On his way to Cameroon Pope Benedict restated the Church's position on the use of condoms to prevent AIDS. When meeting with reporters and answering six previously submitted questions, Benedict stated:
"The problem cannot be overcome with the distribution of condoms. This only aggravates the problem," Benedict told the media as he flew to the western African country of Cameroon.
Instead, the pontiff said sexual abstinence was the best way to fight the deadly disease.
This statement of Benedict's is an outright lie. Condoms most certainly do not aggravate the AIDS problem. We have reams and reams of evidence to the contrary. When used correctly condoms save lives and help reduce the spread of the disease.
It's one thing for Benedict to restate the Church's position on the use of condoms, but it's quite another to flat lie about their effectiveness and in this case, to go so far as to state they aggravate the problem. The fact they work effectively aggravates his problem with the absolute ban on birth control. Perhaps that's the aggravation he was referring to.
The condom ban is another one of those absolute sexual morality statements which applied absolutely result in absolute deaths. Benedict's statement that abstinence as the best way to fight the disease is correct, unless you happen to be married. Nobody gets married so they can practice abstinence. In fact, the Church herself would annul such a marriage as not being a marriage.
Unprotected marital relations are killing spouses and children and leaving existing children orphans---by the millions. We all know this truth. Except for Benedict I guess, who apparently sees it just the opposite. Would it really take a theological rocket scientist to come up with the notion that in cases of marital sex the primary function of condom use is therapeutic intervention rather than birth control? Well, it's been suggested and it's been rejected.
What I find incomprehensible about this is that it is morally permissible to take oral contraceptives for certain conditions, acne comes to mind, precisely because the intent is therapeutic and not birth prevention. Somehow the condom is in a class of it's own when it comes to the therapeutic uses for birth control devices. So women die and children die or are left orphans, while acne sufferers in the West can use oral contraceptives. How in the world does this make any sense? A cynic could read this as saying acne in whites is a bigger deal than AIDS in blacks.
In all honesty, I have to admit that this particular issue is the issue which forced me to finally leave the Church. The refusal to allow the use of condoms in marriage where one partner is infected by HIV says all there is to say about where the Church really is regarding the culture of life. There is no spin that can address this stupidity. It's heartless, and that's the whole problem with the Institutional Church. It lacks any heart, any compassion, any sense of reasonableness. It favors cold logic based on unsupported assumptions and takes these to absurd conclusions, almost exclusively to the detriment of women and children. This is really all about a 'culture of life' for some at the expense of others, whether that's a nine year old rape victim in Brazil or the preventable HIV infection of a mother in Cameroon. Somewhere Jesus weeps.