God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

Reflections / Gedanken

09.10.2010 Durban

After one year Durban again.. the airport is new, the faces of the German-speaking Catholic Community are in the same way familiar and friendly. A talk about the current issues in the church. We talk about the dialogue of the Vatican with the ultra conservative quarters of the Pius brothers which also is causing division amongst ordinary Christians. While it seems that the intention to withdraw the excommunication was meant a welcoming act, the consequences are not that welcomed by many people. Instead of dialogue the right-wing Christian media specially of the internet launches one attack after the other – there is not much sympathy for those behaving like a fundamentalist Christian militia.
Ecumenical questions were another topic – and here it seems that meanwhile there is almost no understanding amongst the interested laity that our church still struggles with the topics of divorce or women ordination and certain question of sexuality. People seemed to have withdrawn a long time ago from the official stance of the church and I guess it is of critical importance that the church is listening to the frustration of the faithful and their practical decisions, made as a consequence of their conscience.
The child abuse cases were another topic and as much as there is no understanding for paedophile priests in active service, it was interesting for me to hear that there is a feeling that even after all the actions of bishops conferences there is still the feeling that too many of the hierarchy are still sitting in positions they should have left as a sign of responsibility. For many people, an apology is not enough. This German scandal, after the US and Ireland has indeed caused a major rift between the institution church and the faithful.
We have still a lot to work on before we can gain the trust again, we need to proclaim the gospel in fulness.

And as so often it is us, the ordinary priests, who have to defend actions, we ourself are seeing with a critical view. Sometimes it is difficult to be honest and loyal at the same time. All the happenings of the last month do certainly not help at all.

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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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