Society Debate:Was the Pope’s remark on condom use wise?

He is losing tradition
First of all, let’s examine the words of Pope Benedict XVI concerning condom use. In a translated interview, the Pope’s elaboration was particularly about how condoms can reduce the risk of a male prostitute contracting HIV. Note: male prostitute.

One may wonder why he chose a minority group to speak about such a topic, which is of great interest to as many countries as organizations. It’s not rocket science that male prostitution is almost unheard of in Africa; so basically, the Pope’s words were not directed to us here.
True also, UN statistics show that only 4 to 8 percent of all HIV infections occur in sexual intercourse between men. That leaves a whole 90 something percent heterosexual victims unattended to by his remarks.

Perhaps he intended to send an encrypted message to those catholic priests who have melted the church in sex scandals with minors and homosexuality, such as Juan Carlos Maccarone in 2005 and Francisco Domingo Barbosa in 2009.

However, does this imply that, finally, the values that the church held for so long are suddenly going down the drain?
In 1968, an encyclical letter from Pope Paul VI, entitled, Humanae Vitae (Latin for “Of human life), reaffirmed the church’s position on many issues and prohibited all forms of artificial contraception.

Although it didn’t lack its own contradictions, the Humanae Vitae became a sign of the church’s continuity of doctrine and tradition.

For Pope Benedict XVI to flirt with controversy now, it doesn’t makes the fight against AIDS only harder, but also, plants doubt in the Catholic faithful, concerning the church’s strength to uphold its most valuable traditions in this era that is swerving with the winds of change.

From time memorial, religious traditions have faced criticism and pressure from non-faith organizations to change their stance on contraception and issues like euthanasia, abortion and homosexuality.

Prominent godless organizations, particularly the Richard Dawkins Foundation, have viciously called for the abolition of religious studies, prayer in schools or openly speaking about faith.

Whereas they regard any religious outreach program as a self-righteous way of deluding people, these organizations don’t regard themselves as such when they openly attack and ridicule religion.

So, when the Pope comes out to front condom use other than abstinence and faithfulness, it’s not hard to tell who is smirking with a grin.

Christian traditions have helped to preserve society morals that distinguish us from other animals, values that glorify self-control and the conscience to distinguish between right and wrong.

I do not refute the fact that using condoms is a useful and practical way to protect oneself from acquiring HIV. However irrefutable it may sound, condoms can never be as perfect as abstinence and faithfulness in the fight against HIV.

The church has bred a significant generation of young people who are willing to abstain until marriage, to be faithful partners; and for the church, to suddenly make a U-turn and agitate for condom use, only frustrates these young people’s efforts.

When everybody else seemed to have inclined to condom use, the church had withstood secular pressure to protect its traditions. Now only one option abounds; you either use a condom or are ridiculed for practicing methods that “don’t work” and which have been deserted by everyone, including the church.

There will be no more pride in the tradition of abstaining and staying faithful; practices that have not only safeguarded people from HIV/AIDS, but from other immoralities like fornication, abortion and homosexuality.

ivanmugisha@yohoo.com