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USCCB mourns passing of Mandela

December 11, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has issued a statement on the death of Nelson Mandela (1918-2013), who served as president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.

“Christians, people of faith and all people of good will mourn the news of Nelson Mandela’s death, the passing of an icon and an era,” said Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, president of the USCCB.

“In his struggle against apartheid rule, Nelson Mandela was a light for peace and equality in his country and for the whole world,” he continued. “His years of imprisonment exemplified the suffering experienced by so many who seek justice. As president of South Africa, Mandela sought to undo the structures that marginalized and impoverished people – work Pope Francis is now challenging the entire world to imitate.”

“The prayers of the bishops of the United States are with the Mandela family and with the people, the Church and the bishops of South Africa,” he added. “We thank God for his brave witness and for all men and women who work against injustice and seek, in the words of Pope John XXIII, ‘to make the human sojourn on earth less sad.’”


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  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Dec. 11, 2013 8:32 PM ET USA

    No mention either of those "rubber necklaces" that were burning tires thrown around the necks of the opponents of Nelson and Winnie Mandela back in the day.

  • Posted by: Frodo1945 - Dec. 11, 2013 7:35 AM ET USA

    No mention from the USCCB of Mandela's support for abortion on demand? Oh, that's right, we shouldn't obsess about things like that. Oh woe is me!