Recently I read the dictum of Benedict XVI where, while on his chartered airplane bound to-or-fro his tour of Africa, he addressed the issue of the HIV-Aids scourge (read pestilence) that is killing hundreds of thousands of men and women and swelling the swollen population of orphans.
The position of Benedict, and thus of the church (well, make that, 'some in the church') is that of Nancy Reagan and the parallel issue of drug use: "Just say, NO!"
Benedict is opposed to any kind of birth control whether or not it also acts to provide some protection and prevention in the spread of this deadly, wasting disease.
This is the same church that housed, and for decades protected, predatory priests who were themselves unable to "Just say NO!" The absence of this simple declarative in the spirit and vocabulary of pedophile priests cost the Church of Rome hundreds of millions in dollars and a much higher price in reputation, trust, and moral authority.
The Pope truly believes (I would like to read his argument for this) that the use of birth control measures (read condoms) makes matters worse. The church is not thinking, it is reacting; falling back on a history/tradition whose roots continue to deepen into the soil of irrationality.
Two things are at issue in my monocular opinion: 1) Celibacy is an abnormal lifestyle and contrary to nature as God designed it as well as the nature of man. 2) The deadly human immunovirus can be likened to the 14th century Black Plague in Europe, except that action was finally taken to reverse the cause; they killed the rats that carried the fleas that carried the disease; and they recruited more cats to kill the rats that....you get it.
Evidently twenty-first century measures that could slow the spread of suffering and death find no place in the mind of Benedict; 'Sorry son, no Imprit Matur (approval) for you, "Just say, NO!
This pope, whom some have called John Paul's Rottweiler, may have abandoned the core humanitarian issues the church claims to protect; human dignity, human life, spirituality, etc.
Answer this please; where is the dignity, the humanitarianism, the spirituality of allowing hundreds of thousands of people to waste away from the unforgiving ravages of this disease? And all this because one man, who is only a man, just says, "NO"!
Did Benedict bring a program of sex education to Africa? Did he bring counselors to warn and inform the people of Africa? Were there distributed pamphlets and television programs designed to protect those most vulnerable? I do not know. I can only hope because, as I translate this issue, his visit did not leave dying Africa with more hope.
For his actions, which are mostly inaction's, I hereby re-title him, Benedict XV.V.
Ponder this. e.c.