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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dog Bites Man or How Many Times Have We Read This Before?

Vatican defends pope condoms stand, criticism mounts

18 Mar 2009 15:20:26 GMT
Source: Reuters (Reuters?! Who'da thunk it?)

YAOUNDE, March 18 (Reuters) - The Vatican on Wednesday defended Pope Benedict's opposition to the use of condoms to stop the spread of AIDS as activists, doctors and politicians criticised it as unrealistic, unscientific and dangerous.
Talk about breaking news! The Church has proscribed contraception for only 2000 years. So what exactly is the point of this story? Ah, yes, the Pope is traveling in Africa, where AIDS runs rampant, so Reuters and others on the left want to blame it on him and the Catholic Church (once again).
Benedict, arriving in Africa, said on Tuesday that condoms "increase the problem" of AIDS. The comment, made to reporters aboard his plane, caused a worldwide firestorm of criticism.
Oooh, a "worldwide firestorm of criticism, " sounds scary! It seems, however, to this writer all the Holy Father is saying is when guys use rubbers, they're more likely to be in search of trim, which is how AIDS is spread. They thus are risking their own and others' lives. That doesn't seem an unreasonable view. One of the usual suspects, however, has this to say.
"My reaction is that this represents a major step backwards in terms of global health education, is entirely counter-productive, and is likely to lead to increases in HIV infection in Africa and elsewhere," said Prof Quentin Sattentau, Professor of Immunology at Britain's Oxford University.

"There is a large body of published evidence demonstrating that condom use reduces the risk of acquiring HIV infection, but does not lead to increased sexual activity," he said.
If Reuters employed real reporters instead of water carriers like the one who wrote this story, they would ask: "What evidence?" "In which studies?" "What are the actual numbers?" I guess we have to take that "large body of published evidence" as an article of faith.

Aids Activists Critical
I'm stunned.

A New York Times editorial said the pope "deserves no credence when he distorts scientific findings" about condoms.
Hold Page One! The Times just weighed in!
France expressed "very strong concern".
Oh my God.
There were also some signs of dissent within the Church.
Why am I not surprised? "Anyone who has AIDS and is sexually active, anyone who seeks multiple partners, must protect others and themselves," said Hans-Jochen Jaschke, Roman Catholic auxiliary bishop of Hamburg in the pope's native Germany. 

It would be nice if by now the auxiliary bishop of Hamburg had gotten a phone call, if not from Rome, at least from his Archbishop. Regardless, though, I would ask the auxiliary bishop of Hamburg, as well all the other critics cited in this ridiculous article the following.

Do the Pope's critics really expect randy young men (especially non-Catholics) engaging in sex outside of marriage (a mortal sin), to consider his views on condoms when deciding whether or not to use them?

Or do the critics use the occasion of the Pope's visit to Africa as just another opportunity to trash him for upholding Church teachings?

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