More on the Pope and Condoms
The fallout from the Pope's words on condom use last week is starting to reach across the globe. I wonder if the Pope realizes how his words can devastate public health worldwide, and fuel more HIV infection?
Here is just one example, from Canada:
For the past four years, the Calgary Catholic Teachers' Association has held fundraisers during Lent, for The Stephen Lewis Foundation, a charity that supports women and children living with HIV/AIDS in Africa. The Foundation also supports the use of condoms.
But now, Calgary's Bishop Fred Henry, after complaints from parishioners, has encouraged the teachers to find another group in Africa to support, one with more 'Catholic' values.
"It's been a difficult issue for us to deal with because it's been very divisive," said David Cracknell, president of the Calgary Catholic Teachers Association, referring to the Church's stance on birth control.
Cracknell said the issue has divided the teachers' union: "It's very difficult for teachers to even consider defying the bishop because he provides the moral guidance for us, along with, of course ultimately, the Pope. However, teachers are very committed to the Stephen Lewis Foundation and very committed to helping around the world as a social-justice type of project."
A former leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party, Lewis was appointed Canada's ambassador to the United Nations in 1984. He later became deputy director of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and from 2001 to 2006 he served as the first United Nations Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa.
Recommended reading, concerning the Catholic Church and HIV/AIDS: