Catholics Optimistic of Future Despite Challenges

SABC [South Africa]
February 5, 2006,2172,121060,00.html

The Catholic Church is optimistic about its future despite the challenges it is facing, including the fallout following the sexual abuse of boys. St Anthony's Catholic Missionary Church in Durban today celebrated its centenary and is still going strong.

The church was founded for Indian Catholics in 1892 under the guidance of Peter Gourlay, a Catholic priest. After 100, the church has more to show and celebrate.

Sean Mullin, a St Anthony's priest, says: "We give moral assistance, guidance and help to the St Anthony School, St Augustine School and render moral assistance to the chaplain at the Durban Institute of Technolology."

Although there is a decline in the number of missionary priests in countries like Germany, Belgium and Holland, in Africa the church is not under threat. Wilfred Napier, a cardinal, says: "In those countries, there has certainly been a decline in vocations and even in our white South African population there is very serious decline in vocations."

Napier says he is pleased that the Catholic Church is retaining its youth at a time when young people are faced with challenges such as moral degeneration and the scourge of HIV/Aids.


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