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The recent flap concerning Pope Benedict’s re-statement of the traditional Catholic teaching, that artificial contraception is immoral and ultimately impractical, is instructive to the way secular society views people, and how Catholicism views the human race. His exact words were, “You can’t resolve it with the distribution of condoms, addressing HIV/AIDS will require a ‘two-fold’ solution of ‘spiritual and human awakening’ and ‘friendship” for those who suffer.” Further, Benedict continues that what is needed is “education about people’s responsibility in the use of sexuality” and the “essential role of marriage and family.”
Let me reprint a statement from the African bishops who addressed the flap. “The bishops of Cameroon are astonished by what the journalists retained from this very complete statement of the Pope, focused only on opposition to condoms, concealing the whole action of the Church in the fight against AIDS and the care of the sick. [We] are astonished above all that the press attempts to make people believe that there is unease in Cameroonian opinion on the Holy Father’s visit, as a consequence of his statements... The Holy Father has put man at the center of his concern and has reminded us of the teachings of Christ and of the Church. The Catholic Church’s commitment to persons living with the AIDS virus, the support of infected and affected persons, are priorities for the Catholic Church.”
Indeed, the “bread” of “spiritual awakening,” “friendship,” “education” and “responsibility” all respect the dignity of men and women and the sexual union, whereas the “rock” of condoms is basically an insult because it tells people that they cannot expect to rise above their base instincts.
James J. Kuropatwinski