God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

In between Helsinki and St. Petersburg

Being a chaplain to sea means to be away from the usual “always being connected” and living in an environment so completely different from the usual daily life in South Africa. More than 800 people constantly around you, from which are almost 300 on board to make the life pleasurable for the rest of . As the “Grosse Ostseereise” means many ports to call on, it also means that almost every day I am somewhere on shore to go with a busload full of passengers and a local guide exploring the respective country. Little time to focus on TV, news and there-like.
Nevertheless I try to keep myself informed and note with excitement, that the dialogue between Archbishop Zollitsch and the signatories of the “Freiburg Aufruf” concerning the divorced-re-married couples seems to go well and that all parties are concerned about the problem and wish to get it right and end the discrimination of those in question. Ideals can never be enforced by punishing those who have failed for the rest of their lives. Good to hear reason in this case also from the authority.
Also news from Uganda with their madness to re-introduce the death penalty and other harsh measures to punish those being born gay and trying to live out their affection for a person of the same-sex. It will never match my understanding of logic and God’s love that the church punishes those affected with life-long celibacy claiming that God wants it like this. It will one day end up like the quest to abolish slavery, because at the end, we ask them to be obeying slaves of an idea connected with a hostile look at sexuality instead embracing and emphasizing their love and the newest academic research on this subject.
In Kenya, I note, HIV rates are climbing with those using drugs by injecting them. The topic of needle exchange versus a conservative view of society will have to be solved in favor of protecting those who are depended on drugs. It might be the first step into getting drug users off in keeping them alive and healthy in a way.

Filed under: General, HIV and AIDS, HIV Prevention, Networking, Politics and Society, Reflection, Society and living environment, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Osnabrueck

Time is flying and the weekend sees me flying again, first to Osnabrueck attending the “Afrika-Festival” – giving a talk in the evening about my work and experience in South Africa and then the next morning visiting of the diocesan schools to discuss matters with the students and teachers. Then to Hamburg to board the AMADEA for a 14 days cruise. The last time, which was the first time I did the chaplain-to-sea-duty, I realised how important it is to engage with those on board of such huge ships and to bridge many times the living realities of those being the guests and those who are visited in different countries. What an eye opener for some to realise that the way, Germans live in Germany is not the standard – and that the reality seen on TV behind protective glass is so much different when we see, touch, smell it.
So all my travel is about bridging the gap – trying to bring worlds apart together – and at the same time reflecting on my own inner conflict between the two worlds or even more I am living in and have to deal with every day. All living in those world have the obligation to make themselves understandable to others and what could be a more suitable vehicle for that than the church as an international and truly world-wide organisation with the feet so often on the ground through the people working in the fields. And how much chance is given away in the Eurocentric and autocratic way the church is run – additional being so Rome and pope centered that so many voices might never be heard in their life time. We need to have the “German dialogue” expanded in a much bigger fashion if we want to have a future as real brothers and sisters.

Filed under: General, HOPE Cape Town Trust, Networking, Reflection, Society and living environment, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

14th HOPE Gala Dresden

HOPE Gala Dresden - the event to be in DresdenNovember 16th, 2019
5 months to go.

Ball of HOPE 2019

Join us @ The Westin in Cape TownMay 18th, 2019

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