Gerard Henderson is confused

That’s the most charitable interpretation I can come up with for this spectacularly stupid piece that was published on the National Times website today.

Henderson is Executive Director of a conservative think tank called The Sydney Institute.He tells his readers in today’s column that “Benedict speaks from the heart”.That’s referring to the current catholic Pope, in case you’re wondering.

A series of official meetings at the Holy See last week served as a reminder that, in its governance function, the Catholic Church is very bureaucratic. Yet Pope Benedict has just done what few government or religious leaders would do. He gave six interviews of one hour’s duration each to the German journalist and author Peter Seewald.

The product of this conversation is contained in Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times (Ignatius Press), which has just been published. In the Western world, which is increasingly subsumed with sex and celebrity, media attention has focused on the Pope’s answers to two questions about HIV/AIDS in Africa and the church forbidding condoms.

So the Pope, head of a bunch of pedophile enablers and morally bancrupt old men, is giving interviews because his reputation is somewhat, shall we say, damaged, and this is making him a great guy how exactly ? The second part is the truly despiccable one, what does the media’s alleged obsession with “sex and celebrity” have to do with the Pope saying that condoms don’t protect from HIV ? This is not about hedonism, it’s about the direct effect of this message on mainly heterosexual partners in Africa.People die because of this shit, Mr Henderson.

And that’s the essential point. The Pope recognises that not all Catholics follow the teachings of the church. Moreover, Africa is by no means a Catholic zone. The unfashionable fact is that HIV/AIDS is rife in large parts of Africa because many African men have multiple sex partners. Only some of them are baptised Catholic.

Frantic attempt to spin B16′s words.How utterly pathetic.He’s essentially saying, well, you Africans, it’s not that you couldn’t get to the condom machine if you wanted to ! Mr Henderson, this Pope has said, and he’s on the record for it, that condoms make the AIDS crisis worse. You Sir, are therefore a liar.This is not mentioning the fact that HIV in Africa these days is affecting heterosexuals more than homosexuals. So, not only a liar, but also uninformed about the topic he writes about.Here is the 2010 UNAIDS report, which clearly states that the people that are most frequently infected now are heterosexuals, and the other relevant bit of information here is that

In Senegal, four fifths (82%) of the surveyed men who have sex with men said that they also have sex with women (25). In Malawi, one third of men who have sex with men were married or cohabiting with a woman (26), as were two thirds of those surveyed in the Nigerian state of Enugu (27).

So a significant number of African men have sex with men and women.Condoms, dear Mr Henderson, would help to reduce the spread of HIV.Whether you are a baptised Catholic or not. And asking for abstinence or marital fidelity will be of no help here either.The reality is that the Catholic Church is completely removed from the social realities in those countries, and is making things worse.This “but theyre not all baptised Catholics” argument makes me sick, no they aren’t, but how about the Catholic Church told their believers about what their best bet is not to contract or spread HIV ? That would be a start, wouldn’t it.

Now it gets a bit sickening :

The Catholic Church has a good understanding of the devastation of HIV/AIDS. It is estimated about 15 per cent of the world’s population is Catholic and that 25 per cent of all AIDS victims around the world are treated in Catholic institutions. That’s an impressive statistic.

Yay ! We’re not helping to reign in the spread of HIV, in fact our policies are designed to advance its spread, but hey, from the money we collect through taxes and collections we run some Hospitals that treat the victims of our fucked-up policies ! Excuse me, Mr Henderson, when I don’t feel jubilant about this.

It gets ridiculous in this bit :

The evidence suggests the Pope is more considered than many of his critics. This is evident in Light of the World where the former theology professor acknowledges the church handles some issues poorly, concedes that “the Pope can have private opinions that are wrong” and accepts that “no one is forced to be a Christian”. The Pope also apologises for the “filth” involved in the sexual abuse of young children by male priests and brothers.

What evidence, where ? Henderson doesn’t tell us.He acknowledges the church handled some issues poorly ? That’s what the systematic rape of children over centuries boils down to for Mr Henderson, a minor issue being “handled poorly” ? I am rather disgusted at this apologist’s attempt to make the Catholic Church look contemporary and on the ball.When all they are is a bunch of enablers and obscurators of pedophilia, snakeoil salesmen trying to sell a brand of woo that most people these days are too intelligent, or disgusted, to buy.

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