by Cahir O'Doherty
Pope Benedict traveled to Africa this week to lay out his vision for the Church's future there. As expected he took the opportunity to remind the faithful never to use condoms in the fight against AIDS.
It was a bold stance to adopt in a continent that accounts for around 70 percent of the world's HIV cases. But for Benedict, AIDS is not so much a health problem as an ethical one.
'Above all, (AIDS) is an ethical problem,' he said, raising eyebrows in a continent devastated by the HIV virus. 'The change of behavior that it requires – for example, sexual abstinence, rejection of sexual promiscuity, fidelity within marriage – ultimately involves the question of integral development, which demands a global approach and a global response from the Church…'
The pope's central point is that the ethical challenges AIDS poses to his Church teachings are ultimately more important than, you know, actually helping to prevent people from becoming infected in the first place.