Archive for Saturday, April 18, 2009

Vatican decries reaction to Pope’s condom remarks

April 18, 2009


— Critics of the Catholic Church’s social teachings are trying to intimidate Pope Benedict XVI into silence, the Vatican charged Friday in responding to attacks on the pontiff’s remarks about AIDS and condom use.

In a strongly worded statement, the Vatican defended the pope’s view that condoms aren’t the answer to Africa’s AIDS epidemic and could make it worse. On his way to Africa last month, he said the best strategy is the church’s effort to promote sexual responsibility through abstinence and monogamy.

France, Germany, the United Nations’ AIDS-fighting agency and the British medical journal The Lancet called the remarks irresponsible and dangerous. The Belgian parliament passed a resolution calling them “unacceptable” and demanded Belgium’s government officially protest.

Belgium’s ambassador to the Holy See lodged the formal protest Wednesday, prompting the Vatican Secretariat to issue its tough statement denouncing the Belgian vote.

The Vatican deplored “the fact that a parliamentary assembly should have thought it appropriate to criticize the Holy Father on the basis of an isolated extract from an interview, separated from its context.”

It said Benedict’s remarks to reporters had been “used by some groups with a clear intent to intimidate, as if to dissuade the pope from expressing himself on certain themes of obvious moral relevance and from teaching the church’s doctrine.”

The Vatican said the criticism of the pontiff was followed by an “unprecedented media campaign” in Europe extolling the value of condoms in fighting AIDS while ignoring Benedict’s message about the need for responsible sexuality and to care for those suffering from AIDS.

The statement was the latest sign of the Vatican’s increasing defensiveness and frustration as it tries to get Benedict’s message out. It follows a maelstrom of criticism — including from within the church itself — after the pope lifted the excommunication of a bishop who denied the Holocaust.

Vatican officials said they acted so forcefully this time because the Belgian criticism required a formal, diplomatic response.


Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 11 months ago

The Pope can say anything he wants. You are not obligated to agree with him or understand him. I think he should just give up on the world on certain matters and let it go. As a bishop in the Catholic Church he preaches to Catholics, which is the province of the bishop. He should not apologize, he should not retreat from anything he has said.

viewfromahill 8 years, 11 months ago

abstinence, obstinate monogamy, the hegemony

viewfromahill 8 years, 11 months ago

Help... I've infallen, and I can't get up....

AjiDeGallina 8 years, 11 months ago

The Pope is making his church dwindle rapidly.

Strontius 8 years, 11 months ago

Does anyone else find it odd that it took so long for the Vatican to respond to weeks old criticism from government and scientific groups from around the world?

A lot of people might not realize this, but for France to come out and criticize the Pope, it's a huge deal. The Catholic Church is rapidly losing influence and being repudiated; a natural consequence of losing their monopoly on education and ability to punish people for disagreement.

No one should be surprised that the last bastion of Medieval authoritarianism is vanishing from the world.

Gina Bailey-Carbaugh 8 years, 11 months ago

none2, your argument is without merit. How can you equate hand-holding with sex? While both exchanges can transfer microorganisms, there is much more to sex than that. Or, let's say there should be more. Sex today is reduced to an activity between two people. I guess if they make that choice, then they also must accept the consequences. The Pope's statements are meant to get people to see sex as an intimate act of commitment and love, not just an exchange of pleasant sensations. Afterall, if mankind had made better choices, such as monogomy and responsible sexuality, these diseases would not be as widespread.

Gina Bailey-Carbaugh 8 years, 11 months ago

none2, wow, you sure do read a lot between the lines. Me thinks it is you who is full of BS. I said nothing about hell and damnation. Merely pointed out the fact that unsafe sex is the leading cause of STDs. Period. Nuff said.

whats_going_on 7 years, 11 months ago

yes, because abstinence education has worked so well in the past....

AjiDeGallina (anonymous) says… "The Pope is making his church dwindle rapidly."

One can only hope, but you and I both know that his sheep will follow him no matter what.

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