IMBISA in ecumenical work as part of the elections observer team in South Africa
May 23, 2019
leadership of the Archbishop of Durban, Cardinal Wilfrid Napier OFM, IMBISA staff
observed the South African last elections together with 85 Church Leaders who
are part of the KwaZulu-Natal Christian Council (KZNCC).
Parish of St. Joseph in Durban was the scene of the work. There, along with
other members of the KZNCC the IMBISA staff received a warm welcome from
Cardinal Napier. He expressed his gratitude for the presence of IMBISA as an
international observer in the elections which was a manifestation of the
socio-political role of the Church in the region. According to the Cardinal,
the involvement of the Church in the observation of the elections is based on
Christian values and evangelical tolerance that seeks first of all the good of
observation, the IMBISA staff was divided into two groups who visited parts of
the Durban and Mariannhill Dioceses. This was done together with the Justice
and Peace Department of the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference as
well as local observers mobilized by the network of the KZNCC.
quite some experience in observing elections as this exercise has been done in
some countries in the region. It has already observed elections in almost all
of its 9 countries with the support of the local Episcopal Conferences. The
ecumenical experience in South Africa though is quite unique and opens up new
avenues as IMBISA learns and participates in new forms of collaboration.
reflection and exchange is what generally characterises the ecumenical
relationship as we can reflect together on Sacred Scripture. With regard to
social affairs, there is also a window for ecumenical action. This is
especially true when we speak of the so called mainline churches. South Africa
has seen the living out of this relationship especially during the most
difficult times of racial segregation as Churches were working side by side
against apartheid and the promotion of the common good.