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Vatican Radio: interview on AIDS with Bishop Dowling, papal critic and condom supporter

Catholic World News - January 21, 2013

Linda Bordoni of Vatican Radio has interviewed Bishop Kevin Dowling of Rustenburg, a prelate whose criticism of Blessed John Paul and Pope Benedict earned a rebuke from his fellow South African bishops in 2010.

Bishop Dowling, who has criticized Catholic teaching on condom use, spoke with Vatican Radio about his diocese’s efforts to care for AIDS patients. In his impoverished rural diocese, some women engage in “survival sex” to feed their children, and 50% of pregnant mothers have HIV.

During the course of the 21-minute Vatican Radio segment, Bishop Dowling said that President George W. Bush’s anti-AIDS PEPFAR program supported Church-based programs to provide anti-retroviral drugs, which “have enabled us to save people’s lives and to keep them well and able to work, support their families, and so on. That has been a major shift.”

However, “from May we get no more money from the American government. So the challenge has been to find ways to transfer our patients to the [South African] government sector.”

“The government is already overwhelmed,” he added. “They don‘t have enough staff or clinics--they can’t take the 1,850 patients that I have.”

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