Editorial: HIV-AIDS in Oceania

Michael McCabe
Issue 18, April 2006

Jesus recognition and inclusion, to the point of table-fellowship, of the poor and excluded provides the model for Christian ministry to people with AIDS-HIV the compassionate reception of deprived human others is at the heart of Jesus' ministry.

--Enda McDonagh

One of the blessings of my ministry as Director of The Nathaniel Centre has been the invitation to work in partnership with Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand and Caritas Australia to help to address the challenge of HIV-AIDS in Oceania. While I had some awareness of the enormity of the problem of AIDS [Acquired Immunodaficiency Syndrome] among particelar communities, and in places such as Sub-Saharan Africa, I was quite ignorant of the extent of HIV-AIDS in Oceania. Consequently, in 2000, when Bishop Peter Cullinane passed on to me a request from the Bishops' Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands for assistance in dealing with the theological and pastoral issues associated with HIV-AIDS, I embarked on a learning experience which was to have a profound effect on me personally.

The then Director of Caritas in New Zealand, Anne Dickinson, who had been to Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands a number of times as part of her work, encouraged me to respond to this request and offered Caritas support for the project. With Anne's help a seminar was developed, making use of the material provided by English Caritas agency, CAFOD, a leader in HIV-AIDS work in the developing world, together with research carried out by the staff of The Nathaniel Centre on the theological issues and on the pastoral issues in Oceania.

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Vital Strategies for a Global AIDS Response: Pope John XXIII's Pillars of Peace

Robert J Vitillo
Issue 18, April 2006

The following is an edited version of an address delivered by Rev Robert J Vitillo at Georgetown University, Washington, U.S.A. It was delivered as part of the Pacem in Terris Lecture Series - 24 October 2005.

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The Church's Response to HIV-AIDS in Oceania - Reflections on Three Workshops

Michael McCabe
Issue 18, April 2006

Introduction

In recent years The Nathaniel Centre and Caritas-Aotearoa New Zealand have worked in partnership to address the problem of HIV-AIDS in Oceania and the Pacific Islands. To date three seminars have been held: The first was for the Bishops' Conference of Papua New Guinea-Solomon Islands; the second and third seminars were held for priests, religious and laity in Kiribati and in Tonga at the invitation of Bishop Paul Mea, Bishop of Tarawa-Nauru, and Bishop Soane Foliaki, Bishop of Tonga-Niue. The Church is still relatively young in these countries, less than 100 years old in some instances. This youthfulness is most evident in the remarkable vibrancy of these faith communities. Their desire to respond to the growing AIDS pandemic is an illustration of their vitality and is helping to reshape the way in which they live out the gospel.

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AIDS and Condoms: an Ongoing Debate

John Kleinsman and Michael McCabe
Issue 18, April 2006

It has been estimated that the Catholic Church provides approximately 25% of the total care given to those infected with HIV-AIDS, making it a major partner in the fight against this disease. Catholic organisations have also been at the forefront of campaigns to ensure that the infected have access to essential drugs at an affordable price.

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