The Pope’s Anti-Life Views

The Economist on the Pope’s trip to Africa:

Asked about the use of condoms to help tackle the scourge of AIDS, the pope restated, in unusually explicit terms, the church’s position that these are not useful to “overcome” the epidemic, indeed their use actually makes the problem worse. He suggested the disease could be beaten through chastity, abstinence and “correct behaviour”. Speaking in a continent where more than 20m people have died from AIDS and another 22.5m are infected with HIV, his statement sounded otherworldly at best, and crass and uncaring at worst. Merely wishing away human sexual behaviour does nothing for the potential victims of AIDS, many of whom are innocent under even the most moralistic definition of that word.

The article concludes:

It need not be that way. Three years ago Pope Benedict was willing for his council for health to consider whether condom use would be a “lesser evil” than allowing the spread of a deadly virus. Liberal cardinals had suggested that in a marriage where one partner is infected, condoms should be permitted. In Africa, as elsewhere, many Catholics simply ignore the Vatican’s view on condoms anyway.

The pope now seems immovable on the issue. His words on condoms and AIDS look particularly heartless in light of a scandal in Brazil that also casts the Catholic church in a poor light. An archbishop there excommunicated doctors for performing an abortion on a nine-year-old girl who had been raped repeatedly by her stepfather and made pregnant with twins. The girl’s mother was also expelled from the church; the rapist was not. The Vatican has made a partial retreat, criticising the haste with which the decision was made—and, eventually, the decision itself. In this and in its views on condom use to combat the spread of AIDS, the Vatican risks seeming callous to the plight of the weakest, surely those whom the church should strive hardest to protect.

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1 Comment

  1. 1
    rico says:

    I think the kind of advice the Pope offers may work for people who are already practicing abstinence or already in the Catholic faith. For people who are already having sex, condoms may be a good way to keep them safe. I talk a little more about this on my own blog here: http://www.ricoexplainsitall.com/politcs-economy/2009/3/20/condoms-the-pope-and-africa.html

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