Words fail me. They really do. Well, almost.
While travelling around Africa, it seems the epitomy of white, male, monied, powerful, European, misogynistic, conservative, academic, religious privilege has loftily reminded his flock that they should not be using condoms.
Pope Benedict does not think that the way ahead against AIDS in Africa (or anywhere else) is to use condoms. What is needed is marital fidelity and sexual abstinence.
What world does this man live in? Oh, yes, the one I mentioned above in my second paragraph. One where poverty, disease, survival, and living from day to day, has no place. One in which, he has a grand piano in his papal quarters as apparently (according to Wiki), he is an accomplished pianist, and his favourite composer is Mozart.
There is something about this surreal comparison that I find deeply offensive. Pope Ben sits at home, relaxing, playing Mozart on his piano. Twenty two million people in Africa have HIV/AIDS.
We all have ideals to aim for. But to expect people to always have sex without contraception, not have sex before or outside marriage, and not use something as fundamental as a condom to protect their health is quite simply crass and unrealistic. Worse. It suggests it is better to contract HIV/AIDS than to use one of those devilish devices – a condom.
People have the right to make their own decisions, and not be treated as though they are idiots, by some autocratic head of a patriarchal religion. Education and a sense of self-worth are far more valuable than some antiquated ramblings from on high. It is a shame that the only education the Catholic Church seems to be interested in is that of spreading Catholicism.
I don’t think I will start on the Pope’s views about homosexuality, abortion, and the essential differences between men and women.
The Pope may well have done/said some good things. But the bad ones far outweigh the good. And if there is a heaven, he doesn’t deserve to be there. In my view.