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Is the Pope responsible for the death of millions?


So says my good friend Marcus Warner on his Sweet and Tender Hooligan blog. Because of his comments on condom use. Is that fair? What did the pope actually say? The pope said

“Se non c’è l’anima, se gli africani non si aiutano, non si può risolvere il flagello con la distribuzione di preservativi: al contrario, il rischio è di aumentare il problema.” 

In English

“If there is no soul, if Africans do not help, you can not solve the scourge with the distribution of condoms on the contrary, the risk is to increase the problem.”

You also should take into account the Catholic Church’s traditional teaching on artificial contraception (which it opposes). Even from that angle the Pope’s comments did not explicitly condemn their use. His comments addressed part of the real reason for the high level of Aids in Africa. That of promiscuity. Even those who strongly support artificial contraception must agree that this is the real problem. They should give him kudos for that.

Just chucking rubbers at the problem will not solve the aids epidemic alone. They have been doing that in Botswana for years and there has been no great decline in aids, and Botswana does not have a large Catholic population. Interestly enough Angola does and just has a 5% infection rate.

So is the Pope responsible for the death of millions? No, he calls for education and research into aids.

I think the moral of the story for bloggers, is simple go to the source of the story and cut the bullshit.

Bloggers should be dissecting media reports not just repeating them “parrot fashion” simply because it affects our own prejudices.


March 19, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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