Speaking with reporters today aboard a plane headed to Cameroon, Pope Benedict XVI took questions regarding the African AIDS crisis. he said:
Despite Father Jonathan’s passionate plea in “Source 3” above, you don’t have to “distort” the Pope’s words to find this silly on the one hand, and downright criminal on the other.
The continued insistance of the Catholic Church to minimize and altogether obstruct the use of condoms in the fight against AIDS–despite their proven effectiveness in preventing the spread of the disease–is part of the conscious decision to represent a consistent moral stance with regards to birth control. This stance–itself morally suspect in a world of poverty, man-made food shortages, and dimished protection of women’s rights over their bodies and selves–is troubling in the current situation with global AIDS prevention.
People who could otherwise be better protected through the use of condoms but who are not becasue of the Church’s condemnation of them, are people whose lives are at risk, in part, because the Church has chosen to use its power in an incompassionate way. Leaders who refuse to sanction condom distribution and education programs because of the same are another indicator of the Church’s failing.
The most disturbing part of all this is the unquestioned way the Pope can assert something that is, simply, untrue, without offering any substantive (or even casual) attempt to defend or prove it. No report or study followed up this comment. The Pope did not even try and pretend it needed defending. At its foundation, this kind of gross arrogance is the problem. Rather than be a partner in the struggle for true and meaningful liberation, the Church flexes its muscle only to maintain its ability to flex its muscle.
Profe says: Use rubbers.