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Cover image of Plague: Untold Stories of AIDS and the Catholic Church

Plague: Untold Stories of AIDS and the Catholic Church

In "Plague" journalist Michael O'Loughlin investigates stories of the AIDS epidemic and the Catholic Church. Mike is America’s national correspondent and he’s covered Catholicism for more than a decade. Mike is also gay and Catholic—and he’s curious how others manage this sometimes complex identity. No time in modern history has been more volatile for gay Catholics than the height of the AIDS epidemic. So he spent the last few years interviewing people who were right in the middle of it. People who fought, worked and grieved through it.

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Warning: This podcast is a series podcast

This means episodes are recommended to be heard in order from the very start. Here's the 10 best episodes of the series anyway though!

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The cost of AIDS ministry to a gay priest

For more quality podcasts, in-depth news, analysis and spiritual resources from America Media, visit americamagazine.org Early in the AIDS epidemic, there was little in the way of medical treatment available. But spiritual guidance and accompaniment was in high demand. Patients had questions similar to those anyone else with a terminal illness might have: Are my affairs in order? Am I reconciled with my loved ones? Am I ready to die?  The third episode of “Plague” tells the story of the AIDS crisis from the perspective of a priest, trying to figure out what he could do to help. Father William Hart McNichols, a gay priest who was an early volunteer at St. Vincent’s. Bill talks to Mike O’Loughlin about his mission to accompany hundreds of men in their final days, and how his vocation as an artist came into play. “It was everything I ever wanted to be as a priest,” Bill told Mike. “And I got to do it all with these people.” Learn more at www.americamag.org/plague. You can follow Mike on Twitter @mikeoloughlin. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

37mins

15 Dec 2019

Rank #1

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Surviving the AIDS crisis as a gay Catholic

For more quality podcasts, in-depth news, analysis and spiritual resources from America Media, visit americamagazine.org In this episode of "Plague," Michael O'Loughlin tells the story of David Pais, whose journey exemplifies the experience of many gay Catholics who were personally affected by the AIDS epidemic in the early days. He describes the role his faith played helping him cope with his own diagnosis—and his struggle as he walked away from the church in anger.  You can learn more about "Plague" at americamag.org/plague. You can find Mike on Twitter @mikeoloughlin. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

40mins

1 Dec 2019

Rank #2

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The Catholic hospital that pioneered AIDS care

For more quality podcasts, in-depth news, analysis and spiritual resources from America Media, visit americamagazine.org In the second episode of “Plague,” Mike asks: how did a Catholic hospital become a safe haven for the gay community? It turns out, the path wasn’t straightforward. This episode tells the story of St. Vincent's Hospital, run by the Sisters of Charity of New York. Featured voices include Dr. Ramon Torres, the young gay physician hired by the sisters to lead the AIDS clinic; Gerri Wells, an ACT UP protester; and Karen Helfenstein, S.C., the soft-spoken sister who served as St. Vincent’s vice president for mission. Learn more at americamag.org/plague Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

34mins

8 Dec 2019

Rank #3

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AIDS, the Catholic Church and LGBT issues today

For more quality podcasts, in-depth news, analysis and spiritual resources from America Media, visit americamagazine.org In the series finale of ‘Plague,’ Mike looks at what’s happening in the church in HIV and AIDS care today and then reflects on comments and questions from listeners about the ongoing debates over LGBT issues in the Catholic Church. In Rustenburg, South Africa, where today AIDS is disproportionately impacting girls and young  women, a Catholic bishop and religious sister promote education and empowerment, and offer a pro-life argument for the use of condoms in HIV and AIDS prevention. Then, returning to the United States, Mike speaks with medical doctor and Jesuit priest Jon Fuller about the stubbornly high rate of HIV within marginalized communities, and how remembering the AIDS crisis of the 1980s and 90s can break down intergenerational barriers between people living with HIV and AIDS. Finally, the series wraps with a reflection on the key takeaways from the podcast—and a consideration of what’s at the heart of the broader debates over LGBT issues in the Catholic Church today. Learn more at www.americamag.org/plague. You can follow Mike on Twitter @mikeoloughlin. You can listen to “Plague” on Apple Podcasts  here, on Google Play  here, or on Spotify  here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

35mins

12 Jan 2020

Rank #4

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Series Finale Update

For more quality podcasts, in-depth news, analysis and spiritual resources from America Media, visit americamagazine.org Do you have feedback on 'Plague,' or a story to share on AIDS and the Catholic Church? Did hearing the stories in this podcast make you think of your own life experiences? If so, we want to hear from you. Send us an email at: audio@americamedia.org. Connect with the host Mike O'Loughlin on Twitter at: @MikeOLoughlin. And, if you've enjoyed 'Plague' so far, please consider making a donation to America Media. Without your support this podcast wouldn't have been possible. To support 'Plague' and other projects of America Media, visit americamag.org/donate. Thank you for your generosity. Tune into the series finale of 'Plague: Untold Stories of AIDS and the Catholic Church,' Sunday, January 12, 2020. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

1min

5 Jan 2020

Rank #5