God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensée of a Catholic priest

16.02.2010 POZ and CAN

A whole series of meetings today, amongst others one with our working group looking into the pastoral care for HIV positive priests and religious. We discuss the way forward and how important it is to back up our pastoral efforts with a proper theological and psychological consideration. Obviously it is compassion driving us, but is this enough? When we want to engage bishops and convince them to support us, it would be good for us to have done our homework. Obviously we also have to look at the scale of what we can do and how we approach it. A very constructive meeting and surely a big step forward.

Afterwards meeting with the Catholic Aids Network in Welcome Estate. We are still waiting for our constitution as requested by the National Catholic Aids office and we discussed in length the way forward. The topic HIV and AIDS has indeed changed in the last years and for many church groups and initiatives, it is one aspect of their work amongst others. This is different from when CAN started, where the support groups were partly marginalised and worked very isolated, thus needing much more networking and moral support. We also aim to have a service around World Aids Day, not only as a memorial service for those, who have died already, but also as a sign of encouragement for those, who are still working in this field. And I am convinced we have not reached yet the peak – the PEFPAR funding is going to get less, and we still have to catch up for quite some wasted years here in South Africa; the adherence will be a topic and a problem in the years to come. Whoever thinks, that HIV and AIDS is dealt with – I think the opposite. We still have a way to go – and if we not take care of this way, we will have to pay a costly price.  Between political declarations of intent and reality is here in South Africa still a big gap ( I guess not only in South Africa)…

HOPE Cape Town, Catholic AIDS Network, the poz initiative for HIV positive priests and clergy  and all the other local initiatives will be needed still for a long time…

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, HIV Prevention, HIV Treatment, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, Medical and Research, Politics and Society, , , , , , , , , , , ,

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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