God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

01.02.2010 News which grabbed my attention this early morning

There are some news which grabbed my attention this morning:

The first is from Berlin where the rector of the Berlin  Canisius-Kolleg gave a press conference about the abuse of minors, which happened in the college in the seventies. Amongst his thoughtful assessment he also said: “The church is suffering of homophobie.” He elaborated that the church keeps quiet about homosexuality in its own rank and the clergy with this inclination is permanently unsure whether there are accepted within the church hierarchy when they deal honestly with their sexuality. I think this is right – we all have to deal with sexuality – and only when we can do it in an honest way, then my assessment is, that most cases of abuse of minors could be avoided. In my view we as a church are guilty of not confronting this topic in a reasonable way many times.

The second news this morning is also from the church and deals with a talk, Archbishop Marx from Munich gave in Davos,where he supported the idea of controlling the banks better after the disaster last year. I think he is right, but that is for still to little to late. Maybe the article I read gave not all he said, but I guess, we have to learn many more lessons from the last recession and as far as I can see, we do ignore most of these but instead touch up some spots and go ahead as usual – until the next crash. It seems that the politicians nor the churches are able really  and hard and honest to reflect on major changes in our economical and political system to avoid disaster and to come to a just system of an economic system, which also has a social component. The fact that every politicans is eager to be re-elected in a short time of office means that most of them have no guts to really go for reform.
The system of Hartz IV in Germany, the unbelievable ignorance of politicians in Germany when it comes to the reform of health care show as examples the impotence of current politics.

The third news of this morning is about the Iraq war and its consequences. It is reported that the advisers to President Bush, who gave green light for the legal implementation of torture as an offical tool for the military and the CIA will not be prosecuted. It is a shame that the masterminds of the implementation of torture are going free while normal people face the full force of the law when convicted of minor things. We are not equal before the law. The same applies by the way for Georg W Bush and Tony Blair who, would they have lived and acted as an African head of states would face the Criminal Court in De Haag for war crimes – starting a war without legal grounds. As European or US American, they are standing above the international law. It is indeed a joke that we fail to implement our own ethical principals to ourselves while insisting they are applied to others.

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02.01.2010 Afterthoughts..

The first decade of the new century or better millenium is gone – and when people had dreams about things going better in this world after the cold war ended – we all have been dead wrong. Civil wars continue – the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians reached a new sort of brutality and we saw war crimes on both sides of the fence. 9/11 marked an area of confusion about we really can declare a “war of terror” – President Bush and his alike introduced torture again as a means of interrogation in a democracy – an unlawful war in Iraq produced chaos and a killing spree and the war in Afghanistan is also not what we have been promised.

Bankers have nothing learned out of the credit crunch and the financial turmoil and politics tried to gain upper hand – without a lot of success – we are drifting into the next turmoil for sure. Sarkozy in Paris, Berlusconi in Italy – the sort of politicians we get are at least questionable in my view. Copenhagen was a disaster – and the EU is growing in a way which might not be practical on a long-term run. Meanwhile we have to fight for our civil rights in Europe which seems to be taken away step by step. We urgently need a discussion on what is the purpose of a state.

Our church also did not show itself from the best side – children abuse was and is a big topic and Pope Benedict XVI also did not miss out some deeds of irritation be it his lecture in Regensburg, his like for the old traditions in liturgy and other matters as well his approach towards the Pius-Brotherhood.

My personal way was in the last year also in turmoil. Ignorance, jealousy, breach of promise and the likes should not be part of the principles for action within the church.  But staffing policy is not easy and not every department head and desk officer has the skills for human resource management or interpersonal skills. The virtue of dealing with criticism is also not that often found in the culture of the church. But I can say that I am not bitter and I am happy that I have overcome this testing of my vocation – it was at breaking point.

All this does not sound very exciting – but as so often: there are thousands of events, encounters, moments of joy, happiness, fulfillment – and all those moments give a good balance and a solid base to go into the new decade, even in my personal life with the resolution to remain a human and to “fight” for a human world – into a God made himself a human being, as we Christians believe.

My belief that at the end, it will all come together despite all human attempts to derail the lives of human fellows – and I am sure there will be a justice in a way at the end of our life, which is perfect but so different from what we call justice with our little human mind. I am looking forward to whatever is left from my personal life and to try to live it to the fullest.

Everybody who was with me, supported me, showed me his/her love, affection, trusted that I can assist him/her, prayed for me, just was part of my life: Thanks you and thank God for you!!

Happy New Year 🙂

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