...the Pope was quoted as having said that AIDS was, "..a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone...that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems."
On my way back from the workshop, I thought seriously about the "leadership" of the Vatican. The Pope was undoing everything that we small ones with no voices or key "leadership" positions or offices can use to AIDucate or "confuse" the people...
Can somebody please explain to me what the Pope meant to say? Whatever he meant to say seems to have been said in the reverse gear! WHAT IS THE POSITION OF THE POPE ON THE CONDOM IN RELATION TO PUBLIC HEALTH?
The first part of his controversial statement seems fine to me, where I am assuming that the Pope agrees to condom use and that condoms are not one hundred percent safe! Very good public health message by the Pope, full marks!
Now the second part of "...even aggravates the problem!" God forbid! What is the Pope saying?
Is the Pope saying:
- condoms as a prevention tool increase HIV transmission?
- use of condoms will lead to increased sexual intercourse and therefore increased HIV infection?
- indirectly that condoms have no role in safer sex campaign messages?
- that the simple community folks in the villages are right when they tell us in the workshops that they believe that condoms are contaminated with HIV ..have got holes in them for HIV to pass through?
The scientific world has proved and established that latex condoms prevent transmission of HIV. Studies have been conducted in sexually active couples. I hope that the Pope is not saying the opposite. I hope that the Pope is not being judgemental and treating the condom issue as a moral issue, instead of a Public Health emergency.
I know of clergy, down to earth men of the collar who speak about condoms in their congregations or faith communities, admitting the vital role of condoms in safer sex messages. These pastors tell their congregations of the important role that condoms play in AIDS prevention. The pastors also talk about delayed sexual relationships, abstinence and fidelity. It is a full package. It is a holistic approach in AIDS prevention by God's servants.
The video, "What Can I Do?", by Pastor Gideon of Uganda should be given to the Pope so as to AIDucate him and his followers. The Pope should have an audience with members of The African Network of Religious Leaders living with HIV infections or AIDS (ANERELA).
...The Pope puts doctrine ahead of human suffering in Africa. Yet on Sundays there are so many Catholics on the African continent who take the Pope's words as Bible truth! So today, Sunday 22nd March 2009, many churches in Africa will repeat their leader's words, that the Pope with his many health advisors (Only the best advise the Pope), very educated people said "...condoms aggravates the problems... what the Pope is saying is that do not use condoms, as we have always said. Condoms are for sinners!"
...The Pope, on a very serious note,must correct the statement he himself made publicly. It must not come from his press advisors or PR teams. This is grave. The quoted international statement has the potential of driving many to the graves, before their time.