Stefan Hippler, * 06.05.1960 in Bitburg / Germany.
After the studies of Theology and Philosophy ordained to the priesthood in the Diocese of Trier (Germany) 1986. He became chaplain to the German-speaking Catholic Community in Cape Town / South Africa 1997.
Founder of the HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust in 2001 in Cape Town together with Dr Monika Esser, dealing with the people affected and infected with HIV and AIDS. Coauthor of the book “Gott, Aids, Afrika” (German language) together with B.Grill, where he critically reflects the relationship between the moral teaching of the Roman Catholic Church and the AIDS pandemic. 2008 he received the “Erich Kaestner Award” of the Press Club Dresden for his humanitarian work as well earlier a Paul Harris Fellow (Rotary International).
He advocates the principal of “oikonomia” to deal with certain aspects of the moral teaching of his church and argues for new developments in the moral teaching of his church. Consequently arguments followed with his superiors at that time whether a priest is allowed to voice dissents on a moral issue in the Roman-Catholic church or to criticize bishops in public. In April 2009 the German Catholic Bishops Conference decided not to renew his contract as a chaplain with the 30.09.2009 as the last working day. His Bishop Dr S Ackerman decided to give permission to continue working in Cape Town as a Donum Fidei priest and to continue his dedicated work in the fields of HIV and AIDS.
In 2009, with the blessing of the Archbishop of Cape Town, L.P Henry, Rev. Fr. Stefan Hippler for HOPE Cape Town and the Catholic “Justice and Peace Commission” of the Archdiocese of Cape Town signed a memorandum of understanding to launch a project aiming at pastoral care for priests, religious and seminaries, who are HIV positive.
At the same time he was elected vice-chair of the Regional Council of the Southern African-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry.