Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Quote of the Day

Apparently finding a way to bend church rules to allow divorced Catholics to receive communion is a more pressing concern for Pope Francis than the life-and-death issue of AIDS. The pope who has bent over backwards to find a “pastoral” solution to the problem of divorced Catholics showed no such compassion for those living with HIV/AIDS when asked on his return flight from his African visit if the church should change its prohibition on condom use given the continued spread of the virus.

Francis replied with an obtuse mixture of parable and exegesis that made it clear he saw little flexibility in the teaching. . . . While no one would argue that HIV/AIDS isn’t entangled in larger problems like poverty and exploitation, it seems astounding that the pope won’t acknowledge either the severity of the crisis or the role of condoms in saving lives right now, not in some mythological future when justice reigns and “all are healed.”

. . . According to the World Health Organization, there are currently 37 million people living with HIV/AIDS and some two million people were newly infected in 2014. Sub-Saharan African remains the global hot spot, with 26 million infected people and 70 percent of new infections.

Even the considerably more theologically hardline Pope Benedict said that condom use could be the lesser of two evils when it came to a person who is HIV positive thwarting the spread of the disease as a “the first step of responsibility, of taking into consideration the risk to the life of the person with whom there are relations.” Despite Benedict’s comments, Catholic bishops in African have continued to take a hard line against condoms and actively discourage their use.

– Patricia Miller
Excerpted from "Pope Francis Dismisses Condoms in AIDS Fight"
Religion Dispatches
December 2, 2015

Related Off-site Links:
On World AIDS Day, What Message of Good News Do Catholic Leaders Have for People Affected by HIV – William D. Lindsey (Bilgrimage, December 2, 2015).
World AIDS Day 2015: Time to Write the Last Chapter on HIV – Chris Beyrer and Anthony Fauci (CNN, November 30, 2015).
Seven Incredible Artists Who Lost Their Lives to HIV – James Michael Nichols (HuffPost Gay Voices, December 1, 2015).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Pope Benedict's Latest Condom Remarks
Pope Embraces an Acceptable Form of Relativism
Pope Accused of "Distorting Scientific Evidence" on Condom Use
Daniel Helminiak on the Vatican's Natural Law Mistake

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