Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Three columnists and the Holy Father

One generally hostile but at least understanding the purpose of the Pontiff (i.e. to uphold Catholic teaching rather than dish out condoms like our very own Madame Arcati)

But then I'm not a Catholic. The Pope, it transpires, is. Deal with it.


The gentle and gentlemanly Lord Rees-Mogg, being sensible.

It all looks simple: condoms good, Pope reactionary. It is not simple at all. All societies impose some code of sexual conduct, usually formed around religious beliefs. Cultures that lack concepts of sexual discipline are not usually good societies in which to live. Certainly they are not societies with good control over sexually transmitted diseases.

Finally, Peter Hitchens, a non-Catholic but certainly not hostile:

Conventional wisdom says the Pope is stupid and wrong to say fidelity and abstinence are better than condoms at guarding Africans from AIDS.
Conventional wisdom, as usual, is talking out of its backside. What the Pope says matters only if anyone listens to him. If nobody does, his opposition to condoms won’t stop anyone using them and will make no difference. If lots of people listen to him, his support for marital fidelity will persuade many people to follow this path, and so save untold lives.
The experience of such countries as Uganda suggests very strongly that he is right when he says this, and that fidelity is a far better protection than a rubber sheath. The only real hope is a change in sexual habits.
I am not a Roman Catholic, but I am weary of the concerted smearing and misrepresentation which the Pontiff constantly faces.



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