Friday, March 20, 2009

The Popes as Mass Murderers

Since 1980 when the AIDS epidemic first struck, 22 million people have died, the large majority in Africa. And with 40 million more HIV-infected, the future looks grim.
So what is the Roman Catholic Church, the supposed protector of the weak and poor, doing to help the situation? In 1990, Pope John Paul II visited several countries in Africa. Some villages consisted only of the very young and the very old. All the rest lay under rows of wooden crosses. Facing such human devastation and misery, the Pope message was unequivocal: condoms, the only solution to reducing AIDS infections, were a sin. Simply put, Africans were not to use condoms in any circumstances.
As might be expected, the Papal visit helped the AIDS pandemic gather steam. In his zealotry to prevent any form of family planning, i.e. to protect life and birth, the Pope sentenced millions to death. What incredible arrogance, not to mention stupidity!
This week Pope Benedict is visiting Africa. Has the Vatican changed its tune, now that it has witnessed the carnage since the 1990 papal tour? Not a whit. Benedict promptly stuck his head in the sand and glibly stated that AIDS "cannot be overcome by distributing condoms – it only increases the problem." What utter rubbish!
In Africa condoms are an absolute necessity. They will not only help control the ravages of AIDS but will also help reduce population growth in a humane manner. A win-win situation for a continent that desperately needs good news.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When it comes to runaway human population, the pope has got to be among the most powerful individuals on Earth. His pronouncements could have more immediate impact on either increasing or decreasing the size of the human population worldwide than any other individual world leader.

Despite all the complexities of modern life, it seems to me that unvarnished and unreflective support of three primary behaviors are governing the "way of life" of most people in our culture. These widely shared and consensually validiated behaviors literally drive unbridled growth of production capabilities, unrestrained per human consumption of resources borne of unchecked greed, and unbounded hubris rather than the achievement of a more adequate understanding of the "placement" of the human species within the natural order of living things. The leviathan scale and anticipated rise of these objective and subjective all-too-human tendencies could become patently unsustainable soon; whereas, setting limits on the increasing growth of uneconomic production, unhealthy overconsumption, unrestricted population numbers and unconscionable, objectively unjustifiable arrogance could lead the human community toward sustainable ways of living in the world.