March 23, 2009

put a lid on it…

Filed under: opinion article — newritings @ 11:09 pm

dressed up, condom lives

dressed up, condom lives

Pope Benedict´s recent visit to Cameroon and Angola (March 2009) saw him hit the limelight for all the wrong or is it his Right reasons. I am talking of his controversial views on contraceptives which I say unashamedly, he must be condom-ned, in a manner that is deserving´ of a person of his rank. The Pope has again highlighted his views that condoms will not solve the HIV epidemic and abstinence and fidelity were his panacea to this deadly virus.

It easy for him to preach this, as a celibate priest, but it is wrong for him to say this in a continent dying from various illnesses and diseases  such as HIV-Aids.(I do not exclude the  legacy of colonialism, imperialism including our own mis-rule.)  It is reported that about 67% of the world’s 32.9m people living with HIV are in sub-Saharan Africa.

Various governments including Germany, the Netherlands, and France and a few others criticized openly, what the Pope was saying, The Socialist government of Spain, supposedly Catholic (Europe is officially Catholic dominated!) in a parallel move responded by showing their opposition, announced that it was delivering 1 million condoms to Africa. (This is a very small (symbolic) number and it is known that  condoms are not re-usable.) The HSRC of South Africa, once reported that condom distribution has increased from 267 million in 2001 to 346 million in 2004, and despite the increases (modest) the use of condoms by many men is still subject to many ignorant prejudices where some men believe that “love without the glove” is the only way to have sex. On the other extreme is the male myth that unprotected sex with infants will cue Aids. It does not cure HIV-Aids infecton. It is paedophilia and the views against condoms do not help.

Talking of paedophilia, it is worth pointing out that this current controversy has ignited debate about  is or  has been wrong inside the Catholic church for a long time. Let me try to explain. In response to the African No Condom  Crusade, various commentators have challenged the chuch´s legitimacy to deal  intelligently and justly with matters that deal with sexuality and womens rights.

The excommunicating bishop...gods law above the constitution

The excommunicating bishop...gods law above the constitution

One  commentator asked if any rapist or paedophile priest has ever been excomunicated for their sin-crime – abuse of children? This clearly was a reference to Brazilian     Archbishop Don Jose Cardoso Sobrinho who excommunicated the doctors who performed an abortion on a 9 year old child who was raped apparently by her step father. The girl it has been reported was expecting twins and the sexual abuse had apparently been going on since the girl was 6  years old. It is a legitimate question to ask: did the church excommunicate the perpetrator?

This act outraged many in civil society, in particular womens groups who have been pushing toe change the abortion law in Brazil which make abortion illegal. The president Lula too was angered and is on record for saying that the doctors were more correct than the church: “As a Christian and a Catholic, I find it deeply lamentable that a bishop of the Catholic Church has such a conservative attitude,” “In this case, the medical profession was more right than the church,”

The Episcopalian writes in his blog that the Archbishop Don Jose Cardoso Sobrinho of Recife excommunicated all except the perpetrator:_the doctor, the child’s mother and the medical team involved in the procedure. The stepfather was not excommunicated for reasons which are illogical to me, but is gospel according to the wise Bishop who explains it thus:  “A graver act than (rape) is abortion, to eliminate an innocent life.” Furthermore, the child was not excommunicated, because Catholic Church law exempts minors from excommunication.

Equally stupid, was the almost simultaneous announcement to the  NO Condom speech was the campaign initiated by the Bishops of Spain , with the message  that the rights of the child, humans- took second place to those of the enviroment., and other animal life. This false dichotomy ignores the first principle of not the bible but the Earth Summit, 1992, which said that humans are part of the environment and must live happily together thus:Human beings are at the centre of concerns for sustainable development. They are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature.

This quote may be a useful key towards concluding and let me start by talking of the humble condom, which I think the Spanish word for it better explains what we are talking about: In the Spanish language where it has two words, used interchangeably: preservativo , and condón, and as is common in the latin languages where a gender (or a neuter in some cases) is ascribed to a word, this word take the male form.

So the Bishops in Spain must realize that both the flora and fauna and human matter to ensure that we live better on this shared earth. However, where the rubber really rubs partriach´s up the wrong way is their denial of the right for women to negotiate whether they want to have sex, with whom, how etc.

The strategic attack of the church (and some of the leaders of the other faiths too) are fighting a battle of what they see as lost ground “internationally” where gay rights to marriage has been enshrined in law as well as the right to and “abortion on demand” and the provisions of condoms is but a means towards their end…

This is where many religions fail women, they deny them their fundamental reproductive rights – and here I repeat, the Pope is not alone, and is joined by many other political mis-leaders including the former President Bush. On HIV the former president Thabo Mbeki too was criticized for questioning the link between the HI-Virus and Aids, as the debate deflected on what was needed to save lives.

An earlier visit to Africa - same line

An earlier visit to Africa - same line


  1. […] newritings placed an observative post today on put a lid on itâ […]

    Pingback by Topics about Religion » put a lid on it… — March 24, 2009 @ 12:18 am | Reply

  2. […] newritings placed an observative post today on put a lid on itâ […]

    Pingback by Topics about Medical » Archive » put a lid on it… — March 24, 2009 @ 1:12 am | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: