Apparently a strong theological education is not useful for public health policy

Pope Ratzinger, apparently, knows better than the majority of medical and health professionals counseling an audience in Africa that condom use “increases the problem” of AIDs.

This puts the Vatican firmly in the camp of the witch doctors and ‘traditional’ medicine practitioners in Africa, and directly opposed to all of science based medicine.  Why is it that anyone listens to a priest when it comes to public health policy?

To make it worse, in the face of international outrage, the vatican doesn’t retract or correct Ratzinger’s irresponsible statement.   They attempt to spin it.  Well, even their spin is still wrong.  Condoms in no way increase the problem aids, they do not aggravate the problem and they do not ‘risk’ aggravating the problem.  They improve the situation of people in a country where AIDs affects millions and millions.

OK, so while I can be very frustrated with Ratzinger and ruling body of the Catholic church, the Vatican, but they have a job to do and it isn’t protecting people from sexually transmitted disease.  It is all about pushing their dogma on more and more people.

What could be worse, is if there was an organized effort to willfully discourage people from safe health practices that could save lives.  Who would possibly do that?

“Formerly, when religion was strong and science weak, men mistook magic for medicine; now, when science is strong and religion weak, men mistake medicine for magic.”
— Thomas Szasz, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, State University of New York


The Pope makes headlines again

So, I’ve been trying to noodle through this one for a few days.

I guess with the withering of the Catholic Church’s influence, they need all the support they can get.  Including the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X.

Even with that, what would possibly convince Mr. Ratzinger to include a Holocaust denier in the deal (for deal it must have been).  The almost 500 priests in the Fraternity?   Is it really worth offending the world’s Jews and those sympathetic to victims of genocide?

Either Mr. Ratzinger is not as smart as I would give him credit for, or maybe he is just completely out of touch with the position the Church holds in the world.

I’d really be interested in Mr. Ratzinger’s thinking on this one.


Vatican's measure of sin shows why they are no longer relevant

Apparently its big news to someone that the Vatican has a secret tribunal to deal with what they consider to be “the most heinous sins”.  Really?  Shocker.  I thought the Vatican was all about transparency.  You can read the Telegraph’s version here.

The Apostolic Penitentiary, or “tribunal of conscience”, has been shrouded in secrecy ever since it was established by Pope Alexander III in 1179 and until now has never provided details of the cases it scrutinises.

They are considered so heinous by the Catholic Church that only the Pope can grant absolution to those who perpetrate them.

So, what might you consider “the most heinous of crimes”? Use your sickest fantasy of offenses against humanity and I guarantee you are not even close.

While priests and bishops can deal with confessions of sins as grave as murder or even genocide, the tribunal is reserved for crimes which are viewed by the Church as even more serious.

They include attempting to assassinate the Pope, a priest abusing the confidentiality of the confessional by revealing the nature of the sin and the person who admitted to it, or a priest who has sex with someone and then offers forgiveness for the act.

Yes, the Vatican considers an “attempt” on the life of the pope a worse sin than genocide. A little self-serving, don’t you think?

Oh, and you know what else is a worse sin than genocide and, apparently, rogering defenseless young children by a member of the clergy? Defiling the Eucharist. Toss a cracker and its papal forgiveness or you’re out.

How can they not see how ridiculous this is? Why is time and breath wasted on this nonsense?

With followers in the millions they squander their influence on petty, stupid dogmatic bullshit like this. It’s just sad.

This is why we need separation of church and state.  Can you imagine if capricious nonsense like this was the lay of the land?