A friend who has been in international relief and development for many years and is now stationed in Angola emailed:
As the international media is reporting, the pope is visiting Africa this week and one of his stops is Angola. On his way through Cameroon yesterday, he reaffirmed the Catholic Church's stance that condoms are making the AIDS pandemic worse and should be abandoned, flaunting decades of scientific research and expert opinion. Worldwide, the rank-and-file in the Church are toeing the line, even in places like Angola that can in no way afford to throw away any shadow of a chance to protect itself from the terrible fate that has befallen almost all of its neighbors. This debate will be fought out in places like Rome. The price for bad choices and mistakes will be paid in places like Angola by people who were not asked their opinion in the debate.Simon Campbell blogs:
Pope Benedict XVI: Smiling killer…
Benedict XVI (aka Joseph Alois Ratzinger) became pope on April 19, 2005. Since then hundreds of thousands have died of AIDS in Africa; many more suffer as the disease ravages their bodies. He still tells us contraception is unacceptable. I have been watching this issue for three years and find this totally sickening. Why is the 'civilised world' not acting against this ridiculous policy?
He said in 2005: It is of great concern that the fabric of African life, its very source of hope and stability, is threatened by divorce, abortion, prostitution, human trafficking and a contraception mentality.
In April 2005, Africa had around 13% (around 143 million) of all Catholics worldwide. Benedict (which obscenely means 'the blessed') is punishing those that take his teachings literally. I personally know many friends who just ignore it. I am not just talking England here, the people I refer to are in Catholic 'strongholds' such as Eire and the USA. What really pisses me off is that we go to enormous lengths to 'save' people all over the world in the face of natural disasters. In this case, nobody has the balls to 'face-off' the 'Holy Catholic Church'.
I don't care what people believe. Personally, I think the ten commandments were a piece of pretty badass thinking but as we see everyday Religion, in the wrong hands, is the most divisive and destructive force we humans have so far dreamt up...
Barrier contraception must be accepted eventually but the pontiff's continued procrastination may result in more people being killed than in the holocaust. If the Catholic Church modified their thinking, the problem wouldn't stop, but even if it saved one child's life, wouldn't it be worth it?
Related post: Rhythm Method, Out of Sync.