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Interesting Response
Oct 4, 1999

During a recent conversation with a dear friend, I revealed that my partner had AIDS (I thought she already knew). She was not shocked or put back. Instead she related a conversation she had with a co-worker. He claimed AIDS was God's punishment against gays. She asked him, if that were the case, what was God's punishment against rapists, child molesters, abusive husbands, or any other person who committed acts against other person? The co-worker could not answer the question. Her point to him was that AIDS is not a punishment from God, but an illness which happens to be among the gay population. She also reminded him that AIDS, world-wide, was effecting more hetersexual people than gays. I would also ask that you keep her in your prayers, as she told me that she was diagnosed with cancer. Her response to the diagnosis, what is the chemotherapy going to do to her libeto.Again, thanks for your efforts and you are in our prayers,Ron in the Panhandle

Response from Father DeMartini

Dear Ron, Thank you for your prayers. I will remember you and your friend in mine. Certainly, one of the ways in which some people have chosen to deal with their fear and anger in response to AIDS and those living with the disease is to make God responsible for pain, alienation and judgement which is really a human response. The good news is that God has self-revealed as a power of love, compassion, healing, forgivenesss and justice. What punishes and kills is a contrary spirit of vengeance, discrimination and disrespect for life and people. The other good news is that many people living with HIV and many people of faith and good who are affected have turned to a God of love and mercy rather than a spirit of blame and shame to help heal the world that is so broken in this pandemic. I hope that you and your friend will continue to witness to that spirit and also that the co-worker's silence will be a sign of reconsideration and listening to another image of God. Blessings, Fr. Rod



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