Thursday, March 19, 2009

German bishop warns against making a condom taboo

Discussion of condom-criticism of the pope continues
The discussion about the condom's criticism of the pope does not stop. Politicians, and AIDS activists plaguing Benedict's remarks - but also a German Bishop saw reason to be stressed: "The church is not in a dark anti-condom-corner."

In an article for the weekly newspaper Die Zeit in Hamburg the Catholic Bishop Hans-Jochen Jaschke warns against making a taboo from condoms. At the same time he warned of their over-estimation. "The church is not in a dark anti-condom-corner from which they want to intimidate people," he wrote in the guest article.

Benedict XVI on Tuesday at the start of his Africa trip said that the AIDS epidemic cannot be overcome by the distribution of condoms which only magnified the problems. 67 percent of HIV-infected people in the world live in Africa. 17 million people on the continent have already died of AIDS.
"Condoms do not solve the problem '
Jaschke defended the position of the Catholic Church onn AIDS: they follow a holistic approach of awareness, prevention and assistance for the sick. Human sexuality requires responsibility for themselves and others. At the same time, the bishop does not reject the use of condoms"Anyone who has AIDS and sexually active, who seeks ever-changing partners, must protect others and themselves." he writes. If a husband sick with AIDS has sex with his wife, " protection is required."
At the same time, the bishop warned against "myths and trivialisation". The distribution of condoms could not solve the problem. Men often rejected from their use. Ignorance, lack of hygiene, and inhumane living conditions created a dangerous breeding ground for the spread of AIDS. Jaschke also referred to the global commitment of the Church against AIDS. Half the institutions in the fight against AIDS globally were church organisations, one quarter being Catholic organisations.
The SPD federal ministers, Ulla Schmidt and Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, spoke against the pope, without mentioning him explicitly. "Modern development cooperation must give the poorest of the poor access to family planning. And in particular, the use of condoms. Anything else would be irresponsible," they made a joint declaration in Berlin. In addition tcondoms played a crucial role in the fight against the immune deficiency disease AIDS.

Sharp criticism came from the health policy spokesman of the SPD, Wolfgang Wodarg, and the German AIDS-Hilfe. Wodarg said, by "his reckless speech displaying ideological hostility to the world, the Pope places a heavy guilt upon himself. He endangers human life and devaluea responsible prevention work of many non-governmental organizations, governments and international education programs."

AIDS-Hilfe said that given the millions suffering from HIV and AIDS in Africa, the categorical rejection of the condom by the Vatican is "cynical and devalues humanity". Further a spokesman said: "The Pope not only sins against Catholics but the whole of humanity."

"Pope has not strictly forbidden condoms "
The head of the German Section of Vatican Radio in Rome, Father Eberhard von Gemmingen, defended the church leader. "Pope Benedict XVI has not strictly forbidden condoms, as is shown," he told Deutsche Welle. "The Pope has just said that the condom is not a 'solution'. That's one thing I hope we all agree," said the Father. The solution lies in overcoming poverty.
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