Interviews
Redeeming the Past.Leading South African peace-maker Michael Lapsley in conversation with Rowan Williams.St Ethelburga's Centre, LondonMonday 15 July 2013 Father Michael Lapsley SSM is Director of the Institute for The Healing of Memories. He is a former South African anti-apartheid activist who has turned his personal tragedy into a clarion call for peace and forgiveness. In 1990, three months after the release of Nelson Mandela, the ruling de Klerk government sent Father Lapsley a parcel containing two religious magazines. Inside one of them was a highly sophisticated bomb which blew off both of his hands, destroyed one eye and burned him severely. Father Lapsley went on to work at the Trauma Centre for Victims of Violence and Torture in Cape Town, South Africa, which assisted the Commission for Truth and Reconciliation headed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. . "The journey of healing is to move from being a victim to a…
Lent is a time when Christians join together to face their own sinfulness and need of repentance, a time to turn away from those things which deny life, like war, fear, poverty; to turn towards those things that are life-giving like peace, justice and service to others.
It was a cold day in November 2007 in New York. Winter was waiting around the corner, but the discussions around the table were lively and the hospitality of Don and Peggy Shriver, who had invited me to share their lunch with them, heartwarming. I wanted to talk to them about the shattering events of September 11, 2001 in New York and Washington and how America – the American psyche – had been changed by all of that. Above all, coming from South Africa where we too continually have to confront the demons of our past, I wanted to know about healing and reconciliation in a fractured and traumatised society.
Transcript of the evidence given by Fr Michael Lapsley,S.S.M. together with Michael Worsnip to the Commission for Truth and Reconciliation at the hearings of the Human Rights Violations Committte at Kimberley on Monday 10 June 1996 Thank you. The hearing resumes. Dr Alec Boraine -A Chairperson: The following witness is Father Michael Lapsley, and I will ask him to please come forward. Father Lapsley, I am very grateful to you for coming to share with us your own experience. In particular, you will be telling us about the parcel bomb explosion of 28th April, 1990 in Harare, which brought about extremely serious injuries. Before I ask Denzel Potgieter to take over from me, would you please stand for the taking of the oath. Father Lapsley, do you swear that the evidence that you will give before the Commission will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth,…
INTERVIEWIn April I had a pleasure of interviewing Father Michael Lapsley, who was a G-Tech Visiting Professor in Democracy at the Graduate Faculty in the spring semester of 1998. I was very intrigued by a person who in his early childhood stated "I would like to be either a priest or a clown". Father Lapsley explained to me by saying, "humour has always played an important role in my life. I think it is healthy to laugh about oneself. To see the funny side of things can be very healthy. It is also very interesting that in many societies humor is often a vehicle by which the truth can be told. Often a clown figure tells people something that they do not want to hear.Magdalena Iwanska-Hirsch: Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi spoke of non-violence as a measure that should be adopted in global struggle for peace and liberation in…
INTERVIEW WITH FR. MICHAEL LAPSLEY, SSM, BARRY BEKEBEKE, DICK HERBERT AND JOHANN MAGERMAN ON 'HEALING OF THE MEMORIES' WORKSHOPS WITH ALEXA DVORSON, SUNDAY MORNING - CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATIONFEBRUARY 1997"Dear Ninja, You will probably be surprised to receive a letter from me. I've never written to you. In fact, we've never had a decent conversation, but I need to talk to you about an incident, which for a chilling moment brought our lives abruptly together. I doubt whether you still remember it, but for me it proved to be turning point in my life." That moment was back in September 1989. Johann Magerman has come a long way to unleash this memory that was boiling away inside him for the last six and a half years. "What I remember was this policeman beating one of the schoolchildren with a sjambok. The sjambok is like a whip, but its made of leather,…
Published: Apr 12, 2005Anglican priest keeps up the work of racial liberationBy Patrick O'Neill, CorrespondentCHAPEL HILL ‹ The names Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and martyrStephen Biko live on in South Africa, for they led the decades-long battleto free that nation from the grip of the white minority. The struggle alsoclaimed the lives of thousands of martyrs, few of them with well-publicizednames.Others were left scarred for life, including the Rev. Michael Lapsley, awhite Anglican priest who on April 28, 1990, lost both his hands and one eyewhen he opened a letter bomb concealed inside the pages of a religiousmagazine.A New Zealand native, Lapsley was targeted by operatives within thethen-white South African government for his outspoken opposition toapartheid. Lapsley, 56, has used his experience to tell a story of one man¹s transitionfrom victim to survivor to victor. He spoke Sunday at United Church ofChapel Hill as part of a benefit concert…
The healing of memories An interview with Michael Lapsley Michael Lapsley was born in New Zealand and trained as a priest in Australia before moving to South Africa where he worked as an ANC chaplain during the apartheid years in South Africa. He was exiled to Zimbabwe where in 1990 he opened a letter bomb and lost both his hands and one eye in the subsequent explosion. He now lives and works in Capetown as the Director of the Institute for the Healing of Memories. The following interview took place in Capetown. Cheryl White, Jane Speedy & David Denborough were the interviewers. Your work with the Institute for the Healing of Memories seems to offer an example to other nations in relation to ways of coming to terms with the ongoing effects of the events of the past. Can you say a little bit about how you have come to…