SOUTH AFRICA: Church Postpones Mini World Youth Day Scheduled for December

PRETORIA, MAY 12, 2020 (CISA)-The Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) has postponed the Mini World Youth Day (MWYD) that was scheduled to take place in December.

This is after the MWYD Presidium Committee which is chaired by Bishop Stanley Dziuba OSPPE and Sr Hermenegild Makoro CPS made a proposal to the SACBC to have the MWYD 2020 postponed to a suitable time and date.

“As we all know, all public gatherings were suspended from March and this included our own religious gatherings. We are not sure how long this level 4 lockdown will last or whether we will be requested at some point to go back to level 5,” reads a May 11 statement signed by Bishop Stanislaw Jan Dziuba, SACBC Liaison Bishop for Youth and Fr Mthembeni Dlamini, CMM the SACBC Youth Chaplain.

“We are just about to begin the flu season and doctors are predicting a pick of this virus right up to September. There is also some indication that we might have this virus around for some time into 2021,” the statement reads.

Key strides had been made by the MWYD secretariat, the MWYD Presidium Team, the MWYD Departments and Committees, Interdiocesan Media and Diocesan Teams towards the event that was to be held in the Archdiocese of Pretoria.

“…little did we know that we might end up having things like the lockdown, quarantine, sanitizing, washing of hands, self-distancing, walking around in masks, working from home, closure of schools and universities as early as March, and so forth. COVID-19 known as Corona Virus has reached our countries and the numbers are growing every day,”

The postponement was approved by the SACBC Administrative Board at their May 4 to 5 2020 meeting on grounds that, “continuing with plans will also result in a huge financial loss which the SACBC cannot manage, and besides that, it would be extremely difficult to organize anything as most service providers are closed.”