Thursday, October 14, 2010

South African Priests Reflect on Synod

From the Living Church-

The Anglican Church of Southern Africa’s Provincial Synod, which met Sept. 29-Oct. 2, showed a church applying the painful lessons of the apartheid era to its life in the 21st century.

At the urging of the Most Rev. Thabo Makgoba, metropolitan of the province since 2008, the province began discussing the memories of white men who were conscripted into the South African armed forces. The synod’s broaching that topic was a highlight for two members of the House of Clergy: the Rev. Andrew Hunter, dean of Grahamstown, and the Rev. Dr. Bill Domeris, warden of the College of the Transfiguration.

The topic of conscription has been nearly taboo, Hunter said, because armed-forces veterans from the apartheid era are often treated as pariahs.

“For many of us, it was significant that the archbishop, as one of the nation’s young black leaders, created the space for discussion,” Hunter said. “I did two years in the army, and for me to stand there and give testimony was a hugely emotional experience.”

Hunter presented a resolution that responded to the archbishop’s call for discussing conscription and he began crying while reading that resolution. The archbishop responded by standing by Hunter’s side as he continued speaking through tears.

More here-

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