“It is never the role of the Church, or of its agencies, pastors, or members, to help people do wrong things more efficiently or safely. Nor is it ever the role of the Church just to say no and abandon people.”
On his way to Cameroon earlier this year Pope Benedict XVI dared to suggest that the distribution of condoms was not the solution to the HIV-AIDS crisis in Africa and may actually make it worse. Western commentators immediately reacted with feigned outrage. “Impeach the Pope!” wrote a columnist in the Washington Post. “Grievously wrong!” ruled the New York Times. “This Pope is a disaster,” said the London Telegraph. “Ignorance or ideological manipulation,” declared The Lancet. “Unacceptable,” thundered the Belgian parliament. Feigned outrage all this, because the pundits knew this was the well-established position of the Church1—one shared by more than a few AIDS experts.2
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