The pope joins the ranks of Tony Perkins
and James Dobson
Late again. The Vatican always comments on things so late in the game that you wonder why it bothers at all. Any important statement by the Vatican on AIDS should have been made in 1982 or at the latest in 1984. Then again, what can you expect from a spiritual guide that apologizes to Galilleo for putting him under house arrest (because of his solar-centric theory) 400 years after the fact? The Vatican also dragged its heals during the Holocaust at the cost of a great many lives. When John XXIII, Paul VI and John-Paul I uttered words about change, all the prelates recoiled in horror! (Note: the death of John-Paul is still questioned to this day). Now it comments on something killing people by the millions trying to prove prevention techniques are not effective:
Pope: Condoms not the answer to fighting AIDS
By The Associated Press
03.17.2009 12:33pm EDT
Pope Benedict XVI said Tuesday that the distribution of condoms is not the answer in the fight against AIDS in Africa. Benedict has never before spoken explicitly on condom use although he has stressed that the Roman Catholic Church is in the forefront of the battle against AIDS. The Vatican encourages sexual abstinence to fight the spread of the disease. "You can't resolve it with the distribution of condoms,"- the pope told reporters aboard the Alitalia plane headed to Yaounde, Cameroon. "On the contrary, it increases the problem."-
Some priests and nuns working with victims of the AIDS pandemic ravaging Africa question the church's opposition to condoms.
The pope also said that he intends to make an appeal for "international solidarity"- for Africa in the face of the global economic downturn.
Since Africa has lately become what the Americas were back in the 16th century, the Church espouses abstinence and "legitimacy" (Roman Catholic marriage) to burgeoning countries with big, healthy, Catholic convert populations. Might it be that Benedict wants to get a sizable share of the continent before Rick Warren goes for the gold (South Africa)? Maybe. So what if people die because their country's prevention programs were not good. The moral righteousness of the Roman Catholic Church must be maintained. It's picking itself up from child abuse scandals, dusting itself off, and standing proudly erect for morality. A rather warped morality, but a morality nonetheless.
This morality comes from an arch-conservative mind that started out in life as a Hitler Youth and wound up (before the papacy) becoming the prefect of The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, previously known as the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Universal Inquisition (wikipedia) Isn't it ironic that a German Hitler Youth should become head of the Inquisition?
What theologian and scholar Hans Kung wrote about the papacy of John-Paul II would be doubly applicable to the current one:
A mediocre, rigid, and more conservative episcopate will be the lasting legacy of this papacy.
He could also have said avaricious, hidebound, narrow minded and fascist. Perhaps Kung's most famous quote applies to Benedict as well:
"There will be no peace among the nations without peace among the religions. There will be no peace among the religions without dialogue among the religions."
I seriously doubt that Benedict will initiate any serious dialogue with anyone who goes up against his stance on condoms and abstinence.
Just a thought.