God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

DOMA ruling and the Catholic Church

Much is written and spoken about the ruling of the US American Supreme Court from this week regarding the question of “Defense of Marriage Act” and a question related to a vote in California. With amazement I have seen the reactions as expected by people and supporters for or against the so-called “gay marriage”.  As somebody who does not like the phrase “gay marriage’ as it confuses terminology for most people, I was tempted to write an article why I think the church has lost its battle against equality on the state’s terrain defining marriage and it’s benefits. And why the church should stop fighting an already  lost war but concentrate on its portfolio and support functional families as much as she can. Then I came across the National Catholic Reporter and an OP of Michael Sean Winters named “Marriage, the church and the Supreme Court”.

It is a very honest analysis of the situation and consequences of the ruling and starts like this:

“The Supreme Court’s twin decisions in the battle over same-sex marriage on Wednesday were momentous, to be sure. But Wednesday was not “tragic,” as the statement from the USCCB stated. Nor were the court’s decisions victories in what Harvey Milk’s nephew unfortunately termed the “defining civil right issue of our time,” a claim that was downright offensive coming within 24 hours of the Supreme Court’s far more objectionable decision to gut the Voting Rights Act. Turns out, old-style civil rights remains the defining civil rights issue of our time. In his majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote, “The state’s power in defining marriage is of central relevance to this case.” Indeed. And there is the rub for me. I do not understand why some people, including some bishops, are all worked up about same-sex marriage when the fact that the state, not the church, has the power to define civil marriage is well-established in American legal culture, and it was so long before anyone ever talked about gay marriage…”

For me the piece gives some insight in US American thinking, in US American Catholic thinking and it inspires to think deeper about the challenges behind the obvious battle of minds, one sees first. And so I do provide the link to the whole article and hope, that this inspires people new to think about the question, not along the usual “party lines” for or against it. There is nothing in this world only black or only white – but many shades of grey are involved. Let’s look at these and find ways not to go over board in fighting each other but finding common grounds like the happiness of people, like the love and commitment of people, the exclusivity of a relationship, which by the way when it comes to HIV and AIDS is of great importance for the containment of the virus.

Who is interested into church life in Germany has surely followed the publication of the Lutheran Church in our days also about marriage and it’s definition. As for a Luther the marriage is a non – sacramental issue, obviously the sister church in Germany comes to complete different assessments about values of this issue. The debate is on, and one has to find the common grounds but also the parts, where parties defining society differ in their approach to the topic of marriage.

The link: Marriage, the church and the Supreme Court – NCR

Enjoy reading!

Filed under: Catholic Church, HIV and AIDS, HIV Prevention, Politics and Society, Reflection, Religion and Ethics, Society and living environment, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

01.11.2009 HOPE Gala Dresden afterthoughts

After some hours of sleep and a long brunch with people it this now time to reflect on the HOPE Gala Dresden again. It was a marvellous event, the first “red carpet” charity event in Dresden.  With the Federal Minister of Interior, Thomas de Mezier and wife, many stars and starlets, security and media attention have been marvellous. And the announcement of the cancellation of the announced laudators presence at the gala during the press conference before created also interest, it comes seldom that one hears of a cancelation of a star a week before the event.

The diversity in this programme, singers, pianists, artists contributed to the success and the aftershow- party was great. Lots of good food, music and interesting people. I had lots of good talks and networking was like always a priority. We also had guests coming from St. Wendel and even from Russia to attend the gala. Global village. From all it is clear that the connection Dresden – HOPE Cape Town is a good and developing one – and I do hope that we can develop even a sort of partnership between Dresden and Cape Town. During my next stay in Dresden in will see the mayor of Dresden to discuss possible further connections.

I am grateful to Saxonia Systems and Viola Klein and all those marvellous people who made this evening possible. And as I said at the press conference last Thursday: The love of two people, which lead them to come to Cape Town and being married with my assistance as marriage officer was the beginning of a connection bringing people from Dresden and Cape Town close together. It shows for me clearly that love can move the world, two people, one love, one committment and now hundreds are meanwhile joining to make this connection stronger and stronger every year. It is a fantastic story as only real life can write it.

Another highlight of my stay in Dresden was the possibility to bring people together, I work with and now there is emerging a network so powerful that we will be able to move the world even a bit further. Watch the space – if only half of what is planed will be realised, my life will not be the same again – and that of many other people as well.  And for HOPE Cape Town it means to find even more partner and friends – for our clients it means more hope and a greater future.

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

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