God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

Reflections / Gedanken

Male prostitutes, “know it all’s” – and the horror of the pius brothers..

In a startling turnaround for a man who was just recently saying that condoms exacerbate the scourge of AIDS, the Vatican clarified Pope Benedict XVI’s stance on condoms Tuesday, saying that the Holy Father believes condoms are an acceptable form of disease prevention for everyone, including men, women, and transsexuals! In an interview published Tuesday, the pope said condoms were acceptable for male prostitutes, who were already in the midst of committing a lot of sins anyway. When an Italian newspaper wrote about the story using the feminine form of the word prostitute, a Vatican spokesman checked in with the pope to see whether they’d made a big mistake. “I personally asked the pope if there was a serious, important problem in the choice of the masculine over the feminine,” Rev. Frederico Lombardi said. “He told me no.” According to Lombardi, “the heart of the matter was of ‘taking responsibility, of taking into consideration the risk to the life of the person with whom you are having a relationship,’ ” whether “you’re a woman, a man, or a transsexual.” According to the Vatican, the pope’s statements don’t represent “a change in church teaching on birth control, which remains forbidden,” but many news agencies are calling the move “a significant first response to critics who have long seen the church’s ban on condoms as a moral failing in light of the AIDS crisis.”

If this extension is correct it marks a real first step in the right direction. It reflects for the first time an – inofficial – but important stance of the church leader regarding the protection of life through a condom. I am sure all Catholic activists share after this clarification the joy that our considerations are within the framework of the moral theology of the RC church. It is a blow into the faces of all those “know it all” on all levels of the hierarchy, who in a hurried ahead allegiance forgot to contemplate realities and even worse: ignored the realities of suffering of their brothers and sisters. Deflections from other topics, here Humanae Vitae, are not always permissible

While some people wonder about the frankness of this interview, the only ones really holding against it are the right wingers in the Catholic Church, whose understanding of tradition is a static one.  The German district of the Pius brothers issued according to dpa a statement in which they criticise the pope for his remarks regarding condom use. They compare the statement of the pope with the advice to a robber and murderer to do from now on only theft. Sometimes one can only wonder… – or maybe not any more…

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, HIV Prevention, Reflection, , , , , , , , ,

HIV, Development and HOPE – thoughts of a Catholic priest

Being a Roman - Catholic priest and working in the fields of HIV and social development in Africa has its challenges. You will find stories and reflections about my work, about the church, South Africa and Africa, about politics and whatever triggers my interest. You are most welcome to leave a comment or to get in touch with me. Blogging means to initiate thoughts and discussions and for the writer to formulate what is loosely running around in the heart and mind in need of being sorted and spoken out.

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