from the Strange New Respect Dept.
By Diogenes ( articles ) | Nov 26, 2003
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof has developed a sudden interest in the poor of the outback of El Salvador and Guatemala. Because he's fascinated by water purification? By problems of debt relief? By new methods of rural literacy education? Nope. What's important is that he's found Catholics who are defying Church teaching by handing out condoms. Kristof spoon-feeds the moral to his duller readers:
The Vatican is increasingly out of touch and exerts a reactionary -- even, in this world of AIDS, deadly -- influence on health policy in the developing world.
Too subtle? OK, let him make the point again:
The Vatican has consistently opposed condoms and safe-sex education, even claiming falsely that condoms don't protect against AIDS. That's on par with the church under Pope Urban VIII putting Galileo under house arrest -- except that this will have more deadly results.
So what about Vatican teachings? "Certainly, God does not want us to kill each other," responded Marlene Condon, who works with AIDS patients. "You've got to do something."
In Coatepeque, I spoke with Father Mario Adolfo Dominguez, who sighed as I grilled him on the theology of condoms. "We don't recommend the use of condoms, but we're not opposed to their use because we know they prevent AIDS," he said, looking nervous as I wrote down his words. "There is no contradiction between Christianity and a piece of rubber."
You musn't think Kristof is anti-Catholic. Bishop Kevin Dowling, Catholics for a Free Choice, and Catholic Relief Services all come in for congratulations in his column.
All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a current donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!