Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread: The Vatican's condom challenge

  1. #1
    Account Inactive
    friedrich braun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Last Online
    Monday, November 3rd, 2008 @ 04:04 AM
    Don't know
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    Thanked in
    13 Posts

    Post The Vatican's condom challenge

    Sentencing people to death in the name of "morality."

    Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 November, 2003, 19:48 GMT

    The Vatican's condom challenge

    Peter Gould
    BBC News Online

    In the 20 years since the Aids pandemic began, it has claimed the lives of 20 million people.

    Sex and religion: Vatican policy is based on fidelity

    Many agencies working in the developing world believe that increasing the use of condoms globally would dramatically cut the death toll.

    Yet the Catholic Church, a powerful presence in many of the worst-affected countries, continues to oppose such campaigns.

    The Vatican says that encouraging people to use condoms is immoral, and far from checking the disease, will help it spread.

    In Kenya, the archbishop of Nairobi argues that condoms are "a licence for sexuality" and make young people feel they are safer than they actually are.

    The implacable stance of the Pope has dismayed many doctors and scientists.

    However, the Catholic Church is heavily involved in caring for those affected by HIV and Aids in many parts of the world, and some within the Church now question the doctrine.

    Family values

    The Vatican's point of view is rooted in arguments aired in 1960s.

    Ask the experts: Can the condom save the world?
    Following the introduction of the contraceptive pill, Pope Paul VI issued his encyclical Humanae Vitae.

    At the time, many Catholics hoped it would sanction birth control. But the Pope ruled that nothing should prevent the possibility of a child being created from the act of sexual union, which was to take place only within marriage.

    Today the message remains the same. Under the papacy of John Paul II, the Vatican has upheld a view of sexual morality based on fidelity and family values, and abstinence outside marriage.

    But the spread of HIV/Aids since the 1980s has made the use of condoms a major public health issue in many Catholic countries.

    In Brazil, where half a million people are HIV positive, the issue has brought the Church into conflict with a government trying to promote safer sex through the use of condoms.

    It has also created tensions within the Church itself, as senior clerics have tried to enforce the line from Rome, while individual priests sometimes take a more pragmatic view.

    'Fight for life'

    Father Valeriano Paitoni, an Italian priest who works with Aids patients in Sao Paulo, is one of the Vatican's fiercest critics.

    "Aids is a world epidemic, a public health problem that must be confronted with scientific advances and methods that have proven effective," he says.

    I believe the issue of condoms demands a re-think in terms of our traditional approach to moral theology, ethics and to the preservation and protection of life

    Kevin Dowling, Bishop of Rustenburg, South Africa
    "Rejecting condom use is to oppose the fight for life."

    While some Brazilian bishops are thought to be sympathetic, Paitoni's words brought a swift rebuke from the city's archbishop, Cardinal Claudio Hummes, a man tipped by some to become the next pope.

    And there is no doubt that the policy comes from the top. In October, a senior Vatican official told the BBC's Panorama programme that the latex rubber used to make condoms contained "pores" that would not stop the transmission of the HIV virus.

    The World Health Organisation said the claim was not only untrue, but was also dangerous. It stresses that virus particles do not pass through latex.

    The Vatican sees no reason to retract the statement. "You cannot talk about safe sex," said Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, who heads the Pontifical Council for the Family.

    "One should speak of the human value, about the family, and about fidelity."

    Safe or safer?

    The World Health Organisation does say, however, that sex with a condom is not 100% safe because of the risk that the condom will not be used properly or will break.

    Cardinal Hummes: Enforcing the Vatican line on condoms
    This is a concern which many abstinence advocates emphasize.

    Presbyterian Fernando Chomali, the adviser on ethical issues at the Chilean Episcopal Conference, says:

    "When [international organisations] say that the way of stopping Aids is to use a condom, they do not say that it is 100% safe. It's so important that they have changed the language they are using. They started talking about safe sex, now they are talking about safer sex."

    The argument that the disease can only be defeated by persuading people to change their sexual behaviour has found an echo in the United States.

    Washington has promised to spend $15 billion over the next five years on tackling HIV/Aids around the world. One third of the money is being allocated to projects promoting sexual abstinence.

    Lesser evil

    However, some members of the Catholic clergy are adding their voices to those questioning Vatican policy. Kevin Dowling, the Bishop of Rustenburg in South Africa, says the Church needs to recognise the reality of Aids.

    "I believe it demands a re-think in terms of our traditional approach to moral theology, ethics and to the preservation and protection of life," he says.

    "I believe we must give people correct information on condoms all scientific evidence shows that the proper, sustained use of condoms can significantly reduce the infection rate."

    Catholics who support the use of condoms to save lives argue that it is the lesser of two evils.

    But for the Vatican, the acceptance of condoms would be a denial of the long-held belief that sex is all about procreation within marriage.

    It is a doctrine that is now being challenged by the global tragedy of Aids.

  2. #2
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Last Online
    Thursday, August 20th, 2009 @ 01:11 AM
    Uralic/Alpine/Pontid mixed
    United States United States
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    Thanked in
    12 Posts


    Quote Originally Posted by friedrich braun
    Sentencing people to death in the name of "morality."
    From what I read, I'm suprised you're at all concerned about 3rd world people dying because of the Vatican's policy! On actually getting aids, read this article.

    Cure for AIDS: Abstinence
    Excerpt from 'Right from the Heart' presents true facts about disease

    Posted: September 10, 2003
    1:00 a.m. Eastern

    Editor's note: Radio talk-show host Phil Valentine's new book, "Right from the Heart," presents compelling arguments on a host of public-policy issues – one for each letter of the alphabet, from A to Z. Hailed by Fox News' Sean Hannity as "one of the most important pieces of conservative work in recent memory," Valentine's book provides the reader with ammunition to debunk the many politically correct positions presented in America today.
    Today, tomorrow and Friday, WND will present excerpts from three chapters of the book. Today's excerpt from Chapter 1 deals with the realities of AIDS. "Right from the Heart" is available at WorldNetDaily's online store, ShopNetDaily.

    By Phil Valentine
    © 2003

    AIDS Has a cure; it's called abstinence.

    As provocative and implacable a statement as this might be, you know in your heart it's true. To understand the race to find a cure you must also understand how long a cure for any virus has eluded researchers. Almost since the dawn of medicine, man has been looking for a cure for viruses. An Egyptian carving dating from about 1500 B.C. depicts a priest with a shriveled leg, a characteristic of recovery from paralysis caused by the polio virus. It wasn't until the 1950s that a vaccine was developed. Mind you, that wasn't – and isn't – a cure. It's an inoculation, a way of preventing the disease before it strikes.

    The flu virus has a similar history. The name influenza was first given to a disease that caused an epidemic of fevers in Venice around 1300 A.D. The disease was thought to be caused by an "influence" of an odd alignment of the planets. It was centuries later that preventive immunization was developed. Some might call that a cure, but it only works if you're immunized before you get the disease. The point is that we've searched for many hundreds, if not thousands, of years and we've not yet found what could be called a real cure for viruses. We haven't even found the cure for the common cold. Well, sometimes the answer is as simple as using a little common sense.

    Scientists know that developing something that will prevent a viral disease is about the best you can hope for. If you don't have a vaccine, containment is the name of the game. When a particular virus breaks out, you isolate those who have the disease in order to keep it from spreading, thus allowing it to die out. Why, then, do you think researchers would treat AIDS any differently?

    The truth is, AIDS is without a doubt one of the most preventable deadly diseases in the history of this country. We know exactly how it's transmitted. We know exactly who is most at risk. We know exactly how to prevent it. We don't need a vaccine. The spread of AIDS is almost wholly the result of reckless behavior. There are indeed horror stories of people contracting AIDS through blood transfusions, but those cases are extremely rare (about 0.5 percent of all AIDS cases). That's not to say that we shouldn't have compassion for people afflicted with this disease. We most certainly should. People find themselves with all sorts of ailments due to bad choices, and kicking them when they're down serves no purpose. We should treat them with compassion just like anyone else who is dying, but it only serves to perpetuate the problem if we continue to condone the behavior that causes it.

    Our country's approach to the AIDS problem (it's not an epidemic, by the way) has been to throw good money after bad in search of an elusive cure while failing to condemn the very behavior that's at the root of the problem. Passing out condoms at school in an effort to stop the spread of AIDS is like handing out low-nicotine cigarettes as a means of stamping out smoking. Both send the wrong message: that the behavior is OK as long as you're "safe." Cities across the country do the same with needle exchange programs instead of attacking the basic problem of intravenous drug use. Come exchange your dirty needle for a shiny, new, clean one, they beg. It's easy to cry that our need to save lives is immediate thus justifying programs like needle exchange, but short-term solutions have long-term consequences. You don't patch a roof with cardboard. It may get you through one rainy day, but it doesn't solve the problem. Nor does the patchwork approach solve the AIDS problem.

    When a plague was really a plague

    Bubonic plague devastated Europe beginning in the 17th century. Long before Alexandre Yersin discovered the cause of bubonic plague in the late 1800s, humans had already figured out how to prevent the deadly disease. Although they didn't know that rats transmitted the disease through fleas, they deduced that unsanitary conditions caused it to flourish. Once they became more sanitary, the plague disappeared. They learned that the disease was a result of their behavior, and they modified that behavior to rid themselves of the disease.

    AIDS is no different, and we know so much more about its cause than those Europeans knew about the plague. It is inexcusable that we have such knowledge at our fingertips yet we refuse to take the behavioral steps necessary to rid ourselves of AIDS. And unlike the plague, which wiped out a third of the population in England around 1665 (now that's an epidemic), AIDS is far from being such a destructive force in America. Despite assertions from the "Blame Reagan" crowd in the '80s, claiming that he was responsible for the spread of AIDS, it didn't wipe out the United States nor was it ever a threat to do so. Those frantic alarmists screamed that we were all going to die from AIDS unless the government found a cure. We didn't find a cure, and we're still here.

    Even the scientific community got caught up in the exaggeration. In 1986, the National Academy of Sciences predicted that 50,000 people a year would be dying of AIDS by 1991. The New York Times reported in 1987: "Federal scientists project that by the end of 1991, total cases will reach 270,000 with 179,000 deaths." The actual number was just under 30,000. In the last 20 years, 457,667 people have died from AIDS. That's an average of less than 23,000 per year. Keep in mind that AIDS deaths have been on the decline for several years.

    The death toll due to AIDS in 2000 was 14,370. By comparison, 31,224 died of blood poisoning in 2000, while 553,091 died of cancer, 69,301 died of diabetes, 65,313 died of the flu and pneumonia, and 710,760 died of some sort of cardiovascular disease. Heck, 37,251 people died of nephritis, for crying out loud. (That's kidney disease, by the way.) When was the last time you saw a celebrity sporting a nephritis ribbon at an awards show? To put it another way, cardiovascular disease accounts for about 30 percent of all deaths. AIDS accounts for 0.6 percent. In case you missed the decimal point, that's point six percent. Even at its peak, AIDS accounted for no more than 2 percent of annual deaths. That's a far cry from an epidemic. If it is, in fact, an epidemic, why don't we hear about the septicemia epidemic that kills twice as many people each year?

    The heterosexual myth

    Contrary to the PR campaign launched by the AIDS lobby, this disease will never be a problem for the vast majority of us. Let's look at the real numbers. The latest data show that only about two-tenths of one percent of the American population has AIDS. Less than three-hundredths of one percent of the population has AIDS and is heterosexual.

    The fact remains that, by far, the highest risk categories are gay men and intravenous drug users. Those two categories make up at least 78 percent of the AIDS cases. Of the small number of heterosexuals with AIDS, 99 percent contracted the disease from someone who was either gay, bisexual or an intravenous drug user.

    So, it's clear where the risk lies, but the AIDS lobby would have you think that everyone is at peril of contracting AIDS. They have perpetuated a myth that AIDS is infecting the heterosexual community at alarming rates in order to galvanize support in the federal government for more and more funding for AIDS research. In his book "The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS," Michael Fumento points out that heterosexuals are in less danger of contracting AIDS than they are of dying from shark attacks, being hit by lightning or accidentally drowning in the bathtub.

    We know what causes AIDS. More important, we know that the most effective way to rid our country of AIDS is to stop the risky behavior. Instead, those at greatest risk want the government to spend every dime it takes to find a cure. That's akin to someone with lung cancer continuing to smoke while admonishing the government for not spending enough on cancer research.

    Surprisingly, there have been precious few studies gauging the average life expectancy of a gay male. Paul Cameron of The Cameron Group conducted a "study" a few years back and determined that the average homosexual's life expectancy was 42 years. Before you go spouting that statistic, be forewarned that his methodology was highly questionable. He scanned obituaries from gay newspapers and compared the average age of death with those of men in regular newspapers. As you might imagine, all sorts of variables come into play.

    First of all, gay newspapers tend to cater to the more radical homosexuals, thus the more promiscuous. They would certainly run a greater risk of dying from AIDS than their not-so-promiscuous counterparts. Second, the editor has control over which obituary gets printed. A 75-year-old gay man dying of cancer is not news, whereas a 32-year-old man dying of AIDS is. Guess who makes the paper? It is also impossible to determine that every male in the regular newspaper was straight. Needless to say, the Cameron study is far from reliable. Bill Bennett, who cited the Cameron statistics on TV and in an article, later recanted after learning the circumstances of the study.

    Having said all that, it stands to reason that if gay men are subject to the same diseases as straight men and are also at much greater risk of AIDS, their life expectancy is, naturally, going to be less than that of heterosexual males. How much less is still a mystery, but, without question, the gay lifestyle is a risky one. How risky? Let me put it to you this way: At the height of the AIDS problem in the early '90s, your chance of contracting AIDS from a single act of unprotected heterosexual intercourse was 1 in 715,000. The odds for a homosexual were 1 in 165. And no wonder. AIDS-infected men had, on average, 1,100 sexual partners!

    The bug chasers

    Probably the sickest and most disturbing aspect of the whole AIDS issue is a phenomenon known inside the gay community as "bug chasers." These are homosexual men with a death wish. They seek out AIDS-infected men with whom to have sex. An article published in Rolling Stone magazine claimed that 25 percent of all new AIDS cases are bug chasers, although some experts say the number is much lower. Rolling Stone stands behind its numbers.

    A gay man who went by the name of "Carlos" in the article said bug chasers contract the disease as the ultimate sexual thrill, as demented as that may sound. "His eyes light up," a passage from the article reads, "as he says that the actual moment of transmission, the instant he gets HIV will be the 'most erotic thing I can imagine.'" Carlos goes on to say that should he become "positive," he would enjoy spreading the virus to a new partner. "I'm murdering him in a sense, killing him slowly, and that's sort of, as sick as it sounds, exciting to me," he said.

    It's kind of ironic, isn't it, that while these nut cases from ACT UP disrupt church services and even halt trading on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange for a short period, some of the people they're trying to help are purposely seeking out the disease. This is all further evidence that AIDS is a behavioral disease, exactly what Cardinal O'Connor in New York has been preaching and the exact reason ACT UP and other AIDS activists are mad at the Catholic Church. It's time for ACT UP to GROW UP. Take responsibility for your own actions instead of expecting someone else to come behind you and clean up your mess. If you're engaging in risky behavior, stop it, but don't expect me to pay to facilitate it.

    Valentine continues the chapter by discussing AIDS in Africa.

    Order "Right from the Heart" at ShopNetDaily now.

Similar Threads

  1. White Ex-NBA Player Slams Haitians: 'Maybe Use A Condom'
    By Wurfaxt in forum The United States
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: Wednesday, January 27th, 2010, 05:23 PM
  2. Jewish Condom-Maker Julius Fromm (1883-1945)
    By Liberator Germaniae in forum Modern Age & Contemporary History
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Monday, March 12th, 2007, 07:04 PM
  3. Anti-Rape Condom?
    By Parzifal_ in forum Southern Africa
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: Monday, September 5th, 2005, 06:34 PM


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts