God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

Reflections / Gedanken

11.05.2010 Wolfsburg – Rome

First station on our tour to Europe is Wolfsburg to attend a working session of the World AIDS Awareness Campaign II.   A day later we are already in Rome and today we had an appointment with the secretary of the Papal Council for Health Care Workers, Bishop Jose Rotrado, on the topic of “POZ – pastoral care for HIV positive priests and religious”. When we arrive at his office – to our surprise – our first meeting is with His Excellency, the President of the Papal Council, Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski himself. Fluently in German and English we have the chance to discuss with him the relevant topics before seeing Bishop Jose Retrado and discussing with him in detail the next steps and possibilities.

In the afternoon then visit of St. Peters and other “must see” places in Rome – the Manenberg parishioners are waiting for some pictures of the trip their parish priest is doing. Late afternoon/evening then reflection of the morning meetings and preparations for the next meeting  with the secretary of the Papal Council for Justice & Peace, whom we will see tomorrow.

Filed under: General, Networking, , , , , ,

03.09.2009 imposed conditions?

Controversial Priest Continues Working

Even though he is known for disagreeing with Catholic Church policies on AIDS and condoms, a German priest has been cleared to continue fighting the disease in Cape Town, South Africa. A spokesperson for Stefan Hippler’s home diocese in Trier, Germany, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur, “Despite his critical statements, Hippler has earned great achievements with his work.” (HIVPLUS Magazine)

Quite a lot of people asking me after reading such notices more or less frank whether the permission to stay and work in South Africa is connected to any conditions..   And here is the answer: No, there are no secretly imposed conditions.

There is only the agreement between me and the Bishop of Trier that we want to foster the cooperation between Europe and Africa, between Germany and South Africa, between the dioceses on both continents and the desire to develop a good pastoral care and a good theology regarding the topic HIV and AIDS. To bring Africa more in focus for the department of World Church Affairs in my home diocese of Trier and to work together with Justice & Peace as I do it already here in Cape Town – these should be fruits of my future work with HOPE Cape Town and the Catholic AIDS Network of the Archdiocese of Cape Town.

We both see the immense needs in the field of HIV and AIDS and we both have the desire that the church  indeed serves the people living with the HI virus as much as possible.

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

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