God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

Reflections / Gedanken

Not boring at all…

Who would have thought half a year ago that being a Catholic can bring so much excitement and development. And this until now without any change in substance of teaching. Who would have thought that a man from South America, not known to the public, which really had to goggle the name when announced on that very day of his election in spring this year, could turn the world upside down for many Catholics. A little bit scary for those on the conservative side and creating a new feeling of belonging again for those called more liberal.
First talk about mercy before you even touch on rules – mirror the unconditional love of God – don’t judge – see the signs of the times – transform you sermons into practical work going to serve the poor, the underdogs, those at the margins of society.

A pope, who recognizes that he himself is not without flaw, a pope who knows that he is standing in a row with all of us struggling to do the right thing in life. A pope who is not shy to speak his mind. And don’t worry, I am sure he certainly knows what he wants and there is certainly a sense for power and responsibility given to him through his election. The  decision to laicize Fr. Greg Reynolds in Australia shows that not all is hanging in the air and all rules are put aside. But what I love is that there is suddenly a difficulty to be “conservative” and “progressive” – the labeling seems not to fit anymore and fresh air is blowing the windows of the church wide open. The spirit of the II Vatican Council seems to have come back after a long and cold phase of perceived absence. What is scary is that those, who in the times of Benedict XVI called for penalties for those criticizing the pope now claim to have a right to take offense on what he is doing and preaching. And obviously it is scary to see how many in higher positions have changed tune over night. But maybe it is the spirit calling…

But on the positive side: this change of attitude allows again to think within the church, to feel part of the church, to enjoy being a Catholic priest. And for the work in the fields of HIV and AIDS it certainly opens the way to think again how to bring sciences and faith more together as two aspects on the path towards understanding God’s ways. No, it is not boring in our church and it feels good to know, that our church is progressing as God’s people in this world, bringing the gospel of God’s unconditional love through deeds of mercy and compassion into the hearts and minds of people.

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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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