God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

Corrective rape and murder

Lerato Moloi from Soweto / South Africa seems to be the latest victim of the so-called “corrective rape” , defined as a hate crime in which one or more people are raped because of their perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. The word “murder” does not need any further explanation. An explanation is indeed needed why South Africa has one of the highest rates of rape in the world – including “corrective rape” used to “cure” lesbian women of their homosexuality.
It seems that in a country having lost the moral compass and moral leadership a longer time ago the ugly head of homophobia trends against one of the most advanced constitutions in recent history.
Added to this is surely also the message of religious institutions labeling same-sex love as not natural or intrinsic evil. Evangelical Christian Talibans from the USA adding the word “un-African” to this toxic mix and at the end people are hurt or die because they just live out their true identity.
It is time to stand up, as a society, as a church, as an individual and to get vocal against hate crimes, against violence specifically in connection with gender identity or sexual orientation.
A democratic society lives from the baseline that all its people have the rights stipulated in the constitution and that no ideology, no faith, no own opinion gives the right to violently “correct’ or “kill” the life, the lifestyle, the love, the commitment of the fellow neighbor. Where ever it happens we have collectively stand up, defend and at best prevent such incidents.
This is indeed also a call towards the police and courts in South Africa to act with decisiveness and not to delay or even shame those who fall victims to such horrendous crimes.
I am grateful to the Catholic Jesuit Institute – belonging to my church – that they are not silent on the crisis unfolding for our LGBTIQ brothers and sisters and all the vulnerable women and children falling victim to this crisis. Please read their statement here:

Press-statement: South Africas gender based violence-crisis/

Such topics need a presence in the media – here another recent article on the topic:




Filed under: Africa, Politics and Society, Reflection, Religion and Ethics, Society and living environment, South Africa, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

04.08.2010 Midst of the week

Sometimes time is flying and one is taking a deep breath in the midst of the week being astonished about how fast time is flying.

The presentation at the Salesian Development AGM is already history, but I did enjoy being the guest speaker there and also listening to all the young people going into schools to bring behaviour changes. I was amazed to hear about another speaker’s experience of the Vienna conference: For her, it was too much biomedicine involved in the debate and she felt that the work in the fields of behaviour change is not acknowledged enough; therefore also not so much funding available for this particular field of expertise. I am not so  sure about it, actions like circumcision, condoms, gels have a direct impact, to change somebody’s behaviour takes a bit longer and the problem with this pandemic is that we have not that much time. People are dying and we have to stop the force of the pandemic and with the surviving people, so to speak, we have then time to talk about behaviour changes. They are important, but they are the long term part of the whole process ending this pandemic.

This afternoon board meeting IAM dealing with issues in the GLBTI faith community. It is for me again and again amazing to see how much hate and anxiety is present when “believers” deal with this issue. Sexuality must indeed be a strong item of the human agenda when one can go on for ages about what is allowed or forbidden by natural law or God or the spirit. It is amazing to see how the right wing evangelical fundamentalists from the US tell the Africans what is “African” and how and in what kind of God to believe. It is indeed almost criminal what is happening in this field and the result are attempts of laws as seen in the moment in Uganda. A disgrace for mankind and for Africa.

Preparation for the meeting of the executive board of trustees of the HOPE Cape Town Trust for tomorrow are the final touch for today.

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

25.11.2009 on the road again…

My job description requires in the moment a lot of travelling. Going to meetings  means passing the N1 and N2 again and again and being reminded all the time that we are close to the soccer world cup 2010. No, to be reminded there is no big advertising necessary, just experiencing the stop and go between all the road repairs and reconstructions gives you plenty of time to reflect on the coming event. We South Africans are happy about the repairs, especially not knowing whether this will happen again in the next twenty years ahead of us. So all is welcome what will make our lives easier after 2010…

Having seen the traffic tripling the last 10 years without any new lane of road has taught us that there is a limit to more cars on the same roads, going from the airport to town in the mornings have become a nightmare scenario.

It is also nice to see the squatter camps disappearing from the motorway, so that the visitors of 2010 do not see too much poverty along the way to town. Even if it is partly because of dressing up the country for the world cup, it without doubt helps people to better their living situation.

So, while driving there is much to reflect and to consider and I specially admire those cutting grass and hedges along the motorway – sometimes only protected through a lonely red flag waving person in the curve without doubt heaven must hold its hand here to protect the workers who sometimes seemingly not notice the danger they are in…

And there have been the meetings today too besides all the reflections: one to one meetings, but also a trustee meeting of IAM, an organisation looking into the ministries for GLBTI communities within the churches. Hosting good old friends this evening at home was a great chance just to catch up and to indulge in the good old times… yeah, even priests do have some… 🙂

Filed under: Networking, Reflection, , , , , ,

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