Sunday, March 22, 2009

Speaking of Bad Combos: Children and Aids

I believe Rachael Maddow said it best in the recent edition of Vanity Fair: "I think German and Pope are a bad combo".

While traveling in Africa, the Pope has declared that condoms should not be used to halt the spread of HIV/Aids and has actually argued that their distribution increases the problem.

The BBC report:

The spread of HIV and Aids in Africa should be tackled through fidelity and abstinence and not by condoms, Pope Benedict XVI has said.

...More than 60% of the world's 40m people with HIV live in sub-Saharan Africa.

In South Africa alone, 600-1,000 people are thought to die every day because of Aids.

Pope Benedict, who was elected to succeed John Paul II in April, has already signalled that he will maintain a strictly traditional line on issues including abortion and homosexuality.

The Washington Post reminds us that:

Pope Paul VI banned the use of contraception 37 years ago, and at that time the issue was almost entirely birth control. Ever since, high church officials have considered the question largely to be closed. But the AIDS pandemic has led to calls from some corners of the global church for authorizing at least one form of contraception -- condoms -- as a means of preventing HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, from spreading.

Two cardinals in Europe this week separately spoke of a hypothetical situation in which use of a condom might be justified: when a woman must have sex with someone who is infected with HIV and therefore must protect herself.

And in Mexico City, a bishop said at a news conference Friday that condom use could be a "lesser evil" if employed to prevent AIDS. "If someone is incapable of controlling their instincts . . . then they should do whatever is necessary in order not to infect others," said Felipe Arizmendi, bishop of San Cristobal de las Casas, in far southern Mexico.

The comments followed months of ferment in the church over how to approach AIDS prevention. Last year, the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) published a paper urging a range of methods to fight AIDS.

"For many in Africa and Asia, sex is often the only commodity people have to exchange for food, school fees, exam results, employment or survival itself in situations of violence," the paper said. "Any strategy that enables a person to move from a higher-risk towards the lower end of the continuum, CAFOD believes, is a valid risk reduction strategy."


- who has German ancestory and is involved with interfaith work, but who also has really had it with this guy.

Hey, boys, how is dear Cardinal Law? Is he still enjoying his hideout, excuse me, job at the Vatican?


Respect for life? Aids Orphans in Africa

German Chancelor Censures Pope On Holocaust Denier
Benedict, the first German pope in 500 years, has faced a fierce backlash from his home country for reversing the excommunication of a bishop who has questioned whether the Nazis systematically killed 6 million Jews during the Holocaust.

Irony Alert:
Church Excommunicates Child Rape Victim's Mother
Hat tip to Bligbi

Back Story: Humanae Vitae: The Papal Birth Control Letter issued in 1968

Notes on:
History of Contraception from Antiquity to the Present Day
Hat tip to the Sunshine for Women site - check out their book section

Photo: Cover of book titled Children of Aids by Emma Guest

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