Pretoria church closes after threats

2012-05-19 09:31

Johannesburg - The Anglican cathedral parish of St Albans in Pretoria has closed its doors because of death threats, confrontations, disruptions and allegations of corruption against its bishop, according to a report on Saturday.

One priest who feared for his life had already resigned, the Saturday Star reported.

The church leadership under Bishop Johannes Seoka wrote to parishioners informing them of the closure and suspension of all forms of worship with immediate effect on Thursday.

"Unfortunately the action will affect all those whose intention it is to disrupt the cathedral worship and the innocent ones," the church was quoted as saying.

On Friday, members of the cathedral vowed to fight the closure and urged parishioners to come and worship outside the premises.

According to the report members were also consulting with lawyers to seek an urgent court order to force Seoka to reopen the church gates before Sunday.

The bishop, who is also the president of the SA Council of Churches, was accused by church members of misappropriation of cathedral funds, dishonesty, breach of trust, corruption and fraud.

The accusations were contained in a letter signed by two priests, two church wardens and a parish councillor and sent to Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, the newspaper reported.

They alleged that Seoka had used R500 000 of the Diocese of Pretoria to pay for a mortgage bond for him and his wife. They also claimed that Seoka had misappropriated R162 000 to be used to fund legal representation against a church dean.

Seoka said the allegations had nothing to do with the closure.

  • Pete - 2012-05-19 09:45

    This is absolutely unbelievable!! Death threats in a cathedral??!! WTF!

      Lacrimose - 2012-05-19 11:01

      Bishops stealing money from the parish. WTF!!

      Aristar - 2012-05-20 05:14

      Didn't that happen at Canterbury Cathedral in 1170? Thomas a Becket was murdered by 4 knights of the realm under orders from Henry II.

      derrickvanz - 2012-05-21 08:42

      I presume you mean Wednesday, Thursday Friday? Believer who swear are sinners and will feel God's What a joke.

  • Stewart Croucamp - 2012-05-19 09:46

    LOL. There is no sacred place for corruption in this country. Next time you put your hard earned money into the coffers of the church think how it will be misused. History will show that the church is an integral part of the corruption of this country.

      Zenzile Tshanda - 2012-05-19 12:10

      should we trust the banks though, my money is there.

      Barend - 2012-05-20 09:53

      My views exactly Zenzile.

  • Nare James Mashamaite - 2012-05-19 10:00

    The President of the South African Council of Churches should be Re-called until he is proven innocent. At the moment, he has moral question marks hanging on his miter.

      daphne.moreira - 2012-05-19 10:57

      How is it that so many people in high positions in SA is implicated in crime - SO SO SO sad, now thw Church too?

  • Kevin - 2012-05-19 10:11

    How the Anglican Church has declined as a moral force. Where are the Bishop Tutu's? Look at the circus that has become of the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe because of the appointment of Kunonga as Bishop, and this type of corruption of the spirit and the finances has come to the Churh in South Africa.

      goyougoodthing - 2012-05-19 11:03

      Declined? It was never flash to begin with mate.

      Malebo - 2012-05-19 16:26

      You are so right Kevin. Where is our Archbishop? What steps did he take to prevent this situation? His silence is DEAFENING! All right thinking Anglicans should stand up and join in the battle for the soul of our church.

      Aristar - 2012-05-20 05:17

      How rich is Tutu, anyway? Do you think he is a poor man? How much of his money did he use for the poor? We don't have those statistics do we? His sons had fun spending daddy's money, didn't they?

  • Adele - 2012-05-19 10:17

    Surprise surprise

  • maseratifittipaldi - 2012-05-19 10:20

    If you're looking to the sky for that freedom pie you'll see it's broken... it's stolen

  • china.phashe - 2012-05-19 10:27

    They are all false

  • jaysonpaul.beckwith - 2012-05-19 10:28

    They say money is the root of all evil,,,seems as though this Bishop planted that tree.

      Gail - 2012-05-19 11:26

      The LOVE of money is the root of all evil!!!!

  • Tamaranui - 2012-05-19 10:33

    More Religious culture............Happy Atheist

  • Rob - 2012-05-19 10:36

    I am struggling to figure out whether the church corrupted the bishop, or the bishop is simply doing what comes natural to him and corrupting the church (and by reputation, the Council Of Churches). Please, somebody accuse me of racism....I don't think that I am am just completely prejudiced against anybody in a position of trust and authority that has a different value system from that which I respect.

  • denise.wilshire - 2012-05-19 10:49

    It starts with how we raise our children and the example we set to them as parents. Once your children witness you being dishonest in any way, they copy you as parent. You cannot correct their dishonesty, as you are guilty too, so it gets swept under the carpet to grow and fester. This is what we have as Government, church and law. Our pillars of society are crumbling and soon the voices of dissent towards this corruption will no longer be heard. Wake up people. We were all children once and we need to go back and be ruthless and intolerant of all forms of corruption, starting with our bribe to that traffic official or municipal office that works better when we hand out a little cash. This situation is yet another tragic case of just how jaded our society has become. If it is right it's right. Wrong can never be half right!

  • Kelly Khutso M-love - 2012-05-19 11:11

    whats is happening to my church *sad*.

  • Piet - 2012-05-19 11:15


      moatlhudi - 2012-05-20 07:54

      @ Piet, hahahahaaaa! That made lol!

  • paseka.radebe1 - 2012-05-19 11:15

    This is the same Bishop who have instructed our Bishop s.b zondo to close church cz community call him satanist with out confirmation

  • Ntobane Setabola - 2012-05-19 11:17

    If Bishop was there 4 God,he'd keep doors open n keep sayin '...may God's will be done!',but he even fears death n but not scared 2 steal 4m God.\r\nA black man n money don't have 2 be closer 2 ea. other...

  • Garth - 2012-05-19 11:42

    Every time I hear stories like this my heart begins to beat with joy.. Sooner or later this scourge within society call religion will one day be eradicated! And what a better world we will all have!

      Ted - 2012-05-19 12:41

      'Get behind me Satan!' For you are not on the side of God but of men.

      Phae - 2012-05-19 13:12

      Yay Garth! Hee hee Ted! Can't you see western religions are crumbling because their creators got too confident and told you your god had given you freedom of choice. Big mistake! Not like Muslims who are too frightened to question theirs and are flourishing. Its time the bunny on the shelf, frightening the little child who was told he was watching them, was put it the basket with all the others harmless toys.

      Phae - 2012-05-19 15:44

      Sorry mattwerk but if you look at the comments from atheists vs that of Christians in the Joyce Banda story regarding lifting the gay laws in Malawi, it is very, very clear there is far more tolerance from well known news24 atheists, they only attack religions because their followers are the ones who demand how, what and when we should live our lives. We are not frightened of the gods religions have created. Sorry your fear won out in the end.

  • Ted - 2012-05-19 12:38

    This sounds exactly like another Anglican Bishop in Zim. He took over all Anglican properties and declared them his own. If you google 'Bishop Kunonga', you can see this is a colour copycat. A divided house is laid waste. There is something profoundly wrong with the organisation structure of the Anglican Church.

      zaatheist - 2012-05-19 12:54

      There is something profoundly wrong with the organisation structure of all religions.

  • Alan - 2012-05-19 13:15

    Tell me something new !!

  • rtrecia - 2012-05-19 15:20

    Always about money,who gave it to him.cant they just forgive him and move on,or maybe there's some1 who wants his position.

  • Pieriewaaier - 2012-05-19 17:02

    The rot which starts right at the Presidency and is practised with great skill by the ruling party in government, has now permeated all the way to the church. What a devastating blemish on all South Africans. Not a churchgoer myself but honestly, we must do something to stop festering cesspool of rot and culture of entitlement very quickly. Can't go on like this: Enough is enough!!

  • maphoroko.ledwaba - 2012-05-19 20:04

    I am a member of the St Alban's cathedral.That bishop has serious contempt for the parish,our faith and above all God.He has to go!

      Thabisoul Motsome - 2012-05-19 20:46

      What did he do?

      derrickvanz - 2012-05-21 08:47

      Good for the Bishop, at least he realises that god is a manmade deity who kills thousands of innocent men women and children because they worship another god. Rediculous. Ten out of ten for a reformed Bishop, denouncing god and religion is probably the most rational sane thing he will ever do. Love your fellow humans based on sincere altruism, not to expect a mythical reward in a possible post life environment.

  • Olusunne - 2012-05-19 20:47

    black skin pple doesnt want others black to grown,corruption in d house of d lord stale mate.who is saint?

  • tmashile - 2012-05-20 00:19

    after a long court session... i'm happy to announce that the settlement is in favour of members of the cathedral

  • Aristar - 2012-05-20 05:11

    Corruption in the Anglican church? So what else is new? As soon as you put people in power you will get corruption. Look at the president of the country for an example. Everybody is following his ideal. Get rid of the corrupt trash in power and you might have some decent people to serve the people in the capacity of government. That goes for the church as well.

  • Pete - 2012-05-20 12:21

    It's also worth emphasising that this is not some little parish church of some hick sect in a rural backwater. It's the CATHEDRAL of one of the biggest, longest established and most infuential Christian churches in the CAPITAL CITY. As a former St Alban's CATHEDRAL parishioner I am shocked and deeply saddened by these developments and can only imagine that Jack Weatherston, Edward Knapp-Fisher and other prominent clergymen who served there, and who are now dead, (not to mention their late parishioners (of whom my mother and sister are but two) must be spinning in their graves.

  • Johann - 2012-05-20 13:45

    Another black brother applying restitution.

  • Elli - 2012-05-20 13:47

    How can Seoka become a bishop if he cannot even abide by the laws of Moses let alone the Love pf Jesus that died on the Cross for Him-Seoke must step doen, but open the church doors so that we can Praise and worship the LORD of LORDs and KING of KINGS Jesus Christ.

      Arvin - 2012-05-20 16:41

      if Jesus died for him then why are Christians still suffering? The sufferings and the sins should be gone with Jesus.

  • derrickvanz - 2012-05-21 08:40

    Religion is man made. Is it not typical that very people who sell and proselyte myth and faith profit and are the main wrongdoers. What exceeds this is that faith (based on the mmorality and violence of jealous, child murdering god)is violently defended by the very people who pray for peace, harmony and love. Wake up people, Love your fellow humans without fear of retrebution in a mythical afterlife! Love and care for your neighbour because you want to, not because an invisible man made dictator tells you to!

  • Wally - 2012-05-21 13:37

    Plz do not confuse ppl in office within churches, specific denominations or churchbuildings with what Christianity is. Neither many a person claiming to be a Christian. There are many flaws within any organisation. It is made up of human beings. To be a Christian is a choice as to a way of life. It does not imply that you are perfect. But that just in (very) short. As for the Anglican Church and the Roman Catholic Church...this is but one such incident. I know of another branch of the Anglican Church where similar actions are/were playing it out, and where power and money stand in the way of the TRUTH and the LIGHT. Money corrupts, or then, the love of it and the greed after it; power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely! Not the church...some of the ppl you find inside, or out!

  • pages:
  • 1