AIDS in Africa: science vindicates Catholic Church

AIDS in Africa: science vindicates Catholic Church

Babette Francis

During his visit to Africa in March, Pope Benedict XVI responded to the media assertion that the Catholic Church's position on combating AIDS is 'unrealistic and ineffective'. He said, 'I would say the opposite - the reality that is most effective, the most present and the strongest in the fight against AIDS, is precisely that of the Catholic Church, with its programs and its diversity.

'I would say that one cannot overcome this problem of AIDS only with money, which is important, but if there is no soul, no people who know how to use it, [money] doesn't help. One cannot overcome the problem with the distribution of condoms. On the contrary, they increase the problem'.

Following these comments, the world's condom promoters, homosexual activists, population-controllers, and secular media in general, led a vitriolic attack on the Pope and the Catholic Church.

Pro-family culture

However, scientists and pro-family organisations have defended Benedict, pointing out that not only is science on his side, but his remarks acknowledged the pro-family culture of Africa, which is opposed to the population control agenda promoted by many Western aid agencies.

Edward C. Green, director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project, Harvard Centre for Population and Development Studies, said that 'the evidence confirms the Pope is correct in his assessment that condom distribution exacerbates the problem of AIDS. Or to put it a better way, the best evidence we have supports the Pope's comments.'

The Harvard AIDS Project's webpage on Dr Green lists his book Rethinking AIDS Prevention: Learning from Successes in Developing Countries. Green reveals: 'The largely medical solutions funded by major donors have had little impact in Africa, the continent hardest hit by AIDS. Instead, relatively simple, low-cost behavioural change programs - stressing increased monogamy and delayed sexual activity for young people - have made the greatest headway in fighting or preventing the disease's spread.'

The Catholic Church has been at the forefront of such programs. It also operates more hospitals and related medical centres for AIDS patients than any other private institution in the world.

While Pope Benedict was merely reiterating Catholic teaching, backed by research showing the failure rate of condoms and the promiscuity they encourage significantly contributes to the spread of AIDS, defenders of the Pope have observed that the Holy Father's remarks had a further inspiration beyond science.

Franciscan Father Maurizio Faggioni, who has advised the Vatican on sexual morality issues, said the Pope was in part responding to a grave cultural threat to Africa posed by the condom philosophy and the international population control movement that promotes it: 'The Pope sees condom campaigns as a question of 'cultural violence', especially in Africa, where there has never been a contraceptive mentality.'

Fr Faggioni's opinion is supported by local African AIDS activists who regularly complain that AIDS sufferers in their countries are being used in a massive international campaign both to reduce African populations and to undermine traditional African family values.

Martin Ssempa, a Protestant minister, government consultant on AIDS prevention and key player in Uganda's highly successful abstinence and faithfulness anti-AIDS programs, told that the hostility towards the Catholic Church shown by international AIDS organisations is matched only by their hatred of traditional Christian sexual morality.

He said those attacking the Pope for his stand against the use of condoms have 'no credibility' and this kind of attack on the Pope and the Catholic Church's position that occurs regularly in the press stems from hatred and fear in the 'AIDS industry' of traditional morality in general and of sexual continence in particular. He thanked Pope Benedict for saying that condoms can exacerbate the problem of HIV/AIDS.

Uganda's population is mainly Christian, and the message, supported by government-sponsored promotion, that men and women should not engage in extra-marital sex, dramatically reduced Uganda's AIDS rate over the last couple of decades.

Ssempa and other local AIDS activists have frequently decried the interference of US and Europe-based international organisations who reject abstinence and fidelity principles in favour of condoms. This, they say only encourages promiscuity and the spread of the deadly disease. Since the intervention of the international AIDS groups, with their emphasis on condoms and down-playing of abstinence, Uganda's AIDS rate has begun, according to local experts, to 'tick back up.'

'We must ask the tough question', says Ssempa, 'why do the nations in Africa with the highest condom rates correspond with the highest HIV/AIDS? These include Botswana and South Africa who have the highest condoms per male, yet they are in the top three spots of the nations with the highest HIV/AIDS. On the other hand nations with lower condom rates per male per year correspond with lower HIV/AIDS. Condoms have not reduced HIV-AIDS anywhere in the world ... Higher condom rates across Africa have resulted in higher HIV.

'Condom promoting international organisations such as UNAIDS are demonising the Catholic Church unfairly. In fact in countries where the Catholic Church is strong, there is lower HIV than places where the Catholic Church is not.'

Babette Francis, BSc Hons (Microbiology & Chemistry), is the National and Overseas Co-ordinator of Endeavour Forum Inc. LifeSiteNews is the source for much of the information in this article.

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