God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

Young adults born with HIV and parenthood challenges

As children born with HIV age into adulthood, they need guidance facing the additional challenges the virus poses if they consider becoming a parent. Especially in Southern Africa, where a whole generation of HIV positive want-t0-be-parents are growing up it is from utmost importance to face the upcoming problems and challenges. It’s not only about sexual encounters but responsible parenthood and dealing with the still existing stigma of being a HIV positive parent. Researchers at Royal Holloway University and St. Mary’s Hospital, London published their findings about this subject in the journal AIDS Care. I guess more should be done on this topic and I urge especially the churches to take on this topic – as a serious challenge for the parents, but also for the way, churches see sexuality and what goes with it. There is a common learning curve visible and is awaiting that we take the challenge.

Here you can find a brief resume of the write-up on the website of the Royal Holloway University in London / Great Britain. Click here.

Filed under: Catholic Church, General, HIV and AIDS, Religion and Ethics, Society and living environment, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , ,

27.12.2009 Feast of the Holy Family

How many families are destroyed through HIV and AIDS? How many families are broken because it did not work out any more? How many kids are growing up with one parent or even no one?
The feast of the Holy Family seems to be put onto this scenario the three persons Mary, Joseph and Jesus – most times found with halos and an ideal of family life. I am not so sure, so this morning, I tried to look at the Holy Family a bit differently to bring them closer to my audience. What did I see?

A girl getting pregnant before marriage – Father unknown. A baby boy in a stable – very unstable circumstances of birth. A son running away from his parents during a trip to Jerusalem, a young adult without a proper income, en route with some other runaways and some women, who, according to one gospel, support Jesus. I do see a Mum standing under the cross of her son, being sentenced as a normal criminal. And I am seeing a husband, who is disappearing during the family story without any further note..

Does that sound like a realistic family? Yeap, I do think so – and what makes this family holy is not all the unrealistic things attributed to them but that throughout the family history, Mary never lost hope; it is the message, that whatever happens to a family, one should never lose hope that things are coming right again at the end.

I am not sure how things are coming right again at the end when a family is broken up completely, or parents are lost at an early stage – human understanding cannot give any reasoning. But I belive that there is a bigger picture, which does not take away the pain and the suffering, but that brings together all the ends at the end. Somehow… Let’s hope.

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

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