Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pope Benedict claims condom use spreads HIV/AIDS

As a former Roman Catholic who left the faith nearly a decade ago, it remains extremely difficult for me to take almost anything Pope Benedict XVI says seriously. And his assertion the use of condoms actually facilitates the spread of HIV and AIDS simply borders on the ridiculous.

Benedict made his assertion as he flew to Cameroon in West Africa. Bloggers and HIV/AIDS service organizations around the world almost immediately (and rather predictably) railed against the Pope's comments. One can easily conclude they are based upon dogmatic teachings that are increasingly out-of-touch with the challenges of the modern world. And this reality includes the continued need to use practical and scientifically-proven methods to combat an epidemic that continues to inflict a far too heavy toll.

The last line in today's New York Times' editorial that examines the impact of Benedict's comments is perhaps summarizes the situation best. It reads it "seems irresponsible to blame condoms for making the epidemic worse." Indeed.

No comments: