Pope Benedict created a global outrage with his recent remarks regarding the effectiveness of condoms against the spread of AIDS. In the United States, his remarks have the potential to impact this nationâ€™s Hispanic population who have not only emerged as an at-risk population for the virus but who are also responsible for fueling the growth of the U.S. Catholic Church.
LatinaLista — Last year when the Vatican issued the announcement that Rome, after 400 years, was finally admitting that the astronomer Galileo wasnâ€™t a heretic for saying the earth wasnâ€™t the center of the universe, the declaration was globally met with snickers.
In making that public confession, the Church committed a huge PR mistake of making itself look irrelevant to generations who were schooled on Galileoâ€™s accomplishments and contributions to the field of astronomy. Luckily, all was forgiven because while everybody knew the truth, the Churchâ€™s sudden reversal didnâ€™t affect anybodyâ€™s lives or changed their beliefs.
The same canâ€™t be said of Pope Benedictâ€™s latest remarks about condom usage while on his recent visit to Africa. While talking to reporters on his plane in route to Cameroon, the Pope said that AIDS is â€œa tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which can even increase the problem.â€
Since uttering those words, the Church has come under a barrage of criticism. From AIDS activists and organizations to health ministers of various countries to even the World Health Organization, all have condemned the remarks as being irresponsible and unfactual.
In fact, the President of the World Health Assembly, Guyana Health Minister Leslie Ramsammy, characterized the Popeâ€™s view as â€œabsolutely and unequivocally wrongâ€ and â€œinconsistent with science.â€ He accused the pontiff of â€œsowing confusionâ€ and trying to set back the progress made on proven strategies against the spread of AIDS.
Since then, the Church has not apologized for the Popeâ€™s remarks but has defended them as being consistent with Catholic teachings that believe using condoms promotes risky sexual behavior.
And while the Popeâ€™s words may be consistent with how the Church feels about promiscuous or homosexual sex, this time around, the image of an irrelevant institution out of touch with the realities of todayâ€™s society is far more dire than holding onto a 400-year-old grudge.
Finish reading The Pope’s condom comments leave the Catholic Church’s fastest growing segment, Latinos, in limbo