World AIDS Day: Joyful Hope?

Michelle Somerville, a poet,  is involved in LGBT ministry in St. Augustine parish and Immaculate Heart of Mary parish, Brooklyn, NY.   She often writes about her experiences in this ministry on The Huffington Post.

Yesterday, on World AIDS Day, she published a touching article, “World AIDS Day 2011: One Catholic’s Musings on Hope,” describing her involvement with people affected by HIV/AIDS .  It is definitely worth a read.  Amid her personal stories, two paragraphs stood out as an example of  waiting in joyful hope:

“I believe the Roman Catholic Church has done tremendous good for many individuals with AIDS. I also believe that the Roman Catholic doctrinal prohibitions against the use of condoms have caused AIDS to spread. Yes, it is with sorrow I say that I am one of those who believes that the current pope and his predecessor have the blood of many victims of AIDS on their hands.

“But Ratzinger might be changing his tune on condoms and AIDS; he has already come half-way around on the matter. Many of his bishops have long been pressuring the Vatican to revise its doctrine on the use of condoms to prevent the spread of disease. Many Roman Catholic clerics working among the poor in the developing regions disregard the Magisterium’s teaching on condoms for reasons of conscience, for the greater good of saving lives. I may be dreaming — but I believe there is reason to hope that the Vatican will finally do the right thing for the hundreds of thousands of people at risk for contracting HIV.”

Just dreaming?  All important social, cultural, and religious changes begin with a dream.

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry

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