Father Fratern Masawe, a Tanzanian, said that African cultures traditionally have seen sexuality as “morally neutral, neither good nor bad, part of what it means to be human.”
But, he said, individuals obviously can use their sexuality in a way that fulfills its life-giving purpose or in a way that becomes harmful and destructive.
“Both our traditional African cultures and our way of life as Christians give norms for living out one ‘s sexuality for the long-term good of everyone,” the Jesuit wrote.
“The church’s understanding of sexuality is often scorned for being rigid, unrealistic or moralistic,” he said, but many Africans seek guidance for living their sexuality in a healthy way.“It is very important for the church to get her life-affirming message across today to everyone. Abstinence and fidelity are not only the best ways to avoid HIV and tackle AIDS, but are the path to real, personal fulfillment,” Father Masawe’ s statement said.
The Jesuit encouraged all his confreres in Africa to follow the recommendation of the recent Synod of Bishops for Africa when dealing with couples where one or both spouses are HIV-positive.
The synod said the work of church personnel is to provide the kind of pastoral support and moral guidance that would help such couples “choose what is right with full responsibility for the greater good of each other, their union and their family,” including whether or not to use condoms to prevent the spread of the HIV infection.
Link (here) to the full article in Catholic Review