Monday, April 6, 2009

Readers on Pope Benedict XVI, Condoms, and the Church

Responding to recent dialogue about the Pope, condoms, and criticisms of the Catholic church, one reader writes:

"I have to interrupt this Catholic-bashing session. Although, you may passionately disagree about the Pope's stance on this issue, and many do, to say that you take comfort in the Catholic Church's irrelevance is unsettling. Understandably, many people take issue with Church teachings. However, let's not forget that the Catholic Church plays a vital social service role in the world including a mission of service to the poor and a consistent battle against the death penalty."

But there are (at least) two sides to every story. Another reader writes:

"I am much more furious at “the wise old man,” ... I don’t think he is at all wise. I am sorry. I think he is endangering people’s lives and that is a crime in my scheme of things.

Condoms are a huge part of the effort to contain HIV and education among youth on how to use them must be included in any strategy. For the last eight years, the U.S. has been putting abstinence first. Now we have a chance to redress the balance and emphasize all methods, starting with condoms, in an intelligent and sensitive way. Then along come the Pope."

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