, for the most part, do not respond to the olive branch that blacks have and continue to give. 

“This needs to be stated, and a call to conversion be made,” Bishop Sipuka said January 18.