God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

28.12.2009 Execution looming….

“It’s entirely inappropriate that he be put to death, we’ve made 27 representations over the last two years… and even at this late stage I hope they will see that in a modern world it is not appropriate to put a man with mental illness to death.”, says Foreign Office minister Ivan Lewis according to BBC on the case of Akmal Shaik, who is due to be executed tomorrow morning in China.

For me it is entirely inappropriate to put anyone to death – not only the mentally ill ones. The death penalty shows such a disrespect towards human life and the creation of God that it is completely incompatible with Christian values or believe system. Who takes a life – takes a human being in the likeness of God. It is indeed that simple. And the wrongdoing of one person does not excuse the wrongdoing as a reciprocal action. Vengeance is non of the names of God and those supporting these kind of actions have not understood what unconditional love means. I am aware that unconditional love is difficult for most people, but it remains true: every execution means a freely chosen insult towards God.

All criticism towards church can never deny, that this is one of the strength of this very church: to make aware that the sanctity of life is not something, that can be taken away by any court or any person’s decision. So the intentional state sponsored murder of persons to satisfy the feeling for revenge from relatives of a murder victim is like supporting a devils circle – no revenge can make good what has been lost and the meaning of penalty is not revenge but changing a person. At least in the civilised world.

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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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