This day certainly will not count as one of the best days of my life. In the morning, I learnt that one of my online friends who was honestly caring and thoughtful individual has passed away. Later in the day, I received a not-so-good-news about work, and found myself still hopelessly angry about something in my past. I am certainly worried about my family’s future, yet still, just now I stumbled into something that made me worry about the world in general.
This piece of news from MSNBC reported that The Pope has issued a statement where he reportedly made his first explicit statement about HIV / AIDS. And I must say that what he said failed to impress me. If anything, it even got me feeling disturbed and a bit angered.
On his way to Africa on Tuesday the Pope said that condoms were not the answer in the continent’s fight against HIV. “You can’t resolve it with the distribution of condoms,” the pope told reporters aboard the Alitalia plane headed to Yaounde, Cameroon, where he will begin a seven-day pilgrimage on the continent. “On the contrary, it increases the problem.”
In all fairness, he did say that The Vatican encourages sexual abstinence to fight the spread of the disease. In itself, sexual abstinence is a very good thing, if one can indeed keep himself / herself abstaining from sex. But I feel that’s a one very big “if”. What His Holiness failed to comprehend, is the fact that his statement certainly has tremendous potential power to defer the use of condoms among the general population.
Now let us pause for a moment and combine those two conditions. If we can safely assume that the population in general will still engage in sex no matter what anyone might say ( for obvious valid purpose of procreation or just recreation ); and if a lot of people then abhor the use of condoms because a certain religious authority has stated that it only increases the problems ; I shudder to think what the future might bring to this planet in the context of HIV / AIDS. In fact, my fingers were trembling as I typed this post. This is a blatant display of ignorance of what The Papal Throne means. He is a person of authority, and his words hold very big influence over millions of people on this planet. To issue a statement with such dangerous possible implications is very foolish, – regardless of all the best intentions that he had ( in issuing it ).
God, I don’t know. One of my previous posts was written exactly to protest the similar kind of statement made by a certain organization in Indonesia, – now the head of one of the biggest institutionalized religion on earth said the same thing. If I call the said post by the title of “Ideology or Idiocy”, then indeed I am sorry to say that The Pope is walking that very fine hypothetical line between Ideology and Idiocy. He is playing with fire, – and if he continues to do so, it’s going to be one big fire he would not enjoy to try to tame.