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Saturday, March 21

Write a note to the Pope

AIDS has extracted a heavy toll in the developing world and especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. Let’s look at the numbers: Over 42 million people are living with HIV/AIDS, and 74% of the infected are in sub-Saharan Africa. By the year 2010, Ethiopia, Nigeria, China, India, and Russia with 40% of the world's population will add 50 to 75 million infected people to the worldwide pool of HIV sufferers. According to the previously mentioned site, there are 14,000 new infections every day, 95% of which in developing countries. The young are paying a heavy price as the UN estimates that the number of orphans exceeds 14 million while by 2010 it will have reached 25 million.




Within this setting, last week, Pope Benedict XVI, while making his first visit to Africa, re-emphasized the Catholic Church’s position on the use of condoms: "The problem of HIV/AIDS cannot be overcome with mere slogans. If the soul is lacking, if Africans do not help one another, the scourge cannot be resolved by distributing condoms; quite the contrary, we risk worsening the problem." Needless to say, the reaction was strong.

Many agreed with the Pope. They say that condoms alone can not solve the problem that has reached endemic dimensions in certain countries. A change of practices, intensified sex education, an emphasis on monogamy, eradication of certain traditions and dispelling myths are necessary steps for alleviating the situation. What’s more, they have been proven to be the right steps as one can see in Uganda.

However, the second part of his statement has drawn heavy criticism. Major newspaper editorials spoke of an unscientific statement, a myth, a scare tactic, that should not have been employed by the head of the Catholic church. The Vatican immediately issued a statement to explain that condoms probably give a false sense of security and therefore abstinence was the only way of prevention. Rebecca Hodes, of the Treatment Action Campaign in South Africa, answered that opposition to condoms conveys that religious dogma is more important than the lives of Africans. The Pontiff emphasized that abstinence and fidelity, not condoms, were the means to tackle the epidemic.

So, would you like to drop a line to the Pontiff? To agree or disagree, to make a point or ask a question? Do so in your usual polite and diplomatic way! At the end of the week I will forward a sample of comments to his Holiness.

119 comments:

KSVL2404 said...

I think it's real easy for anybody to just go over there and talk about what they should be doing. I feel that just claiming condoms are the answer, is just crazy. Africa needs more help then just that. There whole way of thinking needs to be adjusted to practicing abstinence, and education about the disease and sex. But I feel that people just go over there and talk about what needs to be done then just down right going over there and getting it done. The epidemic is becoming harder and harder to contain and the country really needs the help of their fellow nations around the world to try to stop this epidemic. Something dramatic needs to happen NOW!!!! Hire people to gop over their and put our plans into action!!

XblackXbutterfly said...

It's not completely fair to say that if the soul is lacking, that this epidemic can't be contained. It probably can't with just condoms but that is not the only fact that the pope should have looked at. You've got to think about all their religious practices and the myths that have been passed down from generation to generation such as having sex with a virgin will cure AIDS.. it's what they believe but with accurate and extensive sex education. Not only do they need that be they will need people from all over to help distribute medicine among other supplies. Volunteers, hired people, anyone. Africa needs help and sitting down talking about it, won't do anything for them.

DaLi said...

Concerning the epidemic proportion of HIV/AIDS cases in Sub-Saharan Africa, I agree condoms are not the sole solution to this problem. Sex education, including teaching the practices of monogamy and abstinence, and dispelling ancient myths and tribal traditions related to promiscuous sex have to go hand-in-hand with safer sex practices. I use the term safer sex practices to refer to the use of condoms during intercourse. Condoms can break or can be faulty from the manufacturer, or may come off during intercourse. Monogamy and abstinence are not too much to ask of a country that seems bent on self annihilation if they continue on their current path.

On that note, they could combine sex education, safer sex practices (condoms), behavior modification related to promiscuous sex practices, with blood testing of couples wishing to wed. Such testing would need to extend over six months to a year of tests to ensure both parties are free of HIV/AIDS prior to their marriage. This would ensure their marriage and the children of this marriage, along with generations to come, would have a chance at a healthier life.

Finally, as to the claim the Pope is merely using this health crisis to promulgate his own religious beliefs rather than be truly concerned for the welfare of the victims of this tragic situation, it is completely absurd to expect the Pope, or any other religious leader who has devoted their life to their religion, to uphold any belief or tradition that contradicts their religious practices or belief system. The fact that the Pope holds true to his religious principles in no way diminishes his sympathy or desire to help HIV/AIDS sufferers in Sub-Saharan Africa or any other country.

skywritter54 said...

I would say that although the pope was correct in his statement of the problem of HIV/AIDs when he stated that this disease cannot be overcome with condoms, the use of condoms would definitely help alleviate the spread of this disease.

But giving condoms will by no means be risking the worsening of the problem. It won’t make it better, but every little thing helps. To make this statement shows that you may not be totally aware of how AIDs is transmitted to others.

Sex is not the only means of passing AIDs, even though it may be the primary means. You are correct in stating that the people should recognize how prevalent the problem is and help each other.But in order to help each other, they must know what AIDs is and how it’s transmitted.

You cannot tell if you have AIDs by how you look, therefore you must stress the fact that everyone should regularly be tested. But by no means will giving condoms be worsening the problem.

The first step must be education. You first must know what this disease is, how it's transmitted and then be given the necessary steps to help stop getting and transmitting this disease.

I think it’s totally unreal to expect people to stop having sex and the spreading of this disease has increased the most in the young people.

After educating them, people should be tested. Like I said before, you can’t look at a person and see that they have AIDS. A procedure has to be in place to have everyone tested on a regular basis. You also need to explain the steps necessary to take to help stop getting and spreading this disease.

krisie2kyute said...

First off, I don't understand why people are "riding" the Pope over this issue. It's simply how he (and the Catholic church feels). The pope is not God; he is only human. I understand that he is somewhat a celebrity, but what he says is definately not always going to be politicaly correct. At the same time, he is a figure many people look to for guidance, which is why I don't think his comment was takenin the right context.

In a perfect world everyone would get married before sex and no one would have the "other" partner. But it is not a perfect world, whichis why I don't believe the pope or the Catholic church should advise people to not wear condoms. In Africa there are man traditions and cultures, and some of those traditions are what spread the AIDs virus. Because not everyone is Catholic or even Christian these people should be educated about thviruses and diseases that are associate with unsafe sex. Condoms are definately a way (with education) to reduce the spreading of diseases. So in that sense, I don't agree with what the pope said.

*V@N3* said...

I don’t think that condoms are going to be the solution to the epidemic because they have a different mindset because of myths and religious practices that they believe in. The best way to start fighting the epidemic is to begin by teaching abstinence especially to the younger generation so that they can begin changing the way the epidemic is going. They definitely should make people get tested and they should be able to have easy access to it and teach them ways on how not to spread it. Ultimately it will take time in order to stop the epidemic but there is still hope

Redder said...

Ok my family is very religous and all that good stuff but peronally I dont think that the Pope himself can stop this epidemic. It has grow nto a point were there is no looking back. I dont know how the world can tackle this problem casue the only real way is to do what the Pope said but then if they stop having sex then there are to many views and possibilites that could happen. I think if they do stop then people are going to come up with a crazy idea that the people are not giving chances to new life and a whole new cycle will happen. If they dont stop then this will continue. If they find a cure which i think is very doubtful then i think that more diseases will come upon the after effect of the cure cause people know that there is always something bad going to come out of medicine and there is always a side effect. I Personally think that is the downfall of the world, we rely to much on medicine. I know the Pope is trying to help the casue but i really do think it is to late for it to change unless God himself ris of the disease but I dont think thats going to happen anytime soon.

Redder said...

I really do feel sorry for the people in Africa and people going through this. It is unfortunate that the plague has to hit there and all but i think it really does have to do with social problems. Some people just dont know what is right from wrong and do whatever they want. There are to many possibilites that will not change all thos peoples mind. It is a lost casue for me personally and will take a LONG time to fix this mess.

Nurse73 said...

The emphasis on safe sex should be universal....especially in poorer places like Africa, Ethiopia...ect. I don't think that condoms are the answer/solution to the problem. I believe that a combination of detailed sex education, monogamy, clinics, and the use of contraceptives could lower alot of sexually transmitted diseases that are easily attained unprotected. Its unfortunate that HIV/Aides is at its highest and growing all because people don't follow simple and easy precautions. I also believe if there are clinics to provide free care and medication/contraceptives to the poor, the epidemic could be stabilized or even decrease.

On the contrary, if people continue to act without reasoning as being unprotected sexually, then that person is liable and responsible for that act....not the rest of the world. Ignorance does not pay off.

Get-Me-A-RedBull said...

First of all if there are 14,000 new infections every day condoms are obviously not the answer. They don’t even protect you from STD’S. There needs to be a bigger emphasis on SEX EDUCATION and it needs to be readily available. I mean this stuff needs to be taught by a person, not from a stupid computer internet program. All the internet learning will come after they’ve developed some understanding of sex, STD’s and other basics. As Holy is the Pope is, no one man will cure this problem by himself “There needs to be a team effort”. Who knows maybe everybody’s new favorite Messiah, Mr. Obama can provide a new approach to assist with this problem.

Sandy6 said...

When people or organizations go to Africa or other countries, and start spouting words off about wearing condoms, the audience probably isn’t listening much because they’ve heard it all before. But say if half the people or organizations that visit the country stay a while or always have somebody there to be of assistance, they’d think that maybe these people are actually trying to help us. If you don’t have any plans of seeing it through then you might as well not bother. Because the one day you’re there and the next you aren’t, it’s like you were never there in the first place. Condoms alone will never solve the problems because the condom could be defective and then, what happens? People anywhere should be aware of all the risks that come with HIV and AIDS which the government, hospitals, and schools should be able to provide that kind of information. As to what the Pontiff said about abstinence and fidelity, sure everyone should keep to their own partners but what if their partners have a disease that doesn’t help at all. And about abstinence, what about women that actually want to have kids? Guess they won’t have any of their own. Great advice man!

Court said...
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Court said...

I don't understand what other position a leader of a church is expected to take in the media's eyes. Could you imagine the Pope going to Africa promoting condom use? I have a strong feeling the media would be all over that one too...it is a lose lose situation for the Pope when it comes to the media and attention from society on this issue. At least he is strong enough to take a stand that is controversial yet needed in the mess of today's world. I actually agree with the position the Pope took. Abstinence and fidelity is truly the only certain solution. Although condoms may help, it doesn’t cure the problem. Are we looking for a quick fix or a permanent solution? Instead of pouring money into condoms, wouldn’t it be much more efficient to put it all towards sex education, testing before people get married, and promoting abstinence?

steven.majdecki said...

I believe that condoms alone will not prevent the spread of Aids or other std's at that. They need to start targeting kids at a young age and educating them about how important it is to practice safe sex. I know that some of the traditions they practice in Africa prevent the practicing of safe sex but as time changes they need to get with the program to prevent the spread of diseases. The need to improve the way they practice medicine over there and get tested at least every 6 months for aids, its a simple blood test. Condoms can only do so much, thin rubber is easy to break, so they should consider abstinence and when they do find a partner get tested and share the results with each other.

Fundakat319 said...

I totally agree with what ksvl2404 is saying in the favct that just about anyone can go over to another country and preach so to speak to the people about what they feel like they should be doing to make things easier or better, hell even men and women also men and women in college sometimes even high school or younger can travel abroad just to show their faces and speak on their behalf of themselves, their church, or any other organization they recognize themselves with. but regardless of what a high authority figure may say the people are going to maybe take the advice into consideration but as well use their own will and knowledge and do what they want. so you can never say that condoms or abstinence is the only answer because realistically some are going to find their own answer, right or wrong. always enforce the education of course don't ever give up on that because there is always going to be someone that r4ally feels their future can be changed from a little bit of advice.

Millz617 said...

like many others have said, condoms alone wont contain nor save a whole region from the spread of hiv/aids... intense pressure needs to be enforced on sex education. condoms will be a good asset on this mission but it alone wont stand a chance... lack of education and cleaniness only makes the situation harder. proper procedures like those met in america can help in africa. the building of new more improved health clinics and hospitals can help. sex-ed courses in school can help the younger childeren and inform them of the dangers of unprotected intercourse. showing people the aftermath of aids and what it does to the body can scare many an open the eyes of many. i hope change comes for them soon and that trully concerned great minds will come together to help releave africa and the rest of the world of this life consuming disease

delshown23 said...

It is sad to see the things that are going on in Africa. With the whole AIDS thing added to it makes it even worse. I think its great that the Pope was able to re-emphasize the use of condoms in Catholic Church's on uses of condoms. The true fact is that there needs to be more education on not only how to use them but why its important to wait. I know its easier said then done but in time i think it will pay off.

thor177 said...

Unfortunately, Africa is composed of many states that are still living in the dark ages. Many people in Africa do not understand that having sex can kill them. Condoms are just one way to limit a persons exposure to the HIV virus, but much more needs to be done. In the eyes of the Catholic church, converting people to Christianity can help in the fight against HIV/Aids by changing the way people look at having sex. But equating that this conversion is the only way to cure Aids is untrue. People need to understand the consequences of their actions. Education about the disease as well as changes in lifestyle are the best way to help the individual escape contracting HIV. Abstinance is foolproof, but not practical, especially for young people. Showing them how to protect themselves against the virus is the best way to prevent the disease.

Krys said...

There has been talk about the massive numbers of people who are infected with HIV/AIDS for many years. But talking and hearing about and actually seeing it first hand are two different things. I do agree with the pope that more action should be taken to help these people out more then to just give them condoms and send them on their way. But you can not just expect people who have religious practices and different way of life then we do to just stop what they are doing and change because the pope said so. The people with these diseases need to be educated about ways to stop the numbers of infected to not get any higher. These people live a way different life then you and me and especially the pope. You have to understand the people and their lifestyle before you can help them. Saying “Stop what you are doing it is wrong and you will not do it anymore!” is wrong to do with anyone. Especially a society you hardly know. I believe that pope is just trying to help, even though he is ignorant to there lifestyles.

medina said...

The HIV/ AIDS is an epidemic waiting to strict the world. With the infection rates rising uncontrollable in this country, a severe action should be taken into consideration. Condoms are a great thing, they can protect from a variety of STDS. In a continent like Africa where the people are so close in their traditions and culture, a more extreme action should be taken in than to just provide them with condoms. Without a cure for AIDS the infection rates are going to keep rising, unless powerful and intense education measurements about the consequences of sex with an emphasizes in HIV/AIDS nothing will change. The remote cities and villages in Africa are the ones in most needed help, because they are extremely unaware about what it is happing in today’s world.

rvrview3 said...

its not a prolem at all for religous leaders to go talk to the infected and try to make a change the problem lies within if they dont wanna use the condoms then people cannot simply make them i really dont think it can be contained or kept in one specific area that would be the same as isolation or a quarantine situation. some people in third world nations just believe different things you can flood the countries with all types of things condoms birth control but in reality its up to them to use it and encourage everyone to use it to cut down on the epidemic the pope maybe right but in sense hes wrong people are going to do what ever and they have been so why stop.

NotOfThisWorld said...

I do believe in the statement that a condom is a false since of security and abstinence is the answer, but I do not believe putting an end to this epidemic is as easy as someone telling them a solution, believing it, and then acting towards this solution. Actions follow beliefs; people in Africa have a strong belief that having intercourse with a virgin will cure aids. I believe more than just a statement will have to be presented. People are perishing because of lack of knowledge. I believe it will take years of education on sex and disease to change these beliefs. The more the African population learns about sex and disease; the less the disease will spread and will change slowly from generation to generation as the knowledge is passed down.

ianschmidt said...

The comment of Pope Benedict XVI about the soul lacking, or the failure of Africans to help one another was as I understood it inflammatory. This is a scientific problem of how to eradicate a disease that has the power to affect every human on earth including the Pope. The soul has no function in the conversation pertaining to aids. It may be this comment is inflammatory because the premise is humanitarian aid wrapped in spiritual and moral authority. Education and birth control are keys to solving the spread of disease both of which the Catholic church are at odds with.

cesca23 said...

I think that definitely being more careful is the way to be. That should help reduce AIDs by wearing condoms and being more protective. But in regards to abstinence that is the best answer. Back in the day when people did not sleep around with many people this wasn't a concern. If we can just think what is more important and consider the consequences before we decide to just sleep around. If people then decide that they do want to have sex with someone I would get tested first because I am not letting anyone play around with my life and that one night can ruin my whole life. In conclusion, If at all possible abstinence is the best answer until you get married or until you have a serious long lasting relationship with the person

Sickabyss said...

The big problems over there are the tribal myths like "Having sex with a virgin cures AIDS". Somebody tell them that is absurd. Sex education is the easiest way to solve it. Will someone realize this and do it? Hopefully, but probably not. Most of this has to do with, in my mind, publicity. They are not acting like they actually want to help these people; they are doing it for themselves. If they want to help the AIDS victims, they need to teach sex education or the epidemic of AIDS will keep spreading until everyone there has it. Will Sex Education completely solve the problem? No, but it’s a good starting place.

smmy589 said...

I agree with everyone who has stated that condoms are not the only answer. The African citizens need to be educated in sexually transmitted diseases, and need they also need to be taught that abstinence is the only way to guarantee that you will not get an STD.

iLOVEpink said...

I do agree with the pope, and I believe that what he said was taken out of context by most. He is right, Africa needs to come together to fight the battle of AIDS, they have so many traditions and rituals that help to distribute the diseases HIV/AIDS. Condoms alone cannot prevent HIV/AIDS they are not one hundred percent effective. Africa needs more; such as, sex education, more knowledge of the diseases that they are spreading. Frequent testing can also be an effective way to prevent these diseases. I think that once Africa is more educated on their situation, it is most likely to decrease the death rate. (due to HIV/AIDS) Abstinence will be very effective in the sub Sahara African Community, even though HIV/AIDS can still be passed through open wounds, and the use of dirty needles. If the people are aware then it is always preventable. AWARENESS IS THE ANSWER.

Ralsgal said...

I believe the Pope was speaking from his beliefs and is the Leader and example of his religion. Yes he was right that condoms are not going to solve this problem with the aids epidemic, but sex education does need to be spread through out Africa. Campaigns, and ads, and people traveling to villages to spread the word on not spreading this disease needs to happen quickly, or we will have a whole generation wiped out by this disease in Africa. People need to be educated, if we start with the young and they can spread the word to their parents and friends maybe something can be done. We do need to stop talking and put into action, but who is responsible for this? Are we to send people in an economy like todays? I think that the educated in Africa needs to set up programs, and disperse the information. I don't know how, but something desparately does need to be done and quickly.

Edwin Kim said...

I grew up in a very strong religious and I personally don’t think the Pope can stop the epidemic. I think stop having sex is impossible. This is where sex education comes in to play. I guess I can say it’s more like HIV and STD than just sex. I strongly believe that condoms along will not prevent the spread of Aids. And African Governments need to really think about some type of hospital system. Well, not only the African Governments, but the Governments throughout the world should think about this mater since it seems like Africa is the factory of Aids.

southerngirl067 said...

if something isnt done fast then it will get way out of hand. condoms will not solve anything at all, condoms arent always reliable because there are always a handful that have a problem with them whether it has a hole in it or whatever the case may be. and if someone has an std it doesnt even prevent that. sex education might help but it definitely wont be the the answer either, they are going to have sex even with the risks and outcomes talked about in sex education classes. i kno a person that sex education did not phase them and now they are living a miserable life. if they do find a cure for the hiv/aids then great but at this point in time nothing can stop the spread. it is really sad that there is not a cure and that it is spreading as fast as it is.

Go Bucs said...

AIDS at the beginning of the 20th Century it was believed by many, including the United States Patent Office, that there was nothing else to invent. Now, 100 years later at the beginning of the new millenium the ancient Egyptian philosopher is more relevant, "there is nothing new under the Sun". While HIV/AIDS may be a new disease, there is nothing new about a novel epidemic, which can potentially or actually decimate a population. In the late middle ages, the Black, now known as the Bubonic Plague, swept through Europe killing virtually half the population. It was introduced by a single or small group of rats that came to Italy abroad a trading ship from what is now Turkey. Small Pox transmitted by trade goods from the Hudson Bay Company wiped out entire Native American tribes. There are other examples of diseases accidentally introduced to a population that had no genetic immunity to them. Not to mention NASA's fear of an unbeatable super virus from outer space. Now as in previous diseases, one of the dangers of HIV/AIDS is not only in its plague proportions but also in the almost superstitious misunderstanding of the virus itself. In the treatment of all illness, it is necessary to understand the emotional, economic, psychological and sometimes even political impact that is brought about by the disease. This is particularly true with a disease that is as devastating and heretofore misunderstood as HIV/AIDS. AIDS is the punishment of God on sinners. AIDS is a plot by the CIA and the South African Government to wipe out the population of black Africa. AIDS is the result of medical experimentation during the development of the polio vaccine employing the use of rieces monkeys as guinea pigs. AIDS is this, AIDS is that; AIDS is the end of the world. There is nothing new under the Sun. As we enter a new millenium, we are still controlled by prejudice, fear and superstition. Giving education in school on AIDS and Condoms might help the people from getting it.

cashmere said...

Dear Sir,
In all due respect, thousands of people every day are contracting AIDS. Some are considered educated, some are not. This disease is killing people around the world. Education, and yes condoms, is integral to prevention. In conjunction to education about this devistating disease, the most responsible path is of course abstinence.

He who is without sin cast the first stone...

Thank you.

Athena Smith said...

Just a few comments about the situation in Africa. Unfortunately even the educated are falling victims to the disease. In a recent interview I watched the minister of Education in Mozambique lamenting over losing "skilled labor" like professors, teachers and yes, doctors.
Please do read INTERVIEW-Over 1,300 Mozambique teachers die yearly of AIDS
In this article you will read among other things that "More than one-sixth of Mozambique's 9,000 teachers are dying of HIV/AIDS each year, lowering the quality of education and jeopardising future development."
Think about yourselves. You are all educated. Do you always behave in the most mature manner?

A hospital system can not operate without doctors and nurses. There are not enough locals. From abroad, few are willing to go. In Lesotho for example there are 6 pediatricians to serve 750,000 children. If you read FIGHT AGAINST AIDS-PEDIATRICIANS WANTED you will see that doctors in Africa simply choose to migrate to other advanced countries. The infamous Brain-Drain.

Athena Smith said...

We also have to deal with politics. Medication is way too expensive for many countries. So we have "denial" as a way of dealing with the problem.In 2000 South African President Thabo Mbeki became a champion for a small minority of medical and lay opinion which said that HIV does not cause Aids. And if it does not, why waste resources on medication?
You may read the BBC story Mbeki and the Aids sceptics

Athena Smith said...

Finally, it is refreshing to see how many of you see grey areas in the matter while mainstream media as usually do not. The result is conflict and perpetutations of misunderstandings. Please read Paris youths in row over condoms

TOOTIE said...

What I think about what’s going on in in regards to the high percentage of HIV/AIDS cases in Sub-Saharan Africa condoms isn’t just the answer. They need sex education, schools, and then products like “condoms. You can’t think that a visit or even a year spent in Africa that you could make such a heavy opinion about what they needs in their lives to solve such a serious on growing problem as HIV/AIDS .The person who really knows what they need is the one who is living it. If we want a solution go to Africa and instead of others who really have no clued what they need speak, let the ones themselves speak (no added word) try to educate them enough so they will have the knowledge to answer the questions at hand. It’s easy to tell people in Texas how to live when you live in Florida .In contrast, the pope has been living his life by his beliefs and views and such a cushy confined lifestyle because he doesn’t have to experience what the people in Africa experience on a day to day basis. Start educating yourself before you attempt to educate others.

BearsAreNaturesLions said...

I am not a catholic, and I am not a big fan of the catholic church.

Having said that, I applaud the pope for upholding his beliefs regardless of how unpopular they may seem.

If the pope had endorsed condoms, I don't think it would make much difference anyways.

I am not sure what the answer is, it seems almost impossible to halt what is happening there. :(

mellymel06 said...

I think it is a long road ahead to change a whole society and culture. It can be done by educating the people. Lots of research should be done to come up with the best solution. It will be trial and error but if the pope was really cared and dedicate to his people he will do anything to help solve the issues

trinity said...

Your Holiness,

I must tell you to start that I am an agnostic. Is there a God? I really do not know. I hope so, and I hope He is a loving and kind God. I hope He is the kind of God that would hate to see His people suffer. I hope He is a God that would want to save His people from such a horrendous disease. I hope He would forgive them for using a condom to save themselves, and their partners and their future children. I would hope that He would see the bigger picture. Maybe He does want His people to be abstinent or monogamous, and perhaps that is the right answer in the long run. But in the short run, His people are dying and suffering. You can help give them a chance to live and a chance to learn His ways. As I understand it, the greatest sin would be for one of His children to die unsaved. If they are dead, they will never have the chance to follow a better path. You have the power to pass life onto millions of people and show them the loving side of God and His church.

Yours in Peace and Love,

Carrie Hagemeyer
Hillsborough Community College
Tampa, Florida

*(Stefany)* said...

First of all, I agree with the Pope on the first part of his statement, condoms are not going to overcome this disease. The best thing to do right now to try to stop this epidemic is to have more sex education. People should be taught to stay abstinence till marriage but they should also be taught of all the ways to have safe sex, especially at an early age. It is going to be hard and it is going to take time to do this, but it is the best shot we got right now. We cannot stop people from having sex, but we can show them how to protect themselves and everyone around them!

!SmAshleyBaxterBaby! said...
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!SmAshleyBaxterBaby! said...

I think a foundation of education and prevention methods need to be enforced and practiced. Condoms will help prevent HIV/AIDS, but only to a certain percentage. Passing out condoms is almost inviting people to fortake in sexual activities and point them in the direction that the use of condoms solve the spread. It lacks providing the risk factors. Abstinence is the only 100% course of action to guarentee no infection. I have to agree with the Pontiff the absence of sex plus being faithful to abstinence is the one certain way of ending the increasing numbers of HIV/AIDS positive humans and casualties thereof across the world, not just in South Saharan Africa. The resolution seems to dwell on the signifigance of education. Through knowledge and curing myths individuals will begin to realize the truth in this epidemic. Programs should be available throughout different regions addressing this is a lingering problem. The growth in number of the infected is only getting increasingly worse with time, as predicted by professionals. Up-roar is the first-step to change (notice of an issue), it seems that is what is occuring, diligence and persistence (lasting effort) is important to reconstruction and a permanent solution. It is absurd to slightly dream that all persons are simple not going to engage in intercourse, yet advising testing prior to would be a wise choice. If we do not try and contain the pressuring widespread of HIV/AIDS now, will it eventually be to late?

Ms.Krissy said...

Of course we know that the people in Africa are not as educated as us here in the United States so saying that if the soul is lacking then the epidemic can not be contained was a very ignorant comment. The African traditions are so strong that they do not even realize the HIV/Aids disease. Its not like they are being taught that everyday in school like us over here in America. Now for them to realize the severity of this situation, their whole life would have to be changed which will take a lot of time. Some of these Africans will, in the end, probably be killed if they tell their husbands they want to use condoms all of a sudden because of their culture. So many people say yes we need to do this and that but then nothing ends up getting done. These people need more than to just be told what to do because they have been living this life for many many years. But in conclusion, we need to focus on what their culture is and that it is very very important to them especially the men and it will definitely take tim to sort out everything and make it right.

luckydawg said...
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luckydawg said...

As far as the Aids/Hiv epidemic in Africa. Condoms won't cure it but could help prevent others from becoming infected by the fatal disease. But the church is right that abstinence is the only real way to prevent the spread of Aids. I don't think the Pope meant any harm in saying that condoms will fix the problem but that it would help prevent spreading the disease more. The Pope should have stated that they need to practice abstinence and anyone with the disease should definetly be abstinent to prevent transfering the disease. Hopefully someday Scientist will find a cure to the Aids/Hiv epidemic. Until then the only way to be safe is abstinence.

China said...

I feel that providing more education regarding safe sex, should assist with the huge population of HIV/AIDS in Africa. Once this education has been taught, then test the individual of there knowledge. Also, test the individuals to see If he/she comes back negative or positive. Maybe those who has not been infected can be saved. Some people maybe blind when it comes to education regarding sex. To me education is always the key in success.

I feel that the statement made “ Condoms is not the answer” was not an intelligent remark. At some point in time condoms should be addressed.

Nilo said...

My problem with this is simply that abstinence is unrealistic. I hate to break the news but people are going to continue to engage in sexual relationships, it is just human nature. I think the distribution of condoms is a very good idea. It will not solve the problem, but it is a start. Education is an important factor. This is a country lead by tradition and myths that have been passed on generation to generation and education is important. The people in Africa need to know what they are dealing with and instead of saying that the soul is lacking, which with all honesty has nothing to do with the issue, it would be a good idea to reeducate the population. People in Africa really need all the help they can get, in all aspects, they need health services and so many other things that we take for granted. What is really sad about this situation is that as I am tiping down, children are dying, innocent kids should not pay the consecuences of the grownups's mistakes.

BearsAreNaturesLions said...
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Styefn89 said...

Although I agree that abstinence until marriage and fidelity are extremely important (in every culture) and would be a large step toward tackling this epidemic, I do not think most Africans are going to readily accept these concepts. A great number of the African people have grown up with certain traditions that will not easily pass away. Obviously, education is urgently required to change this mindset. Hopefully this need for education will become a reality one day very soon; but I believe that in the mean time, we need to do anything and everything possible to lessen the spread of this awful disease – including the provision of contraception.

rkole4 said...

Just condoms cannot stop a disease... Especially if they break. The first sentence the Pope said was true.
I am offended by "if the soul is lacking." I know what the Pope was talking about when he said that, and the soul is not the issue trying to be resolved here. I am a Bible believer, and I go by what it says. Listen, at times we all sin: Rom. 3:23 "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." That includes "his holiness"... We all have ups and downs in life, and at times we feel like giving up. And I'm guessing that a lot of the people in Africa don't even grasp who God is. And in that fact, the soul would mean nothing to them in talking about AIDS. Education is what they need. If they can understand what causes disease and suffering, they would more than likely cut back in their sex-life.

Don't just talk about it, prepare yourself, or someone else, to go and teach them! Time is ticking!

wissam said...

Pope was right in his statement about the problem of HIV/AIDS because that disease cannot be defeat with condoms. But we should know in this statement we have to take a risk because the condoms are not saving for 100%. And I know sex is not an only way for AIDS because if you take a blood from someone contain AIDS so he will give to the other one take the blood has a AIDS. In my opinion we need to teach people what is disease in school, and how to keep our self far from the HIV/DISA. Second people should not have sex with anyone because maybe this person has HIV/AIDS so we need to limit this kind of relationship.

flyfromtheinside said...

first of all there needs to be more education about it cuz i know i barely learned anything about it. the more education there is, the more awaremess we'll have about HIV/AIDS and how to be safe. as many others have said i dont belive condoms will solve the problem but i do believe it can make a huge impact in the numbers. hopefully with more education on the use of condoms we'll see less and less people getting infected.

Anthony said...

The Pope is not a man. He's a symbol. A legacy. And, frankly, this kind of behavior is nothing short of shameful.

To say that "the soul is lacking" is to betray everything the Pope represents. There's a holiness in man. A shared code, you could say. A shared history, and a shared suffering. The same needs, the same wants -- the same everything, deep down. There's an immortal triumph, a heart, a soul, a common origin. Whether you want to call it God, luck, fate, humanity, morality, or anything else is irrelevant. What matters is the strength. That indomitable light of the soul, and all it does for each and every one of us, regardless of race, color, creed, or anything you could think of.

And that's what the Pope means. That's what the Pope is, in his purest form. An embodiment of that holy spirit. A nurturer, and a guide.

So to say that the "soul is lacking" is absolutely ghastly. Pope Benedict, their souls are just the same as yours. As all of ours. Exactly. They truly are one and the same.

These people are suffering. Horribly. More and more of them, every day, falling victim, rows just tumbling down like dominoes. They're sick. The whole society. And they do want to get well. That's just human nature. Would these people reject prosperity? Do they like being sick? Could they really be that depraved?

No, Your Holiness. They're not. They're just like you and me. But they have so very little. And it's up to us to help. To show them the way. To guide them along the right path. It's not a lack of "soul" that pains them. It's a lack of opportunity. Money. Doctors. Education.

Yes, condoms alone are not enough. But they are one hell of a step in the right direction. If we can dispel old myths and help install a system of safe sex, it would do a world of good.

Every little bit counts. And to have someone like the Pope denounce such a huge step forward? It's ghastly. Absolutely ghastly. The Pope is a man of God, a symbol of hope, and an avatar of the soul. So spread the good news! Bring enlightenment, and learning. You can't be reckless. Can't make such ambiguous, inflammatory remarks. It's demeaning to the position of Pope. It's demeaning to the soul. And it's demeaning to all of us.

Valrico Gee said...

I just couldn't find the comment made by the Pope to be a statement of 'a religious dogma' that cares more about religion than the lives of Africans. While the Catholic Church does hold high standards regarding birth control, it seems obvious of the concern the Pope has for the people of Africa.
I'm really tired of the media taking such 'unscientific' statements and running them in the ground. It seems as if anything that has to do with morality has become a dirty word.
I believe the statement made was correct. Mere words will not help. The African people have GOT to change. They have GOT to help each other. Condoms alone have been proven to not be the answer. Social change, dispelling the myths, and education -across the board- from within and without this great country, is the only way to stop this horrible disease.
People -not just Africans- are notorious for taking one small piece of the puzzle and forcing it into place. Condoms would be that small piece of the puzzle. There are many more pieces need to complete this puzzle. And they are not coming just from Africa. The pieces need to come from North America, Canada, South America, China ..., the world!
It's time we stop picking apart the effort and just start working towards the cure.

Valrico Gee said...

I just couldn't find the comment made by the Pope to be a statement of 'a religious dogma' that cares more about religion than the lives of Africans. While the Catholic Church does hold high standards regarding birth control, it seems obvious of the concern the Pope has for the people of Africa.
I'm really tired of the media taking such 'unscientific' statements and running them in the ground. It seems as if anything that has to do with morality has become a dirty word.
I believe the statement made was correct. Mere words will not help. The African people have GOT to change. They have GOT to help each other. Condoms alone have been proven to not be the answer. Social change, dispelling the myths, and education -across the board- from within and without this great country, is the only way to stop this horrible disease.
People -not just Africans- are notorious for taking one small piece of the puzzle and forcing it into place. Condoms would be that small piece of the puzzle. There are many more pieces needed to complete this puzzle. And they are not coming just from Africa. The pieces need to come from North America, Canada, South America, China ..., the world!
It's time we stop picking apart the effort and just start working towards the cure.

ghandi G said...

I believe that the use of condoms should help stop the horrible disease of AIDS in Africa. It will not stop it completely but it will surely help them from catching AIDS. Africa needs more help than just receiving condoms. The whole country is plagued with this horrible disease and i believe we as a nation should try our best to help them cure all the hundreds of people with AIDS disease. The pope disagrees and believes that condoms will do nothing to help Africa with AIDS but i do not believe that. Condoms surely wont stop them from getting AIDS but it will certainly help them wont it. I mean it wont hurt them using condoms it will only help them. But in the end I believe that Africa is a very poor country and the United States and all the other richer countries should try their best to help find a cure for AIDS and help save thousands of lives.

Lester said...

I believe that the use of condoms is only an aid in the endless prevention measures that need to be taught and enforced. As countless others have stated, one of the most powerful and beneficial strategies to perform is the mass communication of sex education and the education of HIV/AIDS. Without a base education of what is going on around them and what they can do to stop or prevent it, millions of innocent people will continue to suffer and die. Even if the use of condoms only makes a small impact on the amount of new contractions of HIV, that impact is a small stepping stone that must be taken to further help these people. In many cultures and religions, such practices as these will be shunned but we cannot deny them the opportunity to gain the knowledge they deserve. If these people are never given this opportunity, they will never have the chance to learn.

However, I think I cannot completely criticize the Pope for his comment because I must remember he is representing the Catholic religion and expressing those views in which he most strongly agrees in. I would expect no less in him and respect his decision to firmly express his views.

Britt said...

It never ceases to amaze me how anyone can be offended by anything. Is it really that far of a stretch to think that the Pope would promote fidelity and abstinence over condoms, and that he would offer up a faith statement over a scientific statement? Pope Benedict XVI is just stating his belief and as the head of one of the worlds largest religions he was doing exactly what he is supposed to do. Perhaps it’s not that what the Pope said was insensitive or out of date, but that people know its true and don’t want to accept it. It is not an opposition to condoms it’s an opposition to unawareness, to lack of knowledge and to the belief that ignorance is bliss.

nmartinez1514 said...

To say that condoms will not solve the problem is somewhat correct. The use of condoms in Africa and other developing countries will be a major step forward in cutting back the rising number in AIDS victims. But the consensus is obvious there needs to be more sex education and the needs to be a way that new, safe, modern ideas are introduced into these countries to stop the flow of misinformation. Many of the people that can help, the intellectuals, are being afflicted themselves. This affects the entire nation from the youngest kids to the smartest doctors. I hope and pray that something is done soon and not just talk.

JrSwiFEY said...

I personally believe that condoms are not the solution in Africa for the simple fact that HIV/AIds is much bigger than that especially in Africa. What they need is medication that we recieve over here in the states to make them live longer and a healthier life. Africa is a very poor place when it comes to healthcare and education because they have noone educating them on how to practice safe sex and just to be educated period for that matter, anyone can talk to someone on what needs to be done but they need to stop talking and take action because clearly actions speak louder than words. Its a true epidemic that is going on there and they need serious help because here in Ameica we are so spoiled and we need to help other countries that are in need of serious assistance.

Brit =] said...

Africa needs extreme help, way far beyond the means of just condoms. No matter how much one stresses condoms, not everyone is going to listen. Pleanty of Ameircans being well aware of the consequences probably dont use condoms all the time like they should and the ones who do choose to use safe sex are probably really informed about the consequences. Africans don't only need to practice safe sex methods and the use of condoms but they need to be highly educated about the negative effects and possibilities such as aids/hiv etc. This will take more than one persons words. Hearing from mulitiple people versues one is always better. Also they need help. They need to be tested regular as well as introuduce sex education on a weekly or daily basis is schools or from parents. I feel if they more more educated about how dangerous this disease was and how easily it spreads they might think twice about unsafe sex.

***Pre-Med Chick*** said...

The comment made stating that "AIDs won't stop because of a slogan" is so true that is actually scary. People are always talking about "the statics" but no one ever really states how AIDs can be prevented or even completely STOPPED!!! We are so stuck in the "What Needs to Be Done" that no one is actually getting it done. So therefore Sub-Saharan Africa is suffering because we're not doing all we can to prevent this fatal disease. Africa is living off a traditional basis; their traditions & myths date to far back to just completely destroy this epidemic with just a "condom". The entire African way of thinking needs to but not only adjusted but totally altered. Sex & the consequences associated with it need to be reiterated in an entirely different way; the idea of abstinence & monogamy need to be addressed in a different light, & the best place to start is with the younger generation. However the pope is correct in stating that this epidemic can not be over come with a mere condom, although the use of a condom could POSSIBLY prevent the spread of disease, it's getting to where just a condom won't do the trick anymore. This epidemic is slowly getting to be way more then we can handle; so something definitely needs to happen NOW!!! because nothing happens overnight. But I truly believe that the chaotic disease can be tamed & put to a halt with the help of time & the help of many nations.

NaniShauna said...

Concerning the epidemic proportion of HIV/AIDS cases in Sub-Saharan Africa, I completely agree that condoms are not the sole solution to this problem. It is going to take more than just passing out some condoms to prevent the spread of this disease. Africa needs more sex education and more sophisticated resources. It would be juvenile to think that one can stop the spread of such a vicious disease by handing out some latex. Yes, condoms would help and every little bit helps, but Africa's issue is too large to just leave it up to them. I believe that more countries need to get involved in helping Africa. After all, a large portion of the world's natural resources come from that continent. All-in-all, drastic changes need to take effect now! There is no more time to waste.

Athena Smith said...

Sex education in an AIDS ravaged country is not rocket science.
Some of you seem to believe that condoms will offer a tiny bit of help.
Why a bit? Of course there is ignorance and dangerous rituals, but one should not ignore the cost effectiveness of condom use. For there have been success stories.

HIV prevention efforts have been effectively carried out in Senegal (with a very low adult HIV prevalence rate of 0.9%). In Uganda a widespread epidemic was brought under control as HIV prevalence fell from 15% in the 1990s to 5% in 2001. Similar declines were observed in Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Burkina Faso. The epidemic seems unstoppable however in South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique.

In all success stories condoms played a key role. Between 2001 and 2005, eight out of eleven countries in sub-Saharan Africa reported an increase in condom use. However the number of condoms given to every man is deplorably low. It averages to ten per year for every man in South Africa. In Uganda, close to 150 million condoms are needed annually, but they only get less than 40 million. The World Health Organization officials have said that 6-9 billion condoms are distributed worldwide each year, a number that falls short of the 24 billion needed.

Athena Smith said...

The response in other countries has been more swift. The World Health Organization has been working with the governments of China, Myanmar, Mongolia, Vietnam, Laos and the Philippines to implement a wide distribution of condoms. In Thailand and Cambodia more than 90% of sex workers use condoms and the number of new HIV infections has dropped by more than 80% since the 1990s. WHO often refers to these two countries as a success story. However, the rate of condom use among sex workers in China, Myanmar, Mongolia, Vietnam, Laos and the Philippines is still low. In China, 20% of sex workers have never used a condom, while only 7% of men surveyed in a Vietnamese STD clinic reported using them.

anonsyg said...

I find it ironic the head of a religious organization that condemns sex before marriage and protected sex, speaking out about the use of condoms. I feel it is the same with him as all figureheads be it religious or a diplomat, that the same thing is said and nothing is done by the people. From my understanding of the situation with HIV/AIDS in Africa is that it is mainly misconceptions, and the horrid way so many of them treat one another that has lead to this. I think what people arent realizing is that, even if "his holiness" is saying these things, its not going to make things change. Sadly, people in poor conditions such as that of most Africans from the Northwest might look at to religion as a way to help aliviate there problems. When they see the pope come through and speak to them and give them hope, to only be struck down months or years later by contracting HIV/AIDS, it could very easily destroy any faith they may have left in a specific organized religion, but then again thats just my opinion.

Cesc_03 said...

First of all, without helping one another the epidemic will not stop.If those journalists who criticized the Pope is really concern about the issue, they should not waste their time to make correction about the statment of the Pope. Who cares if the Pope is right or wrong, the Pope is only human. Those Journalists should rather focus on the real problem--AID/HIVs.

Without the invovlement of my religion beliefs, I strongly agree with the Pope. The only way to reduce the countless victims of AIDS/HIV is by calling people to stop having sex in unethical tradition. Then they can introduces the idea of sex education.

For the past thirty years, the use of Condoms cproves that it cannot solve the problems. Educating the young generations is the only way to open their eyes how serious AIDS/HIV truly is. Through education, we can give hope to peope from poor countries.

Honey said...

The HIV/AIDS epidemic in Sub-Saharan Africa will not be resolved solely by condoms, yet abstinence is not the answer either. By making such a statement without initiating or suggesting substantial remedies is not a proactive solution. Inclination towards such an answer is quite lethargic in my opinion. I feel that if his holiness can recognize the problem, why can he not implement some sort of solution? It is apparent that most African countries lack sex education, how can one be expected to use protection when they are not fully aware of the consequences. My belief is that the HIV/AIDS epidemic has and will continue to be overlooked by other countries.

Xx Human Rights xX said...

In my humble opinion, after look at numbers, facts, history, and biological warfare, I think we really should be asking the pope if he really doesn't want to reduce the infection rate in Africa. Maybe his words or he meaning of his words were taken out of context, but after a comment like that, he could possibly make it right actions rather than words. Do something that helps rather than saying something that kills.

Qasem said...

I agree with Pope. I do not think passing around condoms to the Africans would solve the problem of HIV/AIDS. This is a serious matter that the peolpe need to get the education needed in order to know the circumstances when they chose to have sex. I do not think Africa has enough education for this matter. Understanding the reasons and why people need to protect theirselves would definitely decrease the percentage of HIV/AIDS. Knowing the risk factors would allow people in wanting to protect their health.

Frenchie said...
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lynk26 said...

What the pope stated has some truth, but also contains out-dated naivety. It is true, condoms alone won't solve the AIDS epidemic issue in Africa. However, it is not wise to believe that only abstinence and monogamy will solve the problem. It takes a great deal of education, along with proper use of condoms, to slow the epidemic down. It's not as easy as going in there, saying "hey, stop having sex," and it stopping automatically. It's an issue that is going to take years just to get under control. Once the problem gets under control, then you can work on prevention effectively. Until then, you can talk all you want, but it'll fall on deaf ears without persistence.

Frenchie said...

Handing out condoms in Africa may help the HIV/AIDS epidemic to some extent, but there is no way that it will come close to solving the problem. Some of the cultures in Africa make it almost impossible to defeat the disease. In some cultures if the husband dies then the wife sleeps with the brother of the husband, but what if the husband died of aids. The wife would more than likely also have the disease too and spread to the brother and starts a chain of infection. Thats one of the reasons why i think the disease is spreading so rapidly throughout the country. I belive that the only way to beat the epidemic would be to get the people of Africa to change their cultures, but i dont see that happening anytime soon. I do agree that with more education about HIV/AIDS it will help the situation but it may be too late of a start.

dr123 said...

To whom it may concern in the Vatican City,
I would like to voice my humble opinion in regards to the comments that were made by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on his recent trip to Africa. I am of the Christian faith and worship the same God that the majority of our planet does. This God, I would like to believe, is a God of love and forgiveness. This same Higher Power would not want their creation to suffer due to blatant ignorance or pride.
Not only do you have a responsibility to the people that look to you for comfort and guidance, you have the unique opportunity to lead a mass of people into a newer way of thinking; a thought process that is not only is "up to speed" with the issues of today but is also practical to the reality of what we know of rural/third world/high tech/suburbia (at the end of the day, it doesn't matter) society.
There are horrible things happening everyday to people. I wish that these things didnt happen...but they do. Mothers, fathers, sons and daughters are all dying because of an ideal that you are preaching.
Please take heed to the very real statistics and reconsider the stance that the church is taking on the use of condoms. You can make an unbeleivable difference.

Thanks for your time,

ALR

jeremyhxc said...

Africa needs more help than just condoms or the fact of trying not to have sex. It is an epidemic over Africa and I beileve that some people there are not educated in the fact of AIDS/HIV. There are people out there in Africa that are prostituting or are doing harmful drugs that can attract the dieases, causing it to spread. One person could spread it to a whole village in a blink of an eye. Also knowing there pratices in parts of Africa and ways they have passed through generation of society could increase the spread of this dieases. Having sex with a virgin does NOT cure AIDS, but some over there in parts of Africa still beileve that.

I beileve they should pratice safe sex with condoms in Africa. I know that it prevents AIDS alittle but it does not fully protect against AIDS. I am aware but its better to be safe than sorry. People in parts of Africa needs to have education about safe sex and the diesases that are still around.

lyn said...

I disagree that there is no way of helping them if the soul is lacking. Yet i agree that giving them just condoms will not be enough. You can't change tradition and beliefs that has been pass down for generations, over 100s' of years. With just educating them about sex and giving them condoms will do nothing to help them without the want to change and know. It's like for example telling people that believe in the bible unconditionally,that the bible is fake and the stories about Jesus and Moses are untruths and showing hard evidence that they are untrue. They will not believe you because generations, ancestors, myths, traditions are what they believe and without a want to know and educate themselves about the untruth it will go through one ear and out the other(That was an example not true). It could also be that they some of them cant educate themselves about it because of there family, laws or friends. So their soul is not lacking its the people around them that is preventing it.
You have to start somewhere so all i have to really say is stop talking and do it.

Sabrina said...

I agree with the Pope in the first half of his Statement that condoms alone can not solve the problem of HIV/AIDS in Africa. I think the future of the epidemic depends greatly on the direction of the government and its HIV and AIDS policies.There are HIV prevention campagins in Africa that usually encourages people to use condoms and have fewer sexual partners.However women are socially and economically subordinate to men, thus making them vulnerable to sexual abuse and rape in Africa. The use of condoms along with sex education and a change in Government policies would greatly reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Athena Smith said...

I copy from "Pope wrong on condoms"

"What we need today are our church leaders preaching, teaching and imploring their members not to go to bed with anyone and everyone. We also need church leaders who are willing to stand up and tell folks that if they do choose to sin -- that's what the church and other faith leaders consider sex outside of marriage -- then you had better take the necessary precautions to protect yourself.

Folks, there is nothing in the Bible about wearing a seat belt. But it would be foolish of any pastor not to tell his or her members to use the safety device when driving. Churches all across the country trust and love their fellow members, but you can bet that an accountant is employed by many churches to ensure that no one is stealing the tithes and offerings.

Pope Benedict surely loves God and sees him as his protector and provider, but he goes nowhere without armed bodyguards. The pope has to know that murder is against God's will. He has to believe that every person has the choice to be a moral and upstanding person. Yet not everyone abides by those religious views, and his security is there to prevent him from being harmed.

So how are condoms any different?"

Athena Smith said...

And the opposite side. Why Pope’s right that condoms won’t solve African Aids crisis

I copy:


"For what is it about sex which so diminishes rational thought? If the owners of a nuclear power station said that its current safety measures permitted a “mere” 5pc chance of it leaking plutonium onto visitors, how many of our condom-enthusiasts would be queuing to get into the place? Yet Aids is a sexual plutonium, which not merely will kill you, your spouse, your lovers, but also your children. Look. It's simple. As part of an anti-Aids programme, condoms are unnecessary within a sexually continent people — Loreto nuns, say, or married couples who don't stray from the marital bed.

But condoms will not prevent the spread of Aids amongst a general population of sexually promiscuous individuals. Even if used conscientiously (which never happens in public health programmes) the best condoms in the world have a failure rate of around 5pc.

Thus, actuarially, within a population group of say 20,000, there will on average be 1,000 failures on each occasion its members have sex. Not merely will these failures usually be random, so too will the consequences."

Katusha said...

In a perfect Catholic world, everyone would wait to get married before they had sex. We live in the twenty first century where pretty much everyone is having sex with everyone no matter what their marital status or sex. When an entire nation is threatened with a disease like HIV/AIDS you can't just tell them to stop having sex. Most of these people will continue having sex and spreading the disease because it's part of their culture or norm. Some of these people think that having sex with a virgin will cure them of the disease when in turn they infect a small girl. The only way to immediately see change is to offer the use of condoms. At least some sort of protection is there if they do decide to have sex. Then the people must be educated. The pope should update his views. The only way to evolve is to keep with the times. We don't live in the world where mom and dad sleep in separate beds. If the pope as pro-condom people would be more likely to use them

akillies said...

Well it is easy to say that people one hear what they want to hear. In the world of course every person should be aware of what happens on a daily basis. In these sacred traditions people are destroyed diminished and put to the lowest standards of life. As one sees over a mountain top and visualizes climbing it to conquer self exhonoration of a task. Some one else looks at the mountain top and accepts defeat. This is an example yet we face these black and white decisions daily. When society and culture leads people a certain way we seem to follow. So be strong and conquer one task at a time to initiate defeat.

Incandescent26 said...

I don't think that Pope Benedict XVI was necessarily wrong in his statement. Condoms are usefully yes, but it truth the only way to stop the spread of Aids is abstinence. Condoms don't always work. I think sex is something that should be done between 2 people who love each other, I think that if you're mature enough to have sex, than you're mature enough to sit down with you're partner and discuss past sexual partners and you should be responisble enough to get tested before you decide to have sex. I know it's a long process but it's a way of protecting yourself. In Africa, I think the problem is soo bad that those individuals who have Aids shouldn't be having sex, that selfish to me, to potentially put someone in the postion of contrating aids. I think the pope was right more people should be practicing monogamy and should be alot more responisble than just hoping a condom will work.

CoCo85 said...

The overall resolution to this issue will take a combination of many avenues and a great period of time. Dispelling myths while also truly educating individuals in the third world countries is essential so they can begin to help themselves for some positive changes not only for themselves but for the generations to come. While providing condoms can help with the spread of diseases, unless they are provided with the correct education I agree this will cause a false sense of security and not resolve the issue at hand. I look at this with dealing with the current disease issue as one majority task and then the continuation or perpetuation of this with other generations as an additional issue. Simply preaching abstinence will not resolve or change the growing death tolls and devastation these countries currently face.

lxndr.lns said...

Yes all Africans should in fact clean up their act, and help one another to better the whole continent as a whole. There should also be no more war, and everyone should have at least three meals a day, but the reality is it’s just not possible due to human nature. As Homo sapiens we are naturally inclined to take the easier way out, and if that means doing nothing everyday then that’s what we do. We all need a little help with solving our problems sometimes, and that’s all condoms would be “a little help” As new infections decreased, the overall morality and stigma towards disease would decrease. The Africans would see that they could live without disease if they were to change their lifestyle choices, and there would be a better tomorrow. The Pope is considered to some to be a leader on how to live their life, so if he turns his back on Africa how many others will turn their back and say they should just change their lives on their own?

TeXasLuV said...

First of all I dont like the fact that the Pope is being attacked for making a statement that, in his life under God's will is just passing the word of the Cathilocs beleifs. Yes, abstinance would be a big way to prevent this hidious infection from spreading, but the fact that it is already out there must be dealt with as well. AIDS is all over the world, but it being the strongest in Africa just means that maybe thats were a plan of action should begin to take place. People there must be informed about the dangers os unsafe sex and be aware of the number or infections out there. A sex education course would be good to establish, along with the distribution of condoms. Also better health care for the people infected for not. Lets not wait for the infection to keep spreding and the number of lives claimed by this go up, lets attempt to slow the process and notifiy the world of this situation.

Lil Bitty said...

I hate to say it, but I do think it is too late for any means of help. It is only going to get worse and worse over there and there is no turning back. The AIDS/HIV rate over in Africa is so high trying to help he people now would be like trying to put a bandaid on a wound that engulfs more than half of your body. Of course I do feel we should still try to help because it is to the point where we need to try and save all we can, though very few unfortunately. A cure would be amazing, but lets face it in our lifetime that will be very unlikely and while they try to come up with a cure this epidemic will only worsen. And I agree with "Redder", because something unfortunate always comes from medicine. Before we know ti we might have our own version of Resident Evil on our hands. Hopefully it would not come to that, but that is a worst case scenario and with all the crazy experiments going on who knows what could happen. The Pope had the integrity to speak his mind and people are going to get mad at him for doing so? Sorry that he was just saying what many people were thinking. I still think it is too late for Africa, but every little bit of help counts no matter what it is.

akm said...

Condoms are not the answer but is a start. They have bigger problems to overcome, there myths that have been passed down are unreal. They need sex eduaction, they need to know what can happen to them before they do anything sexual. Abstincence is the only way, that needs to be taught to all generations young and old, it may seem crazy to teach the elder in Africa but they have senority on theaching the younger generation. They have many things that they need to sort out to come to a agreement on the old tradtions that will be a big battle to fight. I also think they need help with teaching about this subject, someone from the outside shoulod step in and take charge, or try really hard to, they need the most help. Too many people have alredy suffered enough!!

displayname said...

Dear Pope Benedict XVI,

What ever happened to good old-fashioned martyrdom? Or at least the humbling lifestyle that came hand in hand with ones servitude to the holy trinity? I want to know why you are the one who is closest to god, you who sit in some shiny palace above everyone else because you are well versed in religious dogma. Its not like you’re performing miracles or giving all your money away to the poor or that your willing to die for a something. Your establishment is a sham, a way to control the masses the Machiavelli principles of ruling your people has failed. A leader of a people should not be bestrode above the rest like a jewel among the petty but a commoner with the mind and hand of a saint. The Catholic Church has nothing more than nostalgia a relic of the traditionalist and the uneducated. Why not sell your funny hat and give the money from that to help all those dying in Sub-Sahara Africa. Instead of preaching what those not infected should do all the time why not help those who need it. Show us your true holiness and go to you impoverish monasteries and give your worldly possessions to a good cause. Granted large amount of missionaries are no-doubt there and helping and that is one of the noblest things one can do. I feel really bad that when the subject of the Catholic Church comes up I can’t do anything but bash it, after trying for an hour to write something polite and it was hard to even say fifty words I chose to do what obviously was what I felt I needed to do. I do hope they send this to you.

Sincerely,
William Jackson Newcome III

Master Mo said...

I agree with everybody that condoms is not going to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS. I aslo believe that condoms can be the first step of safe sex. The deal is Africa just don't need condoms. They need sex education. Africa needs know about protection, diseases, and risks. Africa not only need condoms,but need to how to use condoms. They need to know about other sexual diseases besides HIV/AIDS. Africa needs to practice safe sex, but the country is so poor they don't have that education. We as the people need to someting about this. Let us all help Africa on sex eduaction and HIV/AIDS.

Yasser said...

Education, education, education. I cannot stress how important it is for the African people to realize the risks and causes of STS's. I see nothing wrong with the popes claim. Yes, he may have reflected religious values in his statement, but that does not make it a statement that should be looked down upon. Condoms will without a doubt help, but the root of the problem must be suppressed in order to achieve the best of results in the long term. We need to support and help found the proper educational systems that are dedicated to educating the youth of Africa. With ancient myths embedded in their heads as well as lack of knowledge, it will be tough to reverse the mindset of the people, but is not impossible. To me, the popes comment seemed righteous because he is trying to enlighten the people by portraying tis epidemic as a disease of the mind instead of a problem that can be tackled with a condom. By doing so he is heading in the right direction that will provide the best results.

bsolomon3 said...

Even though everyone wouldn't follow abstinence, its a good start. That would eliminate the upcoming victims of AIDS and would help start the cure of it. I don't understand why they don't get that AIDS is widespread in their country and they see what its doing to their own people. And who is anyone to criticize the Pope? Like many other people have said he is just a human like the rest of us. And yes, I do think he is right. This is an issue that is making bigger drama than necessary. And yes, he should be named "his Holiness". At least he isn't standing back and ignoring the issue like most people.

IndianGoddess6922 said...

I partially agree with his Holiness when he stated that,”……the scourge cannot be resolved by distributing condoms; quite the contrary, we risk worsening the problem.” Condoms cannot prevent an individual from getting HIV/AIDS; condoms which can break or even come off, provide a very erroneous sense of protection that in reality is not really there. HIV/AIDS has been and is rapidly continuing to infect many individuals around the world, but we cannot adequately resolve the problem of HIV/AIDS if individuals, specifically Africans are not educated about unsafe sex. Sex education is crucial regardless of who is being taught, but in this instance there are also a few issues that must also be addressed. I strongly believe that the first step should be to eliminate any traditions or myths that have beleaguered Africans for years and maybe centuries. Myths can sometimes be easily disproven, but traditions which have been implemented in Africans will not allow sex education to be comprehended; an individual might stubbornly refuse to learn if the information being taught contradicts their beliefs. When Rebecca Hodes said, “That opposition to condoms conveys that religious dogma is more important than the lives of Africans,” I consider this to be a very ignorant statement because of the proven fact that condoms are not a solution, and even if condoms were distributed they would be utterly useless and fulfill no purpose without proper sex education. If we truly care about the individuals that are being affected we will disprove detrimental myths and traditions, implement increased sex education and encourage abstinence.

John Deere Green said...

I agree with the Pope. Condoms are not the only way to prevent contracting HIV/AIDS. I also think a contributing factor is the technology and economy development. This has a lot to do with the education and enfaces on HIV/AIDS. Also in Africa and other third world countries why would a disease scare the people when there are so many different things that are killing the people? For example their own government is killing people because they didn’t vote for the proper person or maybe it’s the scarcity in food. Sometimes when people become exposed to how they can die and it’s done in so many different ways they just stop carrying. So while we see HIV/AIDs as very serious and kills people every day in another country they could see it as just another way to die and providing food and housing is more important to worry about then HIV/AIDs.

lubna said...

First of all, I don't understand why so much criticism on pope. He has the religious belief and views, so it is not surprising what he said. Catholic or any other religions would have the same point for this issue. I think Pope is trying to help people because back days there was no concept to keep multiple partners and people had strong faith about monagamy; in addition, copule were very loyal to each others, so I belive as a Pope he has a point. However, I agree with others who said stop having sex is "unrealistic" we have to find the solution as well.I also agree distributing condoms is not a solutions either because epidemic is beond the limit. It is very important to improve the medical and hospital systems in Africa but like our Professor Dr. Smith said, "need doctors and nurses there but who is willing to work there? Most doctors want to work in develop countries." I totally agree with her statement. It is a very sad situation unfortunately. However, at some point I agree with Pope because what he said, is not the solution but it will help to decrease the problem. In my personal opinion Africa or any other countries who are facing the epidemic should implement the safe sex education, educate the people about the disease and epidemic, and also use the common sense before "Urge" for sex(not sleep with every other person).

DaLaTiNaChIcKa89 said...

I am actually shocked that the pope mentioned the word "condoms". As you know Christians aren't allowed or are said to not have sex before marriage, so for him to say it is a great thing. We all know people are going to be having sex, you might as well educate them and inform them of the consequences and all that.

As far the whole HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa is just insane, if nothing is done SOON the whole country of Africa will be vanished like the great plague. The way I view the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa is like the great plague and it's sad. These people need to be taught about safe sex, monogamy, and abstinence (even though that might be a long shot). If we send people whomever they may be, we can put a stop to the spreading of this deadly terrible disease.

dwendland said...

As far as the Popes comment about condoms not being the answer, I think he needs to think about what and how things come out of his mouth. Although I didn't hear the exact statement, (I heard it translated) I can't be sure how it was said, I just know the way it come out translated seemed belittling and crude. There can be no one solution to fix the situation. By saying condoms won't fix anything gives off a poor mindset and will only make things worse as they won't be used anymore because the Pope said so. Condoms still need to be part of the answer, as well as better educating Africa on other safer sex methods, and the epidemic as a whole. If they so choose to continue on their path then so be it, putting it into a religious context, who’s to say this isn’t want God wants, or this isn’t part of Gods plan. For all we know this is completely intended.

M314J said...

I don't agree with what the Pope said but thats his opinion. Everybody has there different views on things. Why would it matter what he says? I understand he's a leader for a certain religion, but if you have his same belief, what does it matter? He can't change the world or the 14,000 new infections everyday.

I do agree that in order to help with STD's and HIV/AIDs, it requires condons, clinics, and SEX EDUCATION. If someone is better educated about a subject they are more aware of the consequences and they can make a better responsible decision. I do also believe its going to take alot of team work to help those Africa.

DenverBroncos8 said...

I think it's kinda crazy how people are reacting to the popes comment. If you believe a certain way your gonna act or preach on it, that's what the pope was doing was just saying what he believes in and how he feels it would affect Africa's aids crisis. It seems like the pope is getting a lot of scrutiny for his comment just because of the position of power he's in, if you don't believe in what he's saying then don't listen to him it's that simple. Personally I believe that Africa needs whatever help they can get on the aids issue, whether it be condoms, sex education or abstinence all together. Anything would help improve their situation at this time.

Kimberlee said...

Dearest Pope,

I believe in your statement is true, that condoms are not the soul solution to the AIDS epidemic, but I do have to say it is part of the solution for those who can not seem to maintain abstinence.

In Africa we have many religions that do not follow to the ways of Catholicism. My idea, a mission, to send out missionaries/ educators/messengers/preachers in teams mixed with natives and outsiders (the natives would be more trusting and in turn they would become easier to convince them that a behavioral change is needed to save themselves, their families and communities.

AIDS programs in Uganda has proven to work well and should be used as model for others to follow. The soul was not lacking there! The main reason for their success was do to a combination of 4 factors ; high level of political commitment, openess about the epidemic, involvement from all levels of goverment, and of course behavior chanage programs.
The behavior change programs include teaching people to be faithful to one an other, abstinence till marriage, and also the use of condoms for others.

I honestly believe that these poor and desperate people would welcome the behavior changes and in turn it would give them the dignity that they, as humans deserve.

mdns7 said...

I believe that what the pope said about condoms not neccisarily being a help in the prevention and spreading of aids was irresponsible for a start. I believe people should take what the pope sais with a grain of salt, hes a human being and a person like the rest of us, he's not supernatural, he's not more important in gods eyes than any other person, he was appointed to a particular status by other people... not by god. I'd like to hear more sensible things coming from the catholic church and not as much stupidity.

Athena Smith said...

I just read Watching mum die from HIV/Aids

I copy two parts from that BBC article:
" that without their parents' protection they might be more vulnerable to rape, a crime so common that some mothers living in the townships take their daughters to have long-lasting contraceptive injections at the age of 12 or 13, not because they think they're going to choose to have sex, but because the likelihood they'll be raped is so high."


"The previous health minister was nicknamed Dr Beetroot for suggesting that garlic, olive oil and beetroot could cure HIV.

But her replacement, Barbara Hogan, has already spoken out about HIV in scenes unthinkable in South Africa just six months ago.

She was even serenaded outside her home by the Treatment Action Campaign, an organisation which has fought vigorously against the government to make HIV drugs available. "

kennyg said...

I think thats its not fair to send someone over there. Aids HIV/AIDS are being spreaded everywhere and its not really much that people can do about it. If the cure for Aids wasn't so high I believe that a lot of people would be better in life. Sending someone to talk to them wouldnt do any justice because some people dont even know if they have Aids or not so to tallk to them sometim es would be useless. Not everyone goes and gets a test before they sleep with there mate or kiss them or anything in that nature. Some people try to trust the fact that, thats there friend or boyfriend or girlfriend and they feel that they wouldn't do that to them. But then you have some people that they know they HIV/AIDS and because they have it they choose to oass it around to other poeple without telling them because they are angry that they have it. Life sometimes really isnt fair and sending someone over there isnt going to do much justice at all.

kennyg said...

And also i dont agree wit what the Pope said what he said was just crazy and its only an opinion so it doesn't matter....

Yellow_Yackets said...

I agree with Pope Benedict XVI, that "The problem of HIV/AIDS cannot be overcome with mere slogans“. It is easy for someone to say what has to be done instead of providing help to solve the problem. I agree with Pope that the issue of HIV cannot be solved by just sending condoms to the African Population. I think that if we just send condoms to the Africans, instead of solving the HIV issue, we might just reinforce it. Just like the Pope said, “If the soul is lacking, if Africans do not help one another, the scourge cannot be resolved by distributing condoms; quite the contrary, we risk worsening the problem."

Jn2 said...

I love the Pope's visit to some of the african countries and the way he expresses some facts regarding HIV.HIV is one of the most deadly deseases now in african and if you look at the causes,you can find that is lack of education to inform the public about this desease.The teaching of abstinence to educate the society is not only moraly right,it is smart.Imagine how the the global society will be if everybody refrained from sex until marriage.STDS,HIV,unwanted pregnancies,abortion, would be severely mitigated if not eliminated.
With regards to what the Pope said about Condoms,i totally disagree with him because condoms,has not only helped prevent HIV,it also acts as a means of contracceptive.Thus with all these factors working hand to hand,i beleive we can help prevent the spread of HIV.

RPWolf said...

I disagree with the vaticans thought on the situation in africa. The life style in africa has led to them having many kids for many of reasons. Telling people to stop doing it is not going to help on its own. Give them condoms. Condoms alone wont help the situation but its better then not giving them any.

EDUCATION. Thats what everyone needs. Give them condoms and education. But disagree on the idea that education and such alone can help.

Do you think smokers just quit with education and talking to them? They do not. For some people sex can be just as addicting as drugs. You need a combination of education and anti-nicotine drugs/ and protection from it.

Now a days we here about 13 year olds having kids. If they were educated about sex at an early age, these kinds of things could be prevented along with the spread of disease.

Condoms can help prevent pregnancies and the spread of diseases in the short and long term, but education takes time. Abstinence and fidelity are no answers to this problem alone.

MikeATLfalcons said...

i dont think that condoms will solve the problem. condoms are not 100%. they can break pretty easily. if they want to prevent the spread of hiv/aids they need to have more sexual education classes. they should make it like a once a week class not once forever. i have only had one sexual education class in my life and it was in 5th grade. half the stuff they were talking about i didnt even understand. they need to teach it to teenagers and young adults because they are the most sexually active age group.

BabyBri22 said...

When it comes to the concern of HIV/Aids there is no way that one can go to a country such as africa and just state that there needs to be a change. I do agree on the fact that passing out condoms is not the best solution but it should still continue because like it or not having the Pope visit and say a couple of words is not going to help abstain the epidemic. There definetly needs to be a higher range of sexual education class to as many people in need as possible. Since this is so huge it should be taught in all languages. Although abstinence is the best way to stop what is happening there is NO way that all the people will practice it forever. Just like we are able to get education about sexual diseases here in the U.S when are children are the age of seven, so should children in other countries. Also parents should be learning everything they can. I feel very sorry for the people in Africa, they cant help it that they have the lack of information to klnow what they are spreading, thats why somethings has to be done in a process.

Nadia said...

Africa needs more help than just giving them condoms and talking about it. Just because the pope went over them and told them about Hiv/Aids doesn't mean they have to listen. There still going to have unprotected sex and aids/hiv is still going to go around. If someone comes and talks to me about something, it can be anything i'm most likely not going to listen. Condoms will only do so much. The people in afica need to practice abstinence. That is the only things thats going to stop all the disease from spreading around

omaya said...

I agree with Pope Benedict XVI speech.I liked it how he took much of his time to talk about the awareness of HIV/AIDS. We should have more celebrities/ important figures go to Africa and inform people about the problems of HIV/AIDS. Its possible that some people will just ignore the situation,but standing up and talk about it is better than just doing nothing to raise the awareness.

ijoz said...

Like they say, "Easier said then done." In the case of the Pope, yea he's a "good guy", but talking to the people of Africa about an epidemic they are very familiar with will solve nothing. Unfortunately talking will not save lives actions will. So in my oppinion, which probably means nothing to the Pope, you should gather money and give Africa the education they need. Education on abstinence, STD's, condoms, and general sexual education classes. Im sorry but you preaching is of no help to the people of Africa. So do them a favor and send them someone who will truely be of some real help. God Bless.

ABroWnie said...

Sure condoms wont stop the problem, the Pope is correct. But it will certainly help a great amount. Education is a key factor in helping these terrible conflicts in Africa. This jibber jabber that the Pope projects is just a scare tactic, just like much of many religions, a way to control people by using religious "rules".

ABroWnie said...

accidentally added to early. Also we need to use all factor including the use of condoms. Education, medicine, and abstinence are all the things needed to solve this issue. I met Pope John Paul II years ago in Poland. To shake the hand of a man so great was awesome. And the current Pope, probably just as amazing. But their thoughts are very tunnel visioned, they need to see all aspects of the situation.

wolfgram25 said...

To be honest I really do not know what to say to this. I mean yes people should go and try to help the people in Africa and this problem that is growing. People should inform them of what could happen to them if they do not take care of them selves. At the same time I feel as if there are already groups and organizations doing this. To me it seems as if they just do not care. Help is out there for them its up to them if they want it or not. If the people of those countries choose to ignore the help that is out there for them and they continue to spread this disease then that is their problem. That’s how I feel about that matter.

wolfgram25 said...

To be honest I really do not know what to say to this. I mean yes people should go and try to help the people in Africa and this problem that is growing. People should inform them of what could happen to them if they do not take care of them selves. At the same time I feel as if there are already groups and organizations doing this. To me it seems as if they just do not care. Help is out there for them its up to them if they want it or not. If the people of those countries choose to ignore the help that is out there for them and they continue to spread this disease then that is their problem. That’s how I feel about that matter.

Alex370000 said...

Africa needs help. A miracle is the answer. The Pope's words can change many lifes indeed. But it can not change the whole world at once. This is a world problem that can not be solved overning. Condoms are a solution but not a 100% solution. They are all over the states but what is the percent that actually use them. More needs to be done to lower the aids level. Maybe starting with the Pope visiting Africa will help but i believe this is a problem that will never be solved, and i hate to say that.

nomad0526 said...

The topic at hand is no doubt a difficult one. I strongly feel that there are two sides to this argument. In a perfect world, yes I would say don’t pass out condoms, preach abstinence and monogamy…but wake up people, we live in a screwed up world and the reality of the situation is that preaching abstinence as lovely as that may sound is not practical. More needs to be done than just going somewhere, pointing out faults and making a generalized statement on what needs to be done about a given situation.

mpierre said...

I agree with XblackXbutterfly but I did no know this myth right here "such as having sex with a virgin will cure AIDS" many people in this world are uneducated or just do not want to practice safe sex. A person with influence such as the pope can speak about HIV. He might get people to actually do something about it. In Africa people need the knowledge about HIV. People in Africa who have HIV/ AIDS need help to they need medicine and food. The spread of the disease has become worst. They Pope can not do all the work by him self. He can talk about, but we need people who are actually going to help people With HIV or prevent people from getting HIV.

JaneKennedy said...

He could not have been more correct. As far as him being such a powerful leader and the second part of his statement, he is a religious leader! So, unless your "religious" outlook on what he said shows that he is incorrect, how can you judge what was said. He was doing his job. Im sure no one is ignorant enough to think that he meant that condems did not help, right?? He just says that the problem cannot be resolved only through providing condems.