God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

07.07.2009 Questions…

During the last 8 years working closely with people being infected and affected, one starts thinking what all this is fitting in in our faith system. Is HIV or AIDS only to be seen as a medical condition? Or as a social or moral failure to bring people towards a proper behaviour – what ever that might mean? In the beginning of the AIDS pandemic, I heard from some church leaders that HIV and AIDS are punishment for bad behaviour.. Or is the virus simple another sign of evolution – the daily struggle of nature to survive?

Are there indeed the “poor AIDS babies” and the adults “who are somehow bearing the stigma of misbehaving”?  Are there good or bad people living with the virus?

What does it mean to our theology of creation, our picture of God? What does it mean to the moral teaching of my Roman-Catholic church? Are we able to develop a theology of AIDS and turning the stigma into a charisma?

What does work in this field do with a priest, thorn apart between dogma, teaching and real life situations. The church is mater and magister, so told me a bishop last year in Rome. “Where I am working, we represent more the magisterium, where you working, you represent more the mother” Rightly said, but what does it mean in consequence?

I don’t have answers – but I am on a journey to find out..

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HIV, AIDS and HOPE – thoughts of a Catholic priest

Being a Roman - Catholic priest and working in the fields of HIV and AIDS in Africa is often a challenge. Living in Africa has also its challenges. On the other hand I feel very much blessed having all the three. So you will find stories and reflections about my work, about the church, South Africa and Africa and essential information and developments in the field of HIV and AIDS. And in between personal stories and thoughts. You are most welcome to leave a comment or to get in touch with me - blogs - "thinking loud" so to speak is a ways of communication and exchange of ideas.

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