This is getting oh so boring and predictable.
“It is my belief believe that the most effective presence on the front in the battle against HIV/AIDS is in fact the Catholic Church and her institutions. … The problem of HIV/AIDS cannot be overcome with mere slogans. If the soul is lacking, if Africans do not help one another, the scourge cannot be resolved by distributing condoms; quite the contrary, we risk worsening the problem. The solution can only come through a twofold commitment: firstly, the humanisation of sexuality, in other words a spiritual and human renewal bringing a new way of behaving towards one another; and secondly, true friendship, above all with the suffering, a readiness – even through personal sacrifice – to stand by those who suffer”.
So of course we get headlines like “Pope’s attack on condoms sickens Aids campaigners.“
In the past we have got many charges of the pope being responsible for millions of deaths in Africa. I would simply say “Name one country that reduced the HIV infection rate by promoting condoms.” Beeeeeeeep – Time out. The example of Uganda being the only country to reduce infection rates by promoting abstinence and fidelity is a story not allowed to be mentioned.
Mark Shea posted this a couple years ago.
The West’s commitment to sexual promiscuity is a religion that people will both kill and die for.
AIDS victims in 1987: Philippines 135 / Thailand 112
In 1991 the WHO predicted the Philippines would have 80,000 to 90,000 cases and Thailand 60,000 to 80,000 AIDS victims.
Thailand promoted the use of condoms in massive campaigns where Catholic Philippines promoted ‘Abstinence’ and ‘Be faithful’.
The prognosis of the WHO was wrong for both countries:
1999: Philippines 1,005 / Thailand 755,000 AIDS victims
Source: British Medical Journal, volume 328, April 10th 2004
As the Pope mentioned it is certainly not just slogans that will help. Saying be abstinent and be faithful will do little if any good if everything else in the society is saturated with sex and selling sex. Abstinence education in schools in not very effective when the media blares a discordant message 24/7. When the whole society is oriented towards a contrary message we can hardly expect any education to be effective. The Pope’s twofold advice will pretty much go unfollowed as people follow the false and deadly idol of sex without consequences.
As is usually the case the American Papist has excellent coverage.
Amy Welborn also has an in depth post on the subject.
Via Patrick Madrid is this excellent video with Catholic writer Joanna Boogle.
The Association of Compassionate Christian Caregivers today severely criticized traditional Catholic teaching on marital “love” and called upon the churches to encourage wife-beating Africans to take the “prudent, practical steps” to reduce the risk of HIV infection when assailing their spouses.
“The science is not in doubt” says Fizzy Osbourne, spokesman for the International Planned Widowhood Federation, “all the evidence shows that bare fists used to pummel infected spouses cause skin ruptures that increase the rate of transmission to the uninfected partner.”
AIDS experts advise uninfected wife-beaters to don leather bag-mitts — ideally on top of and in addition to standard latex gloves — before striking their HIV-positive wives. Knuckle abrasion and random laceration can be reduced by as much as 94%, which significantly decreases exposure of the aggressor to contaminated blood. ..