South African Roman Catholic (arch)bishops

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Arthur Radburn
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South African Roman Catholic (arch)bishops

Postby Arthur Radburn » 08 Aug 2020, 16:24

It's been a while since we looked at Roman Catholic clerical heraldry. So, here are the arms of three of the most recently consecrated bishops and archbishops in South Africa :

Rucastle NA - 2020.png
Rt Rev Noel Rucastle, Bishop of Oudtshoorn (consecrated today, 8 August, so these arms are brand new). The lozengy bordure represents the diamond-mining city of Kimberley, where he grew up.

Mpambani ZP - 2020.jpg
Most Rev Zolile Mpambani, Archbishop of Bloemfontein (consecrated in June 2020). The three croziers in chief come from the arms of the archdiocese. The rose may allude to the fact that Bloemfontein is known as the "city of roses".

Mpako D - 2019.jpg
Most Rev Dabula Mpako, Archbishop of Pretoria and also Military Bishop of South Africa (consecrated in June 2019). Quarter 1 of the arms depicts a jacaranda tree, presumably because Pretoria is the "jacaranda city".
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Arthur Radburn
IAAH Vice-President : Heraldic Education

Iain Boyd
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Re: South African Roman Catholic (arch)bishops

Postby Iain Boyd » 08 Aug 2020, 23:49

Thank you, Arthur.

What are the 'spiky' red flowers in two of the arms? Would they symbolise South Africa?

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Arthur Radburn
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Re: South African Roman Catholic (arch)bishops

Postby Arthur Radburn » 09 Aug 2020, 13:29

They are aloe plants, which have become something of an heraldic symbol for the eastern parts of the country in particular. The
two archbishops were previously the bishops of Kokstad and Queenstown, both of which are in that part of the country, and aloes appeared in the pseudo-heraldic arms which they used at that time. So the plants seem to be carry-overs to the new arms.
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IAAH Vice-President : Heraldic Education

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Michael F. McCartney
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Re: South African Roman Catholic (arch)bishops

Postby Michael F. McCartney » 11 Aug 2020, 08:29

These three are nice - especially the first one (Rucastle). Are there also arms for the (arch)dioceses?
Michael F. McCartney
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Arthur Radburn
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Re: South African Roman Catholic (arch)bishops

Postby Arthur Radburn » 11 Aug 2020, 10:30

Michael F. McCartney wrote:Are there also arms for the (arch)dioceses?

Four of the five archdioceses have arms, but to judge from their websites, they don't seem to be used very much. The tradition of archbishops impaling their arms with those of their archdioceses is occasionally followed, but more often than not they just use their own arms (or pseudo-arms). None of the dioceses appear to have arms, although one or two have pseudo-heraldic devices.

Someone recently made images of the archdiocesan arms which were put up on the International Civic Heraldry website. Bloemfontein's are the three croziers, as seen in Abp Mpambani's arms. The others are :

RC AD Cape Town.jpg
Archdiocese of Cape Town

RC AD Durban.jpg
Archdiocese of Durban

RC AD Pretoria.png
Archdiocese of Pretoria.
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Arthur Radburn
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Michael F. McCartney
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Re: South African Roman Catholic (arch)bishops

Postby Michael F. McCartney » 13 Aug 2020, 17:40

Except. for Pretoria's gold stars on white (fixable - simple change to Azure or other color voided Or) these Archdiocese arms are all nice enough, though the other two are fairly generic.

I didn't know that none of the RC dioceses have arms apart from those of their bishops.

What's the story re: Anglican dioceses and archdioce(s)?
Michael F. McCartney
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Arthur Radburn
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Re: South African Roman Catholic (arch)bishops

Postby Arthur Radburn » 13 Aug 2020, 18:59

Michael F. McCartney wrote:What's the story re: Anglican dioceses and archdioce(s)?

They all have arms which are properly heraldic. Some were granted by the College of Arms during its project in the 1940s and '50s to regularise and record Anglican Church heraldry around the world. Most are registered at the Bureau of Heraldry.

The then State Herald, Fred Brownell, published a book on the subject in 2002. The front cover gives a good overview of the arms in use at that time (a few more have been designed since then) :

HCPSA Cover.jpg
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Arthur Radburn
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Michael F. McCartney
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Re: South African Roman Catholic (arch)bishops

Postby Michael F. McCartney » 15 Aug 2020, 08:19

Thanks!!!
Michael F. McCartney
Fremont, California

Iain Boyd
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Re: South African Roman Catholic (arch)bishops

Postby Iain Boyd » 15 Aug 2020, 23:01

Dear Arthur,

Is it still possible to obtain a copy of Fred Brownell's book, and, if so, what is the best way to go about paying for it?

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Iain Boyd

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Re: South African Roman Catholic (arch)bishops

Postby Arthur Radburn » 16 Aug 2020, 18:24

Iain, the book was published privately and is now out of print AFAIK. Second-hand copies come up for sale online from time to time, so you may be able to obtain one that way.

Abebooks are currently advertising a copy for sale : https://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/Sear ... srp-_-sgnd .
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Arthur Radburn
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