God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

Reflections / Gedanken

14.03.2010 Back in Cape Town

After 2 weeks of enjoying the sun of Johannesburg and Brits back in Cape Town. Two weeks of close encounter with the problem of accusations of indecent behaviour of a priest and the consequences of court proceedings. Even if I cannot comment on the actual case because it is still running in court, I bring with and want to express a very deep feeling of sadness. The climate regarding child abuse in the church in the moment seems to be carried away by a mixture of hysteria, factual happenings, projections and the fight of the church to end the stigma endured by so many cases all over the world. Yes, abuse has happened, but also yes, most abuse has not happened in any church but in the families. Looking only into Germany I can add some no’s – no, it has nothing to do with homosexuality, 9 out of 10 cases in Germany involve girls. And no, it is not always the priest, in 3 out of 4 cases the culprit is a member of the family.

All this does not take away the pain of our church for all what has indeed happened, but this pain should include rather the impotence of the responsible bishops and clergy not taking out the person in question. Yes, there was a cover up, surely not in the way some would like to see that from a standpoint of today – times have been different 30-40 years ago. We don’t have to ignore that. And yes, we as a church have to discuss our dealing with sexuality – without an honest review of this topic we are doomed for the next round of disasters. It is not enough to bring such cases to the state authorities – we have to reflect how we deal with one of the strongest forces of mankind, sexuality, and only when we do this honestly we will be able to prevent further abuse.

A few bishops and high-ranking office bearer have taken their responsibility serious and stepped down from their pulpit as the consequence of their dealing with such cases in the past – I would have hoped for more taken their responsibility seriously.

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HIV, Development and HOPE – thoughts of a Catholic priest

Being a Roman - Catholic priest and working in the fields of HIV and social development in Africa has its challenges. You will find stories and reflections about my work, about the church, South Africa and Africa, about politics and whatever triggers my interest. You are most welcome to leave a comment or to get in touch with me. Blogging means to initiate thoughts and discussions and for the writer to formulate what is loosely running around in the heart and mind in need of being sorted and spoken out.

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