Pope Benedict heads to Africa

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Cameroon today on his first trip to the African continent as Pope. Africa has seen an explosion in the number of Catholics in recent years and is home to an estimated 58 million Catholics. The BBC’s Rome correspondent and a veteran Vatican-watcher David Willey joins The Takeaway to offer his insight on this trip.


David Willey

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Farai Chideya

Comments [7]

Michael Sheehan

The Catholic position on condoms is as criminally irresponsible as saying seatbelts in automobiles cause fatalities because they encourage people to drive when they should be afraid of doing so.

Yes, abstaining from driving is 100% effective. But don't get behind the wheel without protection.

Mar. 17 2009 12:23 PM

Even if we prefer that people remain abstinent, we shouldn't be saying that condoms make things worst.

Whether we like it or not, some people may choose not to have sex, but others will choose to have sex. And those that do need to have the proper resources available to ensure that it is safe sex.

This is not a debate. It's a reality. People make choices and we need to be prepared for whatever they choose. Expecting complete abstinence and denying condoms or other forms of protection is unthinkable.

Mar. 17 2009 10:05 AM
Ed Helmrich

By inherent evil I also mean that it's beneath the dignity of the human being.

Mar. 17 2009 09:23 AM
Ed Helmrich

The Catholic Church teaches that the use of condoms is an inherent evil, so the support of it will lead to problems. Specifically, condoms allows and promotes unresponsible sex, sex disconnected from life. And it is unresponsible sex that leads to AIDS. This is Catholic belief. The answer is responsible sex, and celibacy as appropriate.

Mar. 17 2009 09:18 AM
Ed Helmrich

Religion should be a respected advisor to the state. Every human act has a moral dimension, and religions are experts in, among other things, morality: the way to live to find happiness.

Mar. 17 2009 08:52 AM
Richard Johnston

The BBC reports this morning:

"Pope Benedict XVI has said that handing out condoms is not the answer in the fight against HIV/Aids, as he makes his first visit to Africa as pontiff.

"Speaking en route to Cameroon, he said distribution of condoms 'increases the problem'. The Vatican urges abstinence."

Help me understand why this is not irresponsible.

Mar. 17 2009 08:43 AM
Ed Helmrich

It's not so much that the future of the Church is in Africa, but that there are so many Catholics there that the pope is going to see them. The future of the Church is the whole world. Africa has more vocations, etc., because they haven't accepted the culture of death as Europe and America have.

Mar. 17 2009 08:39 AM

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