Another evil old man or a ray of unexpected hope?
Tim Dunlop has an excellent post (with which I wholeheartedly agree) about an editorial in The Australian praising Pope Benedict XVI for deciding to reconsider the vatican’s prohibition on HIV-infected males using condoms when having sex with their wives! As Tim observes:
The notion that any rational person with a shred of decency could objectlet alone consider it evilfor a person to use a condom so as not to pass on HIV beggars belief. The idea that we should praise them because they are now thinking about changing their minds sure does set to a new low the bar on things-we-ought-to-admire in our betters.
Various other bloggers seem to think that it’s a wonderful thing that Ratzinger unexpectedly seems not to be quite as thoroughly evil an old troglodyte as his late unlamented predecessor. But it’s praising with faint damns really, isn’t it? I deliberately turned myself into a lapsed Catholic as a result of the Church’s conspicuous and ongoing failure to deal in good faith with priestly child molestation in many countries including Australia, and because of its utterly evil attitude to HIV, birth control etc. Until we actually see substantial movement on some of these issues, it’s premature to be handing out plaudits.
Many parts of the Catholic Church continue to do great work on social justice issues throughout the world, but it’s largely negated by its continuing appalling attitudes to sex-related issues, which engender such misery and suffering, especially in poorer countries whose people mostly lack the necessary education levels simply to quietly ignore the most egregious Church edicts as Catholics in rich nations like Australia tend to do.