God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

Silence is sometimes indeed the best way to reflect

Since my last post about the child abuse in the Catholic Church the revelations have not stopped but intensified. While right-wing media like kath.net”” in Germany and “LifesiteNews” abuse the opportunity to a full-scale war against Pope Francis and moderate cardinals also their defenders up-ed their involvement of poking holes in the arguments and (fake) news of their opponents.
I guess all of this will not solve the problem which is much deeper than most current debate allows for.
The elephants in the room are power, ideology, clericalism and the question of sexuality. And knowing what we know now also the question of sainthood for John-Paul II which was rushed without any need but done under the pressure of those trying to cement the Polish way of understanding church and faith.
If our church will have a chance in the future – it will be only feasible if and when those topics are honestly and with the participation of all concerned will be addressed. Otherwise the shadow of a living church – more an ideology of creed will pretend to be the church of Jesus Christ.
Looking at the evangelical churches of the USA supporting and condoning everything their current president is doing, gives us a glimpse into our future if we are not able to hold in, reflect and let the spirit work.

Filed under: Catholic Church, chaplain, Religion and Ethics, Society and living environment, Uncategorized, , , , , ,

30.04.2010 Human mankind

Does human mankind ever learn? Most people will answer with a clear “no”… We see it already in our small little world how difficult it is to keep peace with the neighbours or to avoid prejudice. In the finance sector of our days we see that the circle of failures already and those who have spoken about changing the system to avoid another crash of the markets are continuing their same old path.. some minor corrections are allowed to please the public.

In Bangkok people take a whole city hostage – stand-offs, shootings, killings, endangering of innocent people seems to be “normal” – nobody wants violence but everybody is captured so much in his own world and thinking that without “wanting it” one just jumps on every opportunity to gain and to damage those considered to be “the others”.

In our church, the “hype” about sexual abuse creates interesting reactions: the right wingers within our church try to equalise sexual abuse = homosexuality, the left-wing in the church proclaims the conjunction between celibacy and abuse – and instead of investigating the real reasons behind all these, one uses the opportunity for each convictions own gain. This is an abuse in itself and insults the victims. This times can be times of an honest review how church performs – as HIV and AIDS can be a subject to trigger an honest review of parts of our moral theology. Are we able to stand the test of times – or do we fail – again, as many would say.

Difficult times… indeed..

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, Reflection, Society and living environment, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , ,

13.04.2010 Paedophilia and homosexuality

It is indeed tragic that somebody within our church and in high rank one’s again confuses pedophilia and homosexuality – it is as wrong as confusing in connecting pedophilia and celibacy. I must admit that sometimes I am ashamed that we as a church give the impression that we ignore sciences and related studies. Most abuse takes place within families and close circles of relatives and friends around a victims families and most victims are female. We are not allowed to bow tragedies that they fit or support our moral teaching. I wish for an open and honest debate – that we owe the victims.

Filed under: Reflection, Uncategorized, , , ,

17.03.2010 Abuse and no end..

Meanwhile one has to get used as a Catholic priest to justify the pure being in such a profession – where ever I go, the questions of abuse and many more are mounting. And surfing the news on the net – one never can escape a new story. I almost feel that we are living in a time of hysteria. Yes, there have been abuse cases in the past – and yes, there have been many stories of covering up and ignoring the facts and leaving victims in the dark.

But does that really mean that all priests are preying on kids? Or does it mean, as the right wingers in our church claim, that only homosexual priests did do these kind of things? Does it really mean that everybody within the church has now to repeat again and again how awful it was and how wrong? Does it really mean that our pastoral work with kids are at a dead-end because there is a pretty good chance that somebody will read something fundamentally wrong into our doing? Does celibacy really foster the appetite for sex with children?

As much as I feel sorry for the past, I can’t see that this kind of hysteria we are facing in the moment can solve any problem. Emotions are important to let out, but to change a situation we have to reflect in a complete different way.

To do this, our church can assist in doing the following: Don’t cover up any more and learn to deal honest with abuse. As more than 95% of abuse is done within families and the circle of friends, we don’t have to hide with our small numbers – we have to face every single case in a serious way.

Another aspect: We as a church have to stop drawing a connection between homosexuality and the abuse of children – there is no connection and I am aware it is nice to use even this situation to justify certain moral theological aspects of the teaching, but it is wrong. Sciences and research show otherwise, so please no more theological politics with this grave situation. This applies specially for those in the utmost right corner of the church, people, who seems to have no sense of shame to abuse an abuse situation to save their church ideology.

We as a church have to think constructive: How can we restore a trust which enables us to work with children and youth without general suspicion. I guess it will be a long way until this is achieved.

But for all including bishops and clergy applies: no hysteria. I am quite impressed with the approach of Bishop Stephan Ackermann, who seems to understand, that only serious reflection can bring us forward in a positive and beneficial way. And I agree with him, that the discussion of celibacy is not directly connected with the abuse cases. Of course this does not mean that we have within the church also to have a debate about this requirement for priesthood in our days – but for that there is another place and time in the moment.

Filed under: Reflection, , , , ,

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