Another archbishop heard from
Typical of the moral blindness of the Catholic church on the condom issue – the archbishop of Sydney talks a lot of emollient drivel about sexual morality as the putative reason for saying condoms make the AIDS epidemic worse – without ever mentioning the blindingly obvious (to anyone but a moral idiot) that condoms are needed because AIDS transmission involves two people, one of whom can be as sexually faithful as any pope or archbishop could desire and still be infected by the other party. Usually this cashes out to women infected by men. The archbishop talks and talks and talks and talks and never mentions this. It is wicked to fail to mention it.
To blame Catholics and Pope Benedict for the spread of HIV/AIDS requires proof that while people are ignoring the first, essential Christian requirement to be chaste before and within marriage, they are slavishly obedient to a second requirement not to use condoms…Catholic teaching is opposed to adultery, fornication and homosexual intercourse, even with condoms, not because it denies condoms offer health protection, but because traditional Christian moral teaching believes all extra-marital intercourse contradicts the proper meaning of love and sexuality.
But even if one agrees with every word of that the problem remains that a woman (or, much less likely, a man) could heed and obey that to the last jot and tittle and still, without a condom, be infected. Why does the archbishop ignore this fact? Because he has nothing to say? Because there is nothing to say other than that condoms are indeed needed as (at least) insurance? If so, that’s a wicked reason to keep silent.
Christ called Christians to a different way of living, to a purity of heart where even looking on a woman with aggressive and disordered desire (lust) is wrong.
Oh – well maybe the answer is even simpler, as indicated by that remark. Maybe the archbishop really is so stupid and so callous that he really doesn’t even realize that women exist – maybe he really does think that it’s only men who are agents, only men who are called to a different way of living, only men who can and should be faithful, and therefore only men who can be infected. Maybe he just doesn’t get it that women are also part of the equation, that when men ‘look on’ them with lust and then act on the looking, the act has consequences for the woman as well as the man.
Yet he’s the archbishop of Sydney; he has a platform; he can go right on telling Catholics – women and men alike – that condoms are bad and harmful. That’s unfortunate.