SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2010 | Exclusive Excerpt from Light of the World: The Pope, The Church and The Signs Of The Times by Pope Benedict XVI and Peter Seewald
An excerpt from Light of the World, Peter Seewald’s book-length interview with Benedict XVI From Chapter 11, “The Journeys of a Shepherd,” pages 117-119:
On the occasion of your trip to Africa in March 2009, the Vatican’s policy on AIDs once again became the target of media criticism.Twenty-five percent of all AIDs victims around the world today are treated in Catholic facilities. In some countries, such as Lesotho, for example, the statistic is 40 percent. In Africa you stated that the Church’s traditional teaching has proven to be the only sure way to stop the spread of HIV. Critics, including critics from the Church’s own ranks, object that it is madness to forbid a high-risk population to use condoms.
The media coverage completely ignored the rest of the trip to Africa on account of a single statement. Someone had asked me why the Catholic Church adopts an unrealistic and ineffective position on AIDs. At that point, I really felt that I was being provoked, because the Church does more than anyone else. And I stand by that claim. Because she is the only institution that assists people up close and concretely, with prevention, education, help, counsel, and accompaniment. And because she is second to none in treating so many AIDs victims, especially children with AIDs.
I had the chance to visit one of these wards and to speak with the patients. That was the real answer: The Church does more than anyone else, because she does not speak from the tribunal of the newspapers, but helps her brothers and sisters where they are actually suffering. In my remarks I was not making a general statement about the condom issue, but merely said, and this is what caused such great offense, that we cannot solve the problem by distributing condoms. Much more needs to be done. We must stand close to the people, we must guide and help them; and we must do this both before and after they contract the disease.
What does the Holy Father really say about condoms in the new book? | by Janet E. Smith
This week, Light of the World, a book-length interview given by Pope Benedict XVI to journalist Peter Seewald, will be released worldwide. Several of the Holy Father’s statements have already started making news, particularly his comments regarding condom usage in the prevention of the spread of HIV.
To the charge that “It is madness to forbid a high-risk population to use condoms,” in the context of an extended answer on the help the Church is giving AIDs victims and the need to fight the banalization of sexuality, Pope Benedict replied:There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants. But it is not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection. That can really lie only in a humanization of sexuality.
Are you saying, then, that the Catholic Church is actually not opposed in principle to the use of condoms?
She of course does not regard it as a real or moral solution, but, in this or that case, there can be nonetheless, in the intention of reducing the risk of infection, a first step in a movement toward a different way, a more human way, of living sexuality.
What is Pope Benedict saying?
FEATURED BOOK available WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 24th from IGNATIUS PRESS:
By Pope Benedict XVI and Peter Seewald
Never has a Pope, in a book-length interview, dealt so directly with such wide-ranging and controversial issues as Pope Benedict XVI does in Light of the World. Taken from a recent week-long series of interviews with veteran journalist Peter Seewald, this book tackles head-on some of the greatest issues facing the world of our time.
Light of the World: The Pope, The Church and The Signs Of The Times, the much anticipated book-length interview with the Holy Father by Peter Seewald, is scheduled to be released this Wednesday, November 24th. The book can, of course, be ordered online, or look for it in your local Catholic bookstore, as well as in major bookstores.
The book will be available in hardback. It also will be available in a Spanish edition, Luz Del Mundo: El Papa, La Iglesia Y Los Signos de los Tiempos, and as an Audio Book, read by Kevin O’Brien and Jim Morlino.