"[AIDS] is a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems," said the Pope on a flight to the start of his first visit to Africa – home to 70 percent of all people living with HIV/AIDs.
Two articles. One an opinion piece and one more of a traditional news story. Together they sum up the situation pretty well.
"LISBON, Mar 23 (IPS) - Political leaders, activists, scientists and even Catholic bishops all joined in the chorus of criticism against the stance taken by Pope Benedict with respect to the use of condoms to curb the impact of HIV/AIDS in Africa."
"What sort of tormented, clenched God must you believe in to cause you to openly promote ignorance and death for the sake of power and ideology and fear -- always, always a deep fear -- of love and sex and basic human connection?" To read more from Mark Morford's comments go here....
But my guess is the Holy Father is likely not alone in his views, he's just the most visible Christian on the planet with those views. So it seems fair that he gets to take the heat.
Many squawk that the Pope has freedom of speech. Yes, he does. And so do the rest of us to oppose his dangerous misinformation. The scientifically well documented ability of condoms to prevent the spread of AIDS is not a religious issue, it is a scientific one. The Pope may be qualified to comment on the former but not the latter.
In most countries freedom of speech ends where it creates a real immediate and present danger of physical harm to another. For example, one does not have the right to falsely yell "Fire" in a crowded movie theatre.
This is what the Pope has done - and I fear for the safety and lives of all those who will heed his false alarm.