Catholic World News

Ugandan AIDS doctors, British medical journal at odds over Pope’s condom comments

March 27, 2009

As columnists worldwide condemned Pope Benedict’s comments on condoms and AIDS for the tenth consecutive day, a group of Ugandan healthcare workers who are on the forefront of combating the disease has issued a paper supporting the Pontiff. “We are social and health workers committed to face AIDS since the beginning of the epidemic in Uganda,” they write. “Our experience indicates that what the Pope said is realistic, reasonable and scientifically sound. With our letter we would like to enrich the debate with scientific and sound data.”

However, a leading medical journal-- The Lancet-- took issue with the Pope, calling upon him to retract his statement. The Lancet alleged that the Pope "publicly distorted scientific evidence to promote Catholic doctrine"-- although the Pope was making a common-sense argument, not citing scientific evidence, in the statement to which the journal objects. A particularly vicious and tasteless anti-papal cartoon appeared in The Martlet, a student newspaper at the University of Victoria in Canada-- an immaturity also evident in an Italian Facebook group’s pledge to mail the Pope condoms. The Italian news agency ANSA speculated that the Pontiff could receive millions of condoms in the mail.

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