ARCHBISHOP Hurley of Durban led 40 bishops from all over the world in an emotional Mass in the black South African township of Mamelodi on Sunday, to demonstrate their solidarity with the victims or apartheid.
The Mass, attended by five archbishops and bishops from Belgium and Canada, was held as a memorial service for the 13 people who died during police action in the township last November.
Estimates for the congregation in the packed St Peter's Clever Church ranged from 1,500 to 2,000, and the three-hour service was filled with the singing of orange and purple clad choirs accompanied by African music played on glockenspiels, drums and tambourines.
Symbols of South Africa's conflict, plastic bullets, stones, sjamboks (rubber whips), petrol bombs and teargas cannisters, were presented to the bishops by members of the congregation, and dropped into a dustbin.
The bishops had come to Mamelodi, Archbishop Hurley said, to show their love for the people of the township. "Those who govern us must recognise that what they are doing is not Christ's way but the way of darkness and death", he said..
S The Southern African Bishops' Conference last week launched a newspaper, to compensate for what some Catholics consider inadequate media coverage in South Africa.
The Johannesburg fortnightly, New Nation, is edited by Zwelakhe Stsulu, son of Walter Sisulu the jailed African National Congress leader. The newspaper, Mr Sisulu said, would be secular, concentrating on labour and education, with one religious page.
Bishop Orsmond of Johannesburg, one of the newspaper's directors, said South African Catholics had called for better coverage of current affairs and commentary "from the Church's point of view".
Readers of the commercial press, he said, sometimes have the impression that not everything was being reported.