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March 26, 2009 / kathrynllewellyn

Who is the immoral one?

 I am so so sad that my very first blog is about the irresponsible and frankly disgraceful comments made by the Pope. This is a man in a position of great power and what he says has an impact on the behavior of so many people throughout the world.  Fine if he wants to promote abstinence and faithfulness I have no issue with this – I do however have a strong objections to his arrogant statement that “the traditional teaching of the Church has proven to be the only failsafe way to prevent the spread of HIV/Aids”.

 I would love to know how many African women Pope Benedict XVI has met and what gives him the right to both judge the moral behavior of others but also to prove his above statement. He quite obviously has no grasp of reality.

Many of the women that I have met in Africa that are HIV positive are faithful and did abstain until they were married – so your way is not so failsafe hey Pope Benedict XVI. If it was why are they now HIV positive? The crack in your theory there Pope is that many of these young girls marry older men who have had and often continue to have other partners. 

I am amazed at how anyone could be so ignorant in the face of a pandemic that is wiping out entire generations, that is creating a new family structure of child headed households and is seeing more AID’s Orphans than the world knows how to help. I hope he is ignorant because if he is aware and still made these comments then he is a very cruel man whose actions will lead directly to the increased spread of this killer disease –now that’s not very moral behavior in my humble opinion!

The sad fact is that these calls from the Pope only further marginalize the most vulnerable women. They will lead to even more judgment and blame.  Do you hate women?  Do you hate people? Or are you so detached from reality that you no longer have the right to speak on such important issues.

A final thought and one that I am so keen to get more people talking about is that many of us have sex out side of marriage – I do!  Does that make me immoral? I think it makes me honest. 

I have in mind one of my dear African women friends and when I think about it I am no different to her. We both share the same values we both campaign for the same issues and we both laugh at the same stupid jokes. We are the same only I have more choices than her because I am lucky to be in a society that allows me these choices.  We are the same only that she abstained from sex until she was married and I don’t, we are the same only that she has no choice as to whether she uses a condom when she has sex, I do, we are the same only that she is HIV positive and I am not.   

So how accurate is your statement “the traditional teaching of the Church has proven to be the only failsafe way to prevent the spread of HIV/Aids” when faced with reality.



Leave a Comment
  1. Gareth Squire / Mar 26 2009 1:12 pm

    Hey Kathryn and welcome to the blogosphere…

    It’s so sad isn’t it? Unfortunately many people the world over heed the Pope’s words. I might agree with the benefits of committed monogamous relationships, and avoiding sexual relations outsdide of them – if your friend’s husband had followed that line she probably wouldn’t be HIV+ – but I could never agree with a stance that causes such suffering. And I think condoms should made available alongside educational campaigns that target the stigma attached to using one.

    And I’m dismayed for another reason when I hear these ‘great’ pronouncements from on high because they put people off exploring to see what Jesus REALLY had in mind…which is a world of compassion and self-giving, sacrificial love, and of situational leadership, not legalism.

  2. Catherine / Mar 26 2009 1:19 pm

    Great first blog and on such an important issue – I was incensed by those ridiculous comments too. I hope the Pope reads this but fear that he is so far removed from reality he probably doesn’t know what a blog is. And don’t even get me started on his comments about homosexuality …

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