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February 12, 1993     The Message
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February 12, 1993
 

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CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF EVANSVILLE VOLUME 23 NUMBER 23 February 12, 1993  i ;  .= ........ &apos;!< :,:;:::,e</ ...... r2; ! !i ; Baptist ChurCh, Newburgh' Folowing the ceremony on Jan, 31, education Pope encounters AIDS victims, Sudan crisis during trip to Africa By CINDY WOODEN Catholic News Service KAMPALA, Uganda (CNS) In Uganda, a 13-year-old rape victim told Pope John Paul II she contracted AIDS from her attacker. And a Su- danese bishop warned the pontiff that the Muslim-led government of his country would try using the papal visit for political gain. Pope John Paul's Feb. 3-10 visit to Africa was to end with a nine-hour stop in Khartoum, Sudan. Earlier in the 10th papal visit to Africa, the pope met with Muslim and African ani- mist leaders in the West African nation of Benin and stressed inter-religious peace. In Uganda Pope John Paul celebrated Mass in Gulu and Kampala Feb. 6-7, held sepa- rate meetings with the na- tion's Catholic and Anglican bishops, and prayed at a shrine to the Ugandan mar- tyrs. The pope flew to Uganda Feb. 5 after two days in Benin, where he urged Chris- tians, Muslims and followers of traditional African reli- gions to show respect for each others' religious beliefs. In Cotonou, Benin, the pope met the chief of Benin's vodun cult, the ancient ani- mist religion that was trans- lated, after mixing with some Catholic practice, into Caribbean voodoo. An estimated 1.5 million Ugandans have the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS. The country has reported 35,000 full-blown cases of the disease, the largest number on the African continent. By ANN HUGHES Message staff writer Eva1 weal ! eid, tetq av, ta " tot8 the ese lie t:, I11" l...Hunter was in 'v_!e and Jasper last "'ng about the AIDS Jalic, an epidemic that is , that is not oin to o an "   g . d that is going to kill 0t Our children." . ing her visit to the Dm-  Evansville, Hunter o teachers, administra- Ld parents. She told mat AIDS "is the dis- f Our children There is and there is no vac- ere is onlv education " -uren are gosng to document offers Catholic edlu'ational-approach to HIV have to learn to live with it and some of our children will learn to die with it." She is the co-author of the 1992 revision of "AIDS: A Catholic Educational Ap- roach to HIV," which has een issued by the National Catholic Educational Associa- tion in Washington, D.C. This teaching document was pre- pared in response to a call from the American bishops who affirmed the basic need for education about HIV-in- faction. In a November 1989 state- ment on HIV/AIDS, the bish- ops wrote: "People need edu- cation and motivation so that they will choose wisely and well. Providing information which is both accurate and appropriate is a logical and necessary starting point." Hunter said that the NCEA teaching document, which has been designed for use in grades kindergarten through 12, offers HIV-AIDS educa- tion from a Catholic moral perspective. The program of- fers three lessons at every grade level: 1) The Christian response: the moral context for AIDS and HIV infection; 2) Basic information: a sum- mary of medical information about AIDS and HIV infec- tion; 3} Transmission and prevention: knowledge, val- ues and skills to support morally and physically good choices. Woven into this HIV/AIDS educational program are also lessons about compassion, chastity, moral choices and discrimination. As they learn about the dis- ease, students are encouraged to offer a compassionate re- sponse to those suffering with AIDS. The program teaches chastity within the Catholic tradition. Students are tauglt that they have the freedonL, the ability' and the responsi- bility to make moral choices and to follow them. This in- cludes sexual choices, and choices about drugs and alco- hol: Students learn that AIDS is not a homosexual disease. The percentage of newly re- ported cases of HIV infection is dropping in the homosex- ual commun/ty while it is in- creasing among intravenous drug users and heterosexual adults and young adults. In the second phase of the program, students receive basic medical information about AIDS and HIV infec- tion. They are taught about the transmission and preven- tion of HIV/AIDS; with this information, hopefully, they will have the knowledge, val- ues and skills to make moral choices, Hunter said. These three lessons are in- corporated into lesson plans for each grade level. At the kindergarten level, HIWAIDS is not mentioned. Children are taught that "we do get sick and that Jesus loved everyone and cared for those who were sick." Third graders learn that AIDS is a virus that is not caught through children's ac- tivities. "We are trying to pull the bogey man out from under the bed. The children learn safety precautions so they don:t egpose themselves to blood., ' /i , :' Fifth graders learn that sex was created byGod, They also discuss compassion to- ward persons with the AIDS virus or other illnesses. Sixth graders learn the four ways that the AIDS virus is transmitted. They are also taught the Catholic teaching on sexuality: that chastity is a virtue and that any sexual ac, tivity autside of marriage, ho- mosexual or heterosexual, is morally wrong. The lessons for eighth graders focus on chastity and, faithfulness in marriage. They learn, in more detail, about the four ways in which HIV infection can be transmitted, and about the morality and risk involved in homosexual activity and in using con- doms. Eighth grade classes are also encouraged to invite someone suffering with AIDS See AIDS Page 12