Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Pope is infallible; Benedict, not so much...

... and he proves it with this:

YAOUNDE, Cameroon – Pope Benedict XVI said condoms are not the answer to the AIDS epidemic in Africa and can make the problem worse, setting off criticism Tuesday as he began a weeklong trip to the continent where some 22 million people are living with HIV.

Benedict's first statement on an issue that has divided even Catholic clergy working with AIDS patients came hours before he arrived in Cameroon's capital — greeted by thousands of flag-waving faithful who stood shoulder-to-shoulder in red dirt fields and jammed downtown streets for a glimpse of the pontiff's motorcade.

In his four years as pope, Benedict had never directly addressed condom use, although his position is not new. His predecessor, Pope John Paul II, often said that sexual abstinence — not condoms — was the best way to prevent the spread of the disease.

Benedict also said the Roman Catholic Church was at the forefront of the battle against AIDS.

"You can't resolve it with the distribution of condoms," the pope told reporters aboard the Alitalia plane heading to Yaounde. "On the contrary, it increases the problem."


He's probably right--at least technically--that condom distribution won't resolve the issue of HIV, just as stopping arterial bleeding won't resolve all the injuries from a traffic accident.

But you kind of do it anyway.

Another day when it's a little tough to be Catholic....

6 comments:

City Upon The Hill said...

Hey Steve, condoms are readily available throughout all parts of South Africa free from the government.

How about you go ahead and tell me how that is working out for them...


Look at what Uganda has been able to do with its AIDS rate in the last 15 years - it might make you uncomfortable, but the Pope is right about this one.

Brian Shields said...

Availability and usage are two different creatures.

They are fully available here, but AIDS is still present. People just don't like them and don't use them, or are too drunk to remember them.

Or, can be like my silly SIL when she found out she was pregnant "I didn't know it could happen if you only did it one time."

You're talking about a culture that thinks that taking someone's virginity is the cure for AIDS. (That might be somewhere else in Africa, I'm not sure) Condoms are part of it, education is another major part.

The Pope just doesn't want to get off his contraceptive high horse. How can he not be a hypocrite when saying that every life is sacred, but areas where AIDS is rampant doesn't qualify? So.. he sticks with his flawed reasoning. No condoms for anyone.

City Upon The Hill said...

"The Pope just doesn't want to get off his contraceptive high horse."

Or maybe he is looking at this problem without your western biases on sexual activity?

"How can he not be a hypocrite when saying that every life is sacred, but areas where AIDS is rampant doesn't qualify? So.. he sticks with his flawed reasoning."

Flawed reasoning? Flawed reasoning is assuming that any Catholic who is willing to commit the mortal sin of extra marital sex is suddenly in line with the Church when it comes to condoms.

Anonymous said...

Shopping on Sunday is another one of your top ten mortal sins.

I think you should convert to Leprechaunism.

anonone

pandora said...

Are people really still listening to the Pope?

Now he's entitled to preach against condoms, and he's right that condoms ALONE won't resolve the AIDS issue. Condoms are a tool in the fight against AIDS, but education is the key.

What he's not entitled to is making up facts. Condoms don't increase the problem. The problem exists, and condoms are one way of addressing it.

For those that choose abstinence - and actually keep that promise LOL - great, but for those that don't then condoms are the smartest choice... unless you're viewing a disease as punishment from God?

City Upon The Hill said...

"Shopping on Sunday is another one of your top ten mortal sins."

No.

"Are people really still listening to the Pope?"

Yes, give or take one sixth of the world's population. More people now than ever are listening to the Pope.

"What he's not entitled to is making up facts. Condoms don't increase the problem."

Can you show me a country where the mass distribution of condoms has reduced the AIDS rate? You laugh at people pledging abstinence but are solemn when they pledge to use condoms?