God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

Desmond Tutu pleads with Obama…

Desmond Tutu 2007 at the Deutscher Evangelisch...

Desmond Tutu 2007 at the Deutscher Evangelischer Kirchentag in Cologne 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Nobel Peace Prize winner urges the U.S. president to increase global access to antiretrovirals:
“We are making historic progress against HIV/AIDS: The global rate of new HIV infections has levelled, and the number of annual AIDS deaths has decreased by nearly a third since 2005. Antiretroviral drugs are driving these gains by stopping progression of the disease and, we now know, preventing the spread of HIV infections. Yet AIDS remains the leading cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa, where poverty limits access to lifesaving treatments and 25 million people are living with HIV—representing 70 percent of cases worldwide. President Barack Obama should be commended for uniting the world behind the goal of creating an AIDS-free generation. I share his passion and believe we can achieve this in the next decade—but only if we accelerate the provision of antiretrovirals to the poorest and most vulnerable people. The opportunity has never been clearer. New data published in the New England Journal of Medicine project that early treatment with antiretrovirals in South Africa, my home country, would prove very cost-effective over a lifetime (costing $590 per life-year saved) and generate both public health and economic benefits. The World Health Organization (WHO) now recommends early and preventive treatment with antiretrovirals, including administration to children and uninfected partners of people living with the disease. The WHO estimates that this could save an additional 3 million lives and prevent at least as many new HIV infections through 2025…”

Read the complete plea of Desmond Tutu on politico.com: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2013/11/keys-to-defeating-hivaids-100006.html
or POZ.com
http://www.poz.com/articles/desmond_tutu_2676_24819.shtml

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, HIV Prevention, HIV Treatment, Politics and Society, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thank you for your support of HOPE Cape Town – Ball of HOPE

After the ball is before the ball – but first thank you to everybody who supported the Ball of HOPE in Cape Town last weekend. Here some pictures of the event and for those who still want to donate, the link of our online Web Donation page:

 

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Filed under: HOPE Cape Town Association, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, HOPE Cape Town Trust, Networking, SA-German Chamber of Commerce & Industry, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sic tacuisses: AIDS = Justice – Belgian Catholic Archbishop of Brussels claims

The Catholic Church in Belgium has been battered by scandals and missteps over the past year, and now its new leader, the conservative Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard of Brussels, has sparked a fresh controversy with comments declaring that people afflicted with AIDS are receiving “a sort of immanent justice” for their sexual practices.
Léonard, who Pope Benedict XVI appointed this year to replace a much-loved liberal, Cardinal Godfried Danneels, compared the suffering of AIDS victims to human-caused degradation of the environment, for which people themselves then pay the price.
“Maybe human love also responds when she is treated badly, without the need of a transcendent source,” Léonard said in a just-published book of interviews he gave to two Belgian journalists over the past few years. “Badly handling physical nature causes it to treat us badly in turn, and badly dealing with the deeper nature of human love will ultimately always lead to catastrophes on all levels.”

The reaction against Léonard’s comments has been swift and sharp.

Belgian parliamentarians have called the archbishop’s statements “disgusting” and “stupid,” and some are calling for the government to re-examine the favorable tax status of the Catholic Church, which receives hefty government subsidies.
Even conservative Christian Democratic party leaders expressed outrage. Léonard’s words “strike me speechless. For Jesus there were no justified illnesses,” said parliamentarian Mia De Schamphelaere, according to a National Catholic Reporter story.
Such official condemnation comes at a difficult time for the Belgian church, which is engaged in a tug-of-war with government investigators who have seized documents in a probe of clergy abuse of children going back decades.
Léonard’s comments are also not winning him or the institutional church many points with Catholics themselves, who are increasingly indifferent to their religion, as is the case in many European countries.
The clergy scandals have shocked Belgians, with revelations of at least 475 victims over the decades, 13 of whom committed suicide. The reports brought down the country’s longest-serving bishop, Roger Vangheluwe, and even tarnished the legacy of Cardinal Danneels, whose negotiations with an abuse victim were surreptitiously recorded and released, portraying him in a harsh light.

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, , , , , , , ,

20.02.2010 Time is flying

Saturday again – time is indeed flying and who says, that time is passing quicker when one gets older: that is correct. The time, I have felt in the earlier time for days, are now easy covering a months.
Yesterday I had my first meeting with the new Archbishop of Cape Town and we discussed some matters, amongst others the initiative of pastoral work for HIV positive priests and religious in our church. I hope to see in the next three weeks the chairperson of the Southern African Bishops Conference on this issue to move forward and to be able to report back in May, when I am in Rome.
HOPE Cape Town needed this week also some attention, sometimes there are times of multiple decision-making processes at the same time which binds all energies and needs lots of focus. At the same time I had to finalize the first planing of my next travels, which will bring me to Gauteng end of the month for two weeks, then in May to Italy and Germany and in July to Austria and Germany. In between a short break in SE Asia.

And when I thought that I don’t have to work during Holy week and on Easter – since Thursday I know that I will be busy and helping out on all those holy days. That will be the first time to celebrate all these mysteries in English; well as long as I don’t have to sing in English, I will survive. 🙂

It was a busy week and today I digged me into reading the white paper of renewal energy of the Western Cape to get a grip also on this topic. All the acronyms are a bit strange to me, but the material itself is not that difficult as I thought. Tomorrow then 2 church services which I will now prepare.

Filed under: General, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, Reflection, , , , , , , , , , , ,

12.01.2010 Installation of a new bishop

Today, the invitation arrived via email to attend the installation of the new Archbishop of Cape Town, Stephen Brislin.  As always in the life of the church, a new bishop awaits a huge amount of different expectations and hopes. And these expectations and hopes are most times so far away from each other, that it seems to be a mission impossible to be a bishop in our days.  On the other hand: Within the church, a bishop has power and according to the CIC he is the head of the community of the faithful with many far-reaching rights. Especially when it comes to the lives of the priests – so much of their well-being hangs in balance with a good bishop’s rule. Humility and the knowledge, that we are all remain humans, even in the service of the church, are essential for such a service. And this is indeed the core of his vocation: To be a servant for the people of in this case Cape Town, to assist in the well-being of the people of God, to encourage and go with and lead those seeking to come closer to God.

And obviously, he does it not alone, but in communion with the other bishops and the bishop of Rome. In our days, it seems that this communion is rather centralized – word coming from Rome and filtering down to the different dioceses’.  From outside it looks and from inside it feels often as a one-way-road. It would be great if the communion and the collegium of the bishops will play a bigger role in the life of the universal church, so that also we from Cape Town, we from Africa can contribute more to the development of this universal church. It would also support the message of the African Synod which puts lots of responsibility on the church of Africa.

Filed under: Reflection, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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