Diakonia Council of Churches once again celebrated the victory of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion on Calvary at their ecumenical Good Friday Service on Friday, 14 April.
The annual service is an important day in the South African Christian calendar as well as a highlight event in the Durban Easter holiday cultural line up.
This year, despite the tense political climate, politicians once again joined religious leaders from across denominations and thousands of congregants to put party politics aside as they participated in the service.
Cardinal Wilfrid Napier OFM, of the Catholic Archdiocese of Durban preached around the theme for 2017: Whom shall I send? (Isaiah 6.8).
Cardinal Napier said South Africa’s great challenges facing Christianity today as a faith and culture that comes from Jesus was rampant relativism and resurgent paganism.
“Relativism is an ideology, which places the individual, his rights, his values, his needs and desires at the centre of and above everything else. The individual is the only reference point. There is no place for other people, their rights, their values, their needs and desires – least of all, the poor and marginalized.
Indeed, rampant Relativism has no place for God, for Jesus Christ, for his Church, for the Community or for Creation. Its only focus is the EGO,” Cardinal Napier said.
Speaking of the resurgence of paganism, he said, “For us this challenge comes mainly, but not solely, from Africa. It too is manifest in a similar rejection of Christianity, in favour of dubious traditional beliefs and practices at odds with Christianity,” he said.
Speaking of South Africa post 31 March 2017, Cardinal Napier said, “As we reflect on and pray in commemoration of the Passion and Death of Jesus, who in a similar way broke the beliefs and traditions of the ideologies of his day, we must be prepared to "Stand for the Truth" as we did nearly a generation ago. Just as then so now must we be convinced that our Faith has the answers.
MECs Sihle Zikalala, Weziwe Thusi and Ravi Pillay as well as Dr Mangosuthu Buthelezi, Mayor Zandile Gumede, Cllr Zwakele Mncwango also got into the reconciliatory spirit of Easter at the Good Friday Service, carrying the cross on its last leg of the procession to the City Hall where it was symbolically flowered concluding the service.
Diakonia Council of Churches
Tuesday, 18 April 2017