Wilfrid Cardinal Napier OFM, Archbishop of Durban sent the following message on Friday, for the start of the World Cup in South Africa.
On behalf of the Catholic Bishops of Southern Africa, I wish to extend my prayers and best wishes to the South African Football team. The collective breath of a nation is held for them all. Bafana, we want you to be the best. We want you to dispel all the past negativity. We know that you will surprise us all. Halala Bafana!
I also wish to celebrate the final arrival of the World Cup on our soil. It has been many years of waiting and now the moment is here. The stadiums are ready, the infrastructure is prepared, but the most important participants are the people of South Africa. Let us welcome our visitors and take this opportunity to meet and encounter the world and each other.
Let us not be the same when the world cup is over! Let us all have learned about and shared a wider world. Halala South Africa!
Let us also make sure that our children and other vulnerable groups are safe. This World Cup is about how much we can learn – but shouldn’t be at the cost of human beings being unscrupulously used, traded or trafficked and discarded.
I wish all the fans, players, coaches, staff and organisers well for the tournament. I particularly commend all the volunteers who will make the world feel at home.
South Africa, let us welcome the world, encounter the world, learn from the world so that the world will know that we remain the Rainbow nation, diverse and united.
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