Thursday, April 27, 2006

Is the Pope a sex expert?

Vatican seems to be very interested in sex issues. But their statements about sex are usually ridiculous. If they do believe that the use of condoms can provide safe-sex, then, before they make such a statement (see the following article), they should apologize for their discouragement of the use of condoms before. Otherwise they are just behaving arrograntly to those issues about which they know nothing (bishops are not allowed to have sex, if my information is correct.)

What do they really know? How can they judge whether using condoms is right or wrong, or same-sex marriage is moral or immoral? Their ideas are hundred years behind the modern world. Who really cares about what the nonsense those old men say?

The Pope considers a life-saving new policy
Apr 26th 2006

Pope Benedict XVI has asked a team of experts to prepare a statement on
the use of condoms by married people who carry infectious viruses such
as HIV. Even the most cautious discussion of this subject marks a
encouraging change in approach by the Vatican, which has long opposed
the use of condoms under any circumstances. The review coincides with
the 25th anniversary of the discovery of AIDS and a record of dismal
failure in stopping its spread.

THEOLOGIANS used to ponder how many angels might fit onto the head of a
pin. Now experts in the Vatican are to consider something more
practical, though perhaps just as difficult for non-Catholics to
understand. The head of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Health and
Pastoral Care confirmed in an interview with an Italian newspaper, La
Repubblica, that the council had been asked by Pope Benedict XVI to
study whether those infected with HIV (and other grave infectious
diseases) should use condoms. Although the Catholic church opposes
contraception, some liberal cardinals now argue that the fight against
sexually transmitted illness—notably AIDS—is so pressing that the use
of condoms, in some circumstances, should not be condemned. It might be
justified, for example, if the intention were not to prevent conception
but to stop the spread of a virus from husband to wife.

It is now a quarter of a century since scientists identified a
mysterious disease that killed people by destroying their immune
systems. In the years since it has become clear how one might
discourage the transmission of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Nobody
claims this is easy to do, but it is known to spread mainly through
unprotected sex. Consequently an “ABC” of combined approaches is
thought to help: abstinence (or at least postponing the age of one's
first sexual experiences); being faithful to one’s partner; and condom

It may be that Pope Benedict is now willing to shift, if only for
couples, the church’s opposition to the third part of this mantra. This
matters, especially in Africa, Latin America and Asia, where AIDS is
increasingly prevalent and the views of the Pope are held in high
regard. Last week a retired Archbishop from Milan, Cardinal Carlo Maria
Martini, suggested that married couples where one partner has HIV might
use condoms against infection. Although this contradicts the idea that
contraception is against God’s will and natural law, this is, he
suggests, “a lesser evil” than passing on the virus. “This person has
an obligation to protect the other partner and the other partner also
has to protect themselves”, he says. It may be that Cardinal Martini,
along with a small minority of like-minded cardinals, is testing the
waters to see the reaction of more conservative church leaders.

Something new certainly needs to be tried. The death toll from AIDS is
appallingly high. Some 25m people have probably died of it; another 40m
may be infected with HIV, mostly in Africa. In countries like Botswana,
Swaziland and Zimbabwe, in southern Africa, roughly a third of adults
are infected. Life expectancy for many Africans is now well under 40
years. And though drugs exist to treat the symptoms of AIDS, and there
is hopeful talk of a vaccine being created one day, the disease will
not be beaten unless transmission is reduced.

A change in policy by the Vatican, where the Pope has been installed
for only a year, could be influential. It is not only the church that
has discouraged the use of condoms. The American government, one of the
largest donors to anti-AIDS campaigns in the developing world, has
proved increasingly unwilling in the past few years to fund programmes
that promote condoms. Some African presidents are also sceptical about
their use. And too many ordinary Africans, often suspecting that
outsiders want to prevent them from having children, are suspicious
about the use of condoms. If the Pope were to shift the Vatican’s
position that, perhaps, might encourage a change in attitude elsewhere,

Let's talk about sex
Whether that would translate into lives saved is harder to say. There
are many messy reasons why safer-sex campaigns have failed to do more
to halt the spread of AIDS. Sex in many countries is a taboo subject
and not easily discussed. Women are typically victims and too often
lack the power to control how it takes place. Some poorly-educated
Africans (and others) still do not understand what AIDS is and how it
is passed on. Yet others have been subjected to so many years of dire
warnings about the disease that they have grown fatalistic, each
assuming he is already infected and thus has nothing to gain by taking
precautions. Still others are naturally suspicious when foreigners or
their governments deign to give instruction on the most personal of
topics. And in many places elders consider it shameful for the young to
carry condoms, especially for young women, as this may indicate a
promiscuous sex life.

But, at the least, the Pope’s review may encourage wider discussion of
how best to tackle AIDS while raising awareness of it among potential
victims. In rich countries he might help counter an increasing
weariness with the topic. And in the field, for example in the remotest
corners of Congo or Mozambique or Angola, Catholic missionaries may
find it easier to give more comprehensive help to those who must live
with AIDS.


At 12:41 PM, Anonymous coco said...

Allow the Vatican to dictate the moral policy of millions of people is a crime, while they claim the condom "is a sin", and while this people is dying
If we affirm the radical islam is medieval for how they treat women, what the Vatican is?..
More about what I think in:


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