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Controversy after Belgian primate speaks of ‘inherent justice’ of AIDS

October 18, 2010

Belgian lawmakers are condemning Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard of Malines-Brussels, the nation’s primate since February, for referring in a newly published book to the “inherent justice” of AIDS.

Asked whether he thought AIDS was a punishment from God, Belgian’s primate said, “I would not at all think in such terms. I do not see this illness as a punishment, at most a sort of inherent justice … Perhaps human love also wreaks revenge if it is mishandled, without there having to be a transcendental source.”

Clarifying his remarks in a news conference, the archbishop said that “it was not about AIDS from a blood transfusion or as an illness with which someone has been born.”

“If someone gets lung cancer from smoking, the cancer is a sort of inherent justice,” he added. “The actions, consciously done, have a result.”


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  • Posted by: skladach - Oct. 18, 2010 2:23 PM ET USA

    In this regard the late Fr. Paul Marx, OSB, used to quote the proverb, "God always forgives, man sometimes forgives, Mother Nature never forgives."

  • Posted by: mjarman7759049 - Oct. 18, 2010 9:38 AM ET USA

    “If someone gets lung cancer from smoking, the cancer is a sort of inherent justice....” Absolutely true. Really undeniable. It's sad that people make decisions that violate nature, like smoking. However, the results are predictable. Why is there growing - and justifiable - outrage in society against individuals who make bad health choices that cost society as a whole: smoking, overeating, drug and alcohol abuse, etc., but the outrage flips to the critics when the issue is human sexuality?