College of Humanities

Catholic Priest Examines Sociological Impact of Curses Among Parishioners

Many parishioners of a church in Durban implicitly believe in curses and the

impact they can have on human activities, according to research done by the Rev Georges Bidzogo of St Peter’s Catholic Church in Durban.

Bidzogo was awarded a Master of Arts degree (Religion and Social Transformation) for his study which found that those parishioners interviewed

believed that when a person had been placed under a curse their financial, social or material progress could be impeded.

He said sin or disobedience to God and the ancestors were viewed as primary driving forces for a curse. Participants were unanimous in their belief of the role of curses in the Christian belief system.

‘I meet with many people who come to me seeking help while linking most of their misfortune to bad omens or curses,’ said Bidzogo.

His research interrogated the sociological impact of curses and cursing among parishioners of St Peter’s Church considering their traditional African and Christian backgrounds. He sought to demystify the associations of this phenomenon with their social existence.

The study found participants were intensely fearful of having a curse put on them. The enculturation of biblical answers to curses was recommended by Bidzogo to assist African Christians in their response to the issue of being cursed.

Bidzogo thanked his family, friends and supervisor Ms Beverly Vencatsamy for their support during his studies.

He plans to complete his PhD soon.

He advised students to ‘never get discouraged or allow an obstacle to stop your dream’.