March 19, 2009

Pope in Africa

Not surprisingly, the the media today misrepresented the Pope's comments on condoms. I know that most people are not going to like what he really said and meant, but I still think it needs to be said.

Fr. Longenecker wrote about it yesterday, and there's no need in me trying to reword it all.

The other 'big picture' non-Catholics miss is the big picture of the whole of Catholic moral teaching. They have this idea that somehow Catholics simply think condoms are nasty and immoral. They don't understand why we think condoms are evil. They don't understand that Catholics are not just against condoms. We're also against any form of sexual activity outside of marriage, and we're against it (and every other form of human evil) not because we're spoil sports, but because we are against anything that ruins human life, abuses the human person, destroys human potential for full and complete joy and ultimate sanctification...

The Catholic Church not only calls people to marriage and abstinence from sex outside marriage; we call the world to an understanding of purity and purpose within the sacramental marriage bond.

There is a priest from rural Kenya who is studying in my diocese. He is here to earn a masters in counseling so he may return to his home diocese and better serve those who have been afflicted by HIV/AIDS. I interviewed him for an article and he said, "When this terrible disease surfaced more than two decades ago, the Church's first response was to assist these people with medicine, food, clothing and schooling for the children. This coupled with spiritual care seemed enough at the time, but our experience over the years has shown that such an intervention is not just adequate." He spoke about his work and the people he serves with great passion and love.

I think it's important to note that this priest, a man in the midst of the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa, stands by Pope Benedict and the Church in all things, even condoms.

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