Anglican bishop is a Zulu-fluent Italian

2015-07-22 09:49
The newly elected Zulu-speaking Italian bishop of the Anglican Church’s Diocese of Natal.

The newly elected Zulu-speaking Italian bishop of the Anglican Church’s Diocese of Natal. (Supplied)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

THE new bishop of the Anglican Church’s Diocese of Natal, Dino Gabriel, said his appointment was “totally unexpected,” after it was announced in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday.

The Italian-born bishop moved to South Africa as a Roman Catholic priest in 1987, later joining the Anglican Church in 1992 in the Diocese of the Highveld.

The bishop, who is fluent in Zulu, was eventually elected the bishop of Diocese of Zululand in 2005.

Gabriel said he was not in the running to be the new Bishop of the Anglican Church’s Diocese of Natal when the election process began last Wednesday.

“In our church, it is a process [the election] that entails calling the diocese together with delegates representing each parish.

“There were 300 delegates gathered at the Cathedral of Holy Nativity in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday and only three candidates, of which I was not one. I was there to represent my church and to monitor the process.”

Gabriel said by Thursday, they had not elected a bishop and opened the floor for “fresh nominations”.

“I was nominated on Wednesday night and after a very troubled night, I came to the conclusion that it was God’s will and I would accept the nomination.

“I came to Pietermaritzburg to do one job [monitor the election process] and ended up with another job [bishop],” laughed Gabriel.

“It was totally unexpected. When I was elected as the bishop, I said in my speech that it was never my intention to come here to be elected as bishop but I will love you all with the love of the Lord as much as I can,” he said.

The Zulu-speaking Italian said he had spent 95% of his years in South Africa in Zulu-speaking areas and had come to learn and love the language.

“My church in Zululand is mourning me I think, but they understand that I was chosen and did not go to Pietermaritzburg with the intention of being elected.”

The bishop lives in Zululand with his Swazi wife, Elizabeth, and the couple have four children together.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  church

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.