God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

Sometimes it hurts… Another day @ the conference

Today, the second day of the conference, is my focal point more on HIV and faith-based organizations. So the day starts early with an interview for the Catholic “domradio” in Cologne. Next to networking with people of this field I also read some comments about the conference and one got my attention immediately. It is written by Dr P. B. and published not only on his blog but also on the internet news of kath.net, a more right-wing Catholic news website in the German language.
The headline “what really helps against new infections” got as said my attention and already the first sentence of the article gave the answer: “With the simple approach to live chaste till marriage and then be faithful to the partner within marriage 99% of all risk factors are eliminated”.
Wow, I thought really impressive. And I guess with a similar strategy can we can empty our prisons as everybody has to remain honest and non-violent instead of stealing or murdering someone and the problem is 99% solved. The logic of the article culminates in the argument, that people become infected because they don’t listen to the pope – and mentions Africa and specially Catholic areas on the continent where such prevention work has great success.

Such argumentation makes me speechless, but I was comforted through a podium in the afternoon where a pastor from Malawi told us about his experience in seeing HIV and AIDS as a challenge to come out of our comfort zones church normally provides and to give answers needed ending stigma and discrimination. He also was very critical of certain forms of development aid European or US style: “Africans can think of their own” , so the pastor and the audience underlined it with laughter and applause. An US American pastors wife told us from her experience working in Rwanda and a Thai monk about the great work, he is doing on the level of interfaith. He and his fellow clergyman, monks and imams are also looking for those caring for people living with HIV and AIDS. A humbling experience just to listen how those people gave witness about their calling to get involved in the battle against the pandemic.

This is what we need in our churches, mosques, synagogues and temples: people who believe honestly that HIV and AIDS is a challenge, not only for a personal life, but for the way we believe, we pray, we worship, we see our brothers and sisters. Yes, we need those people in our churches, mosques, synagogues and temples who are not afraid to open up, network beyond the borders of faith and denomination or religion. We need people who are simply not afraid to listen to their calling which overcomes human boundaries and is driven by the unconditional love towards their fellow neighbors.

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

Second week in Germany

Time is flying and I am already for 10 days in Germany. The BUGA, talks in St. Augustin @ the SVD seminary (Steyler missionaries)  and the KHG Aachen (Catholic Students Society) – visits to the Kath. Auslandssekretariat der DBK (German Bishops Conference), the German AIDS Foundation, meeting with individuals from church and NGO background and some interviews – sometimes it is difficult for me to exactly remember the date or the number of the hotel room while coming for breakfast in the morning…

Tomorrow I will be in Wuerzburg to meet with G. Stich from the Missionsaerztliche Institut – and then seeing other people before rushing on Friday morning at 6 am in the morning to be in time at a school in Ueberlingen to spend a morning with students. Friday afternoon I am expected in Freiburg and Sunday in Munich. Time is really flying but until now the talks have been beneficial for the cause of HOPE Cape Town or the RC church – new ideas and new perspectives for the work in Cape Town are being formed in my mind and as it looks I also will do pastoral work for the cruise-liner industry once in a while, organised by the Kath. Auslandssekretariat of the DBK.  A new task adding to the variety of my work portfolio.

So until now even the German weather cannot dampen my good mood and spirit and I hope for productive days ahead.

A place where loving couples express their love in a different way - Cologne

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

Flying again…

Time is flying and also the time has come to fly to Germany for an extensive and mixed programme of talks, presentations, meetings etc.

Tuesday, 11.10.2011 will see the AIDS Action Day of the National Flower Show in Germany (BUGA Koblenz) in Koblenz – meet the Koblenzer Aidshilfe, myself and others involved in the fight against HIV and AIDS on the “Rheinland Pfalz Buehne” on the BUGA.

Wednesday 12.10.2011 – 19h30 in Bonn Siegburg (SVD Priesterseminar) AIDS in Africa – Barmherzigkeit ist nicht genug – a lecture on HIV and AIDS in South Africa and Church related questions

Thursday 13.10.2011 I will visit the Domradio in Cologne and the D-Radio, the first digital radio Cologne – listen in between 18h00 and 19h30..

More on twitter – stefan_capetown

Looking forward to many encounters in Germany and obviously don’t forget the prestigious HOPE Gala in Dresden – 30.10.2011.

Vortrag in Bonn – Siegburg St Augustin

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

14th HOPE Gala Dresden

HOPE Gala Dresden - the event to be in DresdenNovember 16th, 2019
more info www.hopegala.de and admin@hopecapetown.com

Ball of HOPE 2020

Join us @ The Westin in Cape TownMay 23rd, 2020
6 months to go.
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