Pecan Pie

Social Anxiety from the South

Let Sleeping Diseases Lie

I was very excited to learn of Pope Benedict’s remarks regarding condom use…until I realized it wasn’t anything new.  A few days ago, His Holiness made the personal statement suggesting that condom use to prevent disease may be morally acceptable.

In an excerpt from a book length interview set to be released tomorrow titled “Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times,”   Benedict makes several seemingly astonishing statements on a variety of topics, including one about the use of condoms by prostitutes.

“There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility,” the pontiff said.  (You can read a more in-depth analysis of the book [here].)

Unfortunately, that really doesn’t change much.  These remarks are those of the Pope as an individual and do not represent any departure from RCC dogma or doctrine.   Even as AIDS ravages the continent of Africa, antiquated ideas about birth-control, reproductive freedom and sexual safety prevail.

Some excellent points have arisen out of the debate over this particular proclamation by Benedict.   One specifically about the actualized influence the Church has in remote areas of the world.  If people are already have pre-marital or extra-marital sex against Church teachings, then what difference does it make what the Church says about condom use?

Well, the Pope’s prior comments on his first visit to Africa seemed to insinuate that condoms would not help the problem and that abstinence was the best way to prevent the spread of disease.  Which, honestly, is the truth.  If you have AIDS, you should definitely not be having unprotected sex with any partners.

I wonder how well that goes over when an unfaithful husband comes home to his wife?  I have to be curious about the repercussions she might face in an area devoid of basic education, much less far reaching thought on women’s rights or sexual responsibility, if she decides to deny him sexual activity while he is home?

On the other hand, there is great speculation regarding the World Health Organizations classification of AIDS in Africa, the reliability of HIV tests in Africa and whether or not the numbers regarding actual cases of documented AIDS infected people has been inflated.

So, maybe it doesn’t even matter.

But some other things do matter.

Any time you take a powerful leader and inject his or her views into the lives of thousands of folks, you may have an issue. (Read: Anytime a religious icon has influence on a huge number of people it can be bad.  Often bad.  Mostly bad.  Bad, bad, bad. Hold on, here comes some more badness.)  Maybe AIDS in Africa isn’t as bad as we think.  I still presume it’s probably pretty bad.  Or, maybe it’s not AIDS.  Maybe it’s just that disease overall in Africa is downright horrific.  In any event, I do think it’s irresponsible to blanket a large portion of the world with the idea that having responsible sex (in or outside of marriage) is bad.

Benedict’s admission is having effects in other impoverished parts of the world as well.  The Philippines are attempting to pass a house resolution that would provide couples with more modern forms of family planning.  Like condoms.  Its opposition is wary of the Pope’s assertions about condom use, because, well, we can’t have folks having reproductive freedom.  Or any freedom.  Their reason for opposition comes from a Catholic pro-life stance (which obviously has no place in government, but anyway.)

My basic point here is that when someone has that much power, maybe they should be overly concerned with the things coming out of their mouths, how those statements may be used and who they help vs. who they hurt.  In this instance,  at the very least the Pontiff should just let the Church’s stance lie instead of stirring up a storm every time the subject comes up.

Written by thelittlepecan

November 22, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Posted in atheism, Christian, religion

6 Responses

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  1. AIDS in Africa is widely spread from infected partners to their spouses. This is the real issue that a very influential religious organization needs to address.


    November 22, 2010 at 8:03 pm

  2. Girls were victimized as well. And no, I don’t think they are.


    November 22, 2010 at 2:16 pm

  3. What about priests buggering altar boys? Are they allowed to use rubbers yet?


    November 22, 2010 at 1:52 pm

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