From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Lambeth Palace HIV/AIDS consultation

From Worldwide Faith News <>
Date Wed, 05 Dec 2001 14:43:26 -0800

ACNS 2784 - LAMBETH PALACE - 30 November 2001

Lambeth Palace HIV/AIDS consultation

Summary of event

At the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey,
representatives of more than 20 British and Irish churches met today at
Lambeth Palace, ahead of World Aids Day on 1st December, to discuss the
HIV/Aids crisis in sub-Saharan Africa, and their responses to it.

The meeting was supported by Christian Aid, and representatives of CAFOD and
of mission organisations active in the Aids field also took part.

The situation in Africa, and the responses of the churches there, was
described by the Most Revd Joseph Marona, Archbishop of the Sudan; the Rt
Revd Samuel Ssekkadde, Bishop of Namirembe in Uganda; and the Revd Ted
Karpf, Canon Missioner for HIV/Aids to the Archbishop of Capetown. The
crisis situation in sub-Saharan Africa was described as so great that it is
likely to lead to the halving of life expectancy in some countries. Over
20,000 people become infected with HIV every day, and 6,000 people a day die
from Aids.

The Rt Hon. Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer, also spoke to the
meeting about the British Government's response to the crisis.

In discussing their responses, the church leaders affirmed their commitment
to raising awareness of the pandemic, and they expressed their solidarity
with the Christian communities of Africa, and their will to help and to
support in every way possible the measures of self-help currently underway,
in which the churches play a major part.

They acknowledged that HIV is a preventable condition, and called for it to
be openly discussed in a spirit of hope, not hopelessness, of compassion,
and not condemnation. They looked for strengthened dialogue with the
Government to ensure that the efforts of governments and churches to help
communities in Africa are mutually reinforcing.

Individual churches will consider ways of further strengthening their
efforts in association with their own partners in Africa, and it was agreed
that further consultation would take place in the context of the Church
Representatives meeting of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland in
November 2002.

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