Wrapping Western minds around African culture

Pope speaks to journalists en route to Africa.

Pope speaks to journalists en route to Africa.

Amid the ongoing discussion of Pope Benedict XVI’s remarks on condoms and AIDS comes a highly nuanced, well-thought-out piece by Jesuit Father Michael Czerny, director of the African Jesuit AIDS Network.

He believes what Pope Benedict said about condoms not being a good strategy to reduce AIDS is a true statement.

“There are two distinct issues here: the moral status of individual acts; and the viability of a strategy targeting whole populations,” Father Czerny says. He discusses why African women are more vulnerable to HIV, how the church approaches ministry to married couples and the fact that “culture counts.”

“The promotion of condoms as the strategy for reducing HIV infection in a general population is based on statistical probability and intuitive plausibility. It enjoys considerable credibility in the Western media and among Western opinion makers. What it lacks is scientific support,” says Father Czerny.

The British Jesuits’ online journal Thinking Faith published the article, “A human and spiritual wake-up call.”

5 Responses

  1. This week we again witnessed the Catholic Church’s absurb denial of scientific fact and rational thought. Why non-delusional, educated, and compassionate people like myself have fallen away from a completely divorced from reality Church and Pope. The arrogant, irresponsible, and totally irreligious premise that condom use would increase the spread of AIDS and condem 100′s of thousands to unimaginal suffering and death is the pinnacle of immorality. A pox on the Church, the Pope, and any of their pharisaic defenders. This lie is not defensable.

  2. Jim, did you bother to read the link to Fr. Czerny’s article? Did you bother to read citation #3 by Harvard’s Prof. Green?

    It would seem not, given the tone of your post.

  3. Condoms are an abomination: they increase moral irressponsibility and it has clearly been demonstrated that they are ineffective in preventing AIDS. The AIDS Virus can easily pass through the microscopic holes of the condom material. The answer is now and always has been the elevation of moral standards throught society as a whole.

  4. Jim Russell – Clearly, you haven’t done the research. Condoms have done nothing to decrease AIDS & the theory is that people believe the “safe sex” idea & therefore engage in increasingly riskier and riskier behavior. More and more sexual interludes – putting spouses at great risk, and therefore their children.

    Even experts that are condemning the Pope’s comments are first admitting that he has the science right!

  5. Jim Russell- You contradicted yourself when you said that the Pope and the Church is irrational and ignores scientific fact- you should have researched the scientific facts surrounding the Pope’s comments before submitting a comment; even scientists and experts have agreed with the Pope that condom use does not prevent the spread of AIDS!
    And in response to your claim that the Catholic Church is not “compassionate” as you claim to be, do you realize that it is the Catholic Church that provides more than 25% of all care administered to those with AIDS and HIV, and 100% of the care in remote regions in Africa? Maybe you should have read the article before making your assumptions.
    Do you realize it’s been proven that greater availability and use of condoms is consistently associated with higher (not lower) HIV infection rates? The Church desires to treat persons holistically, whereas public health policy treats the problem and has the lowering of statistics as its end goal; not the spiritual and emotional well-being of the people. As Michael Czerny points out, “A condom is more than a piece of latex; it also makes a statement about the meaning of life.” Have you thought about what the use of the condom would do to our attitudes toward sex? Do you truly know and understand the Church’s teachings on the evil of contraception and why the Church teaches what She does?
    Jim, I would encourage you to read the article and begin to rid yourself of your ignorance toward the Catholic Church.

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