Pope Benedict XVI is undoubtedly a good man, a good leader of his church, but on occasion he appears to suffer from an inability to grasp the dynamics of modern life. He is currently on a tour of Africa, a continent which is being ravaged by AIDS and in which the infection rate in many nations has reached over 10% of the population. The Pope made clear to Catholics his firm opposition to the use of condoms during sexual encounters. He said, “AIDS is a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money since that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems.” The solution according to the Pope is a “spiritual and human awakening” and “friendship for those who suffer.”
People are dying. Thousands enjoy lives filled with pain and quick death. To ask these individuals to consider having a “spiritual awakening” will not end their suffering. It is time for the Pope to recognize a modern disease and offer assistance in preventing its occurrence. The use of condoms has only one benefit– it helps prevent disease.