Sunday, 21 November 2010

The Pope

I was interested today to read about the furore surrounding the Popes comments on the use of condoms - from interviews being collated into a book and released this Tuesday.

The media have latched onto it as a sort of 'comedown' from a known 'truth' that we all know that the Catholics don't do contraceptives. A little extra digging on t'internet reveals that its not really anything of the sort. What they're actually saying is that in the case of AIDS, its more about the preservation of life rather than the prevention of it.

The Catholics say that only God has the authority to say if a baby should be conceived it not and it is this standpoint that the no condoms thing comes from. The church has been condemned in the past (and present) for being archaic and out of touch - after all, who is interested in a life of abstinence? I remember reading something a few years ago where the church said that abstinence was the only sure fire way of preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS. The reaction from the secular world was predictably outraged.

But really what is wrong with that comment? On a purely factual level, abstinence is the best way of not contracting an STD/I. I don't see the problem with it being promoted as a form of disease prevention. This is not a revolutionary thought.

A lot of effort has gone into the concept (dare I say reality in a limited % of the world) of informed choice.

Some of the media outrage has been surrounding the idea that people are impressionable and so the church saying don't use condoms will actually cause an increase in the spread of the disease.

To me this says a bit about the low opinion some elements of the media have about the people 'on the ground/at risk from contracting the disease due to the fact they live in an area with a high incidence of the disease'.

Abstinence is a form of contraception. It should be taught alongside other methods. Theres nothing outrageous about that view. People should have the choice, not just handed a bag of condoms or a supply of The Pill and told to get on with it. Is that choice? Thats just people who think they know better inflicting their own judgements in the situation.

To come back to the Pope, I'm not even a Catholic but I do think in this respect he was given too hard a time.

On the other hand, just get me started on the view that condoms shouldn't be used as a contraceptive (or any other method) and you'll hear me give and entirely different view on his 'Holiness'... but that's probably another blog for another day.
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