Every once in awhile, the Washington Post editorial page gets something right and we must acknowledge it. Today is one of those times. In a editorial titled, “Condom Sense: Pope Benedict XVI is wrong,” the Pope gets lambasted and deservedly so. Pope Benedict XVI is wrong on condoms. He is so wrong that he puts lives in danger:
While on a flight to Cameroon on Tuesday to begin a weeklong journey through Africa, Pope Benedict XVI said, “You can’t resolve [the AIDS epidemic] with the distribution of condoms. On the contrary, it increases the problem.” In a perfect world, people would abstain from having sex until they were married or would be monogamous in committed relationships. But the world isn’t perfect — and neither is Pope Benedict’s pronouncement on the effectiveness of condoms in the battle against HIV/AIDS. The evidence says so.
Are condoms foolproof protection against infection by HIV, which causes AIDS? No. Sometimes they break, and sometimes people put them on incorrectly. Still, doctors on the front lines of the fight against the AIDS epidemic established long ago that the use of condoms greatly diminishes the transmission of HIV, the cause of a disease that has no cure. That the pope chose to question the value of condoms in fighting the nearly 28-year-old scourge while heading to the continent whose people are most affected by it is troubling. According to UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, sub-Saharan Africa is the epidemic’s center, with 67 percent of the world’s 32.9 million people with HIV and with 75 percent of all AIDS deaths. Heterosexual intercourse is the “driving force” of the epidemic.
The pope’s comment was so alarming that a spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry said, “We consider that these statements endanger public health policies and the imperative to protect human life.”
The pope, the leader of the Catholic Church, violates the “imperative to protect human life.” Benedict is dangerous. Admittedly, I’m not the best Catholic, but I think deliberately endangering the lives of others flies in the face of everything Jesus Christ actually taught.
Pope Benedict XVI is wrong.