God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensée of a Catholic priest

06.09.2009 Ecumenical matters

This morning our German speaking Catholic Community will join the Lutheran St. Martini community by being a guest during their service. I have the honor to preach during the service and it is always a bit tricky. What really to say? That it is a scandal being separated since that long time? Everybody knows? That we would need each other and all our diversity to become the people of God? Also known. That it is in theological terms sinful to live separate church lives? That is does not help if Vatican documents describe the Lutheran church as a not complete church?

Times have been rough in the last years and the tendency to segregate instead to unify was leading us people on the grounds into a situation, where nobody with some knowledge about ecumenical questions would like to be. Being scared of each other is surely not the right base for understanding. And all the unctuous sermons of the church elite pasting over the cracks and gaps do not help either.

I am sure that God in his grace does not mind to hear Lutheran or Catholic prayers and that for him, it does not matter whether a man with stole or without is standing in front of the congregation. If rather matters to the so called church discipline, but not to God at all. If we would prevent the temptation to form a picture of God as a “super human” but leave him (even that is a presumption – him, her.. it all does not match – the Jews are right, not to name God) his (again the same problem) mystery.

For me ,such an encounter with the Lutheran brothers and sisters feels like a thorn in the flesh of our churches – and it is more than time to pull out this thorn.

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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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