|South Africa||ARCHBISHOP SUPPORTS ANIMAL SACRIFICE|
A black Catholic archbishop in South Africa has called for animal sacrifice to be incorporated into church services in a liturgical struggle which is dividing the country's congregations on racial lines.
The demand is part of an attempt by radical black priests of the African Catholic Priests Solidarity Movement to push forward the so-called "inculturation" of the church in South Africa, to the consternation of some white clergy.
In one recent incident at a township church near Pretoria, a video recording was made of a priest blessing chickens and goats during Mass. The animals were then slaughtered and their sacrificial blood poured into a hole dug outside the church. Some parishioners have now transferred to another church.
The solidarity movement is calling for the incorporation of black traditions into church services, including ancestor worship conducted by traditional healers. The organisation has also demanded that the South African Conference of Bishops appoint more black members, implicitly accusing the established white Church of racism.
In his plea for the introduction of animal sacrifice, Archbishop Buti Tlhagale of Bloemfontein said: "Animal sacrifice has a special place in the scheme of things and is celebrated in almost all African families. We have kept it out of the Church of God for too long. It is time we welcomed it openly into the Christian family of the living and the dead." African musical instruments such as drums and marimbas are also being used in services.