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TIME article: Ratzinger's views on women - Page 3

post #41 of 78
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I'm sorry, but I will never believe that the Catholic church is the sole reason for those things... If these issues needed to be voted on, perhaps more people that disagreed with them should get out and vote! 51% of the country is not made up of Catholics, so if only the Catholics believed those things, then they would not really be issues because they could easily be voted against...
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So, the whole arguement that the Catholic church determines policy is just not true... Yes, there is a vocal and prominant central figure, but it's not the only influence...
You're forgetting that Catholics not only live in the developed West, but that most Catholics live in the so-called "developing world" (Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia). These are the people most harmed by the Catholic Church's positions. You and I have the luxury of making informed decisions--we are literate, we have access to the Internet, media, books and magazines, and, if we want them, contraceptives. Those in the developing world do not have the same choices. And those in the developing world are the ones most affected by the AIDS crisis. I think the Catholic Church has definite culpability in contributing to the AIDS crisis, particularly in Africa due to its positions, and YES, LOBBYING, on condoms and access to condoms. I think it's unconscionable.

Much of Catholic theology is very idealistic, but fails to address the needs of real people living in some pretty unthinkable conditions.
post #42 of 78
I have found that many conservative religious individuals are "idealists".

IDEALLY, it sounds great, which is why the Church has so many followers.

REALISTICALLY, nothing is being done to actually CHANGE the reasons why people go to war, have abortions, etc.

It's because the Church is stuck in the good-versus-evil, us-versus-them dichotomy that nothing will change under their rule, no matter who is Pope. As long as human beings are viewed in this primeval fashion, there will always be far more dissent than peace. Millions have been killed in the name of the Church. I, for one, do not support any country or organizations that preaches one thing and turns around and does the other. It's called hypocrisy, and most people I know don't look too kindly on that.
post #43 of 78
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Originally Posted by Skylark
Let me see if I understand this correctly. It's okay for those who haven't actually read the Catechism and the writings of our current and previous popes to criticize the Church, because the Church plays a role in world affairs, and thus, what the Church teaches affects more than just the community of believers?

I think that's what some of you are saying, at any rate.

While I understand the logic behind this statement, I would again caution you against painting our faith with such broad strokes. Still waiting on my books to get here. My basic point, I suppose, is that you can't take one piece of Church teaching and say, "this is ridiculous and medieval" without looking at how it fits into the whole framework of Catholic teaching about the nature of marriage and the family. And, even if you disagree and see the Church as some kind of force for evil on the world stage (despite the incredibly large scale of Catholic charitable work), I would say that yes, it is degenerating to the level of "Catholic-bashing" to say, "I'm not going to read anything the Church says, but I'll happily tell the world that the Church is archaic and oppressive."
post #44 of 78
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Originally Posted by Mommiska
You know, there are plenty of people who believe that abortion is morally wrong and who would never chose to have an abortion themselves (I am one of those people).

But who also recognise that there are is a HUGE grey area in the abortion debate, and who realise that it is not as simple as making abortion illegal and all abortion will end. And, unfortunately, Catholic teaching (and particularly political activism, which is one of the main things posters here have issue with - and I have the same issues, for the record, with fundamentalist Christians working for the same goals) on things like abortion, contraception, condoms, etc, contribute to the problem, rather than working towards finding a solution.
To the first point.... That doesn't make any sense to me at all... It's like saying "well, I don't believe that people should shoot their neighbors because I think that's murder....but if Joe down the street wants to kill his neighbor, well, that's his choice because maybe that neighbor did something really bad to him. If the Catholic church believes abortion is murder, there *is* no grey area...there *is* no area where the Catholic church will say "yeah, it's murder, but for you, it's ok". That would be hypocracy...

And to the 2nd issue...the Catholic church doesn't teach *just* that condoms are not acceptable. They also teach that sex is not something that you have with everyone all the time any time...it's to be saved for the sanctity of marriage and people should have the self control to not act as animals (and if they do, to accept the consequences for those actons). The Catholic church DOESN'T say "no condoms for you, but feel free to go have sex with 5 different people this week". To the Catholic church, sex is a sacred act...not just something to be done without thinking, like eating potato chips.

Besides, saying that the no-condom thing contributes to the AIDS crisis is ridiculous... Condoms do not prevent all STD's and in fact, AIDS *can* be transmitted despite the use of condoms. The virus itself is small enough to fit through the natural holes in latex (and do you honestly believe that 3rd world countries will be able to afford to give every person enough good quality condoms so that every sexual act involves a brand new, unused or unshared, high quality condom? I doubt it.). Condoms are merely a "safety net" anyhow...there are very few people that would have sex with someone they *knew* was HIV positive just because they were wearing a condom. There are very few people that would chance the virus getting through or the condom breaking....

So, it's not that the Catholic church is the one responsible for the AIDS crisis... Multiple partners, careless sex, and not knowing the background of your partner also contributes... At what point is it the INDIVIDUAL'S responsibility to accept the consequences of their actions and to do things THEMSELVES to stop the spread of AIDS? Why blame the whole thing on the Catholic church...as far as I know, people are, and always have been, responsible for their own actions, including sex. The Catholic church isn't forcing people to have sex in situations where they know HIV can be transmitted.

In addition...in many cases, those having sex which require condoms are NOT married (this is not including married couples who use condoms). If they are already having sex outside of marriage (against Catholic teachings) then what the heck does it matter what the Catholic church says about condoms...they are already going against church teachings once, so most likely they are not going to care much what the church has to say about the condoms. But blaming the Catholic church instead of the individual is always an easier target...all actions have consequences.

And it's easy to blame the Catholic church for the spread of AIDS...but where are the groups raising money to send billions of free high quality condoms to Africa, pass them out for *every single* sexual encounter, and teach proper usage *AND* disposal (because a used condom from an HIV infected person that isn't properly disposed of can still spread the virus). It's easy to blame people who are taking an action, but why not blame those who are NOT acting and are merely sitting back and blaming?
post #45 of 78
Ok, don't laugh at me, at least not too much...

When I saw Ratzinger, I thought it was John Ratzinger, you know, the actor... Cliff on Cheers and Hamm on Toy Story 1 and 2, and from Made in America. (I love the ones where he visited Longaberger baskets, and Harley Davison)

When I saw this thread all I could think was, "I hope he said good things about women, I like him!"

But now I see it is a different Ratzinger.

I hope I have brought a little levity here to this thread, please carry on with your discussions...

post #46 of 78
:LOL
post #47 of 78
And it is NOT even Ratzinger...


It just dawned on me. It is Ratzenberger!!!

: : :


Yes, I feel like a total dork...

This is what happens to your brain when you are over 40 and have a busy life, too...

:

I need some gingko...
post #48 of 78
:LOL Hey, I hear you there...it's pg brain here, but the same concept. LOL!
post #49 of 78
AIDS is a huge pandemic in Africa and many developing nations. We are insulated from the horror here in the US, where drugs we can afford can now prevent death from this disease.

Our buddy Bill Clinton is doing amazing things to get cheaper drugs to Africa to treat people already infected. Millions and millions of people have AIDS or HIV in Africa.

http://www.clintonfoundation.org/programs-hs-ai.htm

Expecting all of them, married or unmarried, to abstain from sex for the rest of their lives is ridiculous.

Yet, the Church is actively blocking condom availability in Africa by outright lying in the face of overwhelming research about the effectiveness of condoms in preventing this deadly disease.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/aids/story...059068,00.html

Quote:
The Catholic Church is telling people in countries stricken by AIDS not to use condoms because they have tiny holes in them through which HIV can pass.

The church is making the claims across four continents despite a widespread scientific consensus that condoms are impermeable to HIV.

Scientific research by a group including the US National Institutes of Health and the WHO found "intact condoms... are essentially impermeable to particles the size of STD pathogens including the smallest sexually transmitted virus... condoms provide a highly effective barrier to transmission of particles of similar size to those of the smallest STD viruses"...

In Lwak, near Lake Victoria, the director of an Aids testing centre says he cannot distribute condoms because of church opposition. Gordon Wambi told the programme: "Some priests have even been saying that condoms are laced with HIV/AIDS."
post #50 of 78
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Originally Posted by DaryLLL
AIDS is a huge pandemic in Africa and many developing nations.

Expecting all of them, married or unmarried, to abstain from sex for the rest of their lives is ridiculous.
But here's where the flaw in the arguement lies...

1) In a 3rd world country, there are virtually no means of obtaining enough condoms for every single person to use a brand new good quality condom every single time and dispose of it so that no one else is exposed to the virus. It will inevitably happen that condoms will be shared, reused, used incorrectly, stored in sunlight and therefore ruined, used past the date, or even having companies distribute "2nds" instead of brand new high quality ones. Then, these infected condoms will go where? Thrown in the trash? Do they have proper means of disposing of trash? If not, where do they go? On the ground? In the water? Where children can be exposed? What happens when companies decide that donating free condoms is no longer worth their while...what happens then? Do these people get non-latex condoms (which are not effective at blocking AIDS)...do you continue to let them believe that any condom works, when it's really only high quality latex condoms that have not been left in direct sunlight and are not damaged or old?

Why allow people to believe that condoms will solve all of their problems? Could they potentially help? Yeah, if all of the other factors can be accounted for, plus every single person could receive education on how to use them (because reading the side of the package just won't work in this case). But, "potentially" isn't good enough. AIDS will continue to spread as long as long as other factors exist, such as having multiple partners, being exposed to blood, etc. Condoms alone are not the solution, and condoms alone arent' the problem.

2) The spread of AIDS can be reduced by mutual monogamy as well. Multiple partners = spread (even moreso than spreading through birth, etc.). Married couples do not have to abstain from sex. First, it is likely that both partners are already infected. Second, I believe that for medical reasons, birth control is allowed (such as using bc to control non-reproductive female problems). I'm not sure about condom use, but there are often exceptions in the church for medical reasons within the bounds of marriage. However, wouldn't passing out free condoms become almost a "license" to be promiscuous and to risk spreading AIDS anyhow, since human error accounts for a HUGE reason why AIDS still exists despite condom use.
post #51 of 78
Found it...

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In the end, however, after five days of closed-door debate, expectations were dashed when the SACBC rejected the draft statement and reaffirmed the church's total ban on condoms for any use, specifically condemning the use of condoms to prevent HIV/AIDS transmission in an ironically titled "Message of Hope." "The Bishops regard the widespread and indiscriminate promotion of condoms as an immoral and misguided weapon in our battle against HIV/AIDS," read the SACBC statement. The bishops went on to say that "condoms may even be one of the main reasons for the spread of HIV/AIDS."13

The bishops did say that the only circumstances in which condoms could possibly be used were by a married couple in which one partner was HIV positive. Even then, Cardinal Napier said, condoms could only be used if the couple abstained from sex when the woman was ovulating.
http://www.cath4choice.org/conscienc...ser%20Evil.htm

Quote:
The South African Catholic Bishops' Conference in 2001 condemned HIV prevention programs that encouraged condom use but condoned condom use among married couples in which one partner was HIV-positive if the couples abstained from sex during ovulation, thus reducing the likelihood that the condom was preventing the "creation of life," the AP/Courant reports (AP/Hartford Courant, 3/21).
http://www.kaisernetwork.org/daily_r...=1&DR_ID=22789
post #52 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllyRae
But here's where the flaw in the arguement lies...

1) In a 3rd world country, there are virtually no means of obtaining enough condoms for every single person to use a brand new good quality condom every single time and dispose of it so that no one else is exposed to the virus. It will inevitably happen that condoms will be shared, reused, used incorrectly, stored in sunlight and therefore ruined, used past the date, or even having companies distribute "2nds" instead of brand new high quality ones. Then, these infected condoms will go where? Thrown in the trash? Do they have proper means of disposing of trash? If not, where do they go? On the ground? In the water? Where children can be exposed? What happens when companies decide that donating free condoms is no longer worth their while...what happens then? Do these people get non-latex condoms (which are not effective at blocking AIDS)...do you continue to let them believe that any condom works, when it's really only high quality latex condoms that have not been left in direct sunlight and are not damaged or old?
Well, are you actually asking for a solution to these questions?

Firstly, the family planning clinics working in the developing world have travelling clinics, going out each month to remote areas. People also travel to reach services. I met a woman in Madagascar who walked 30 miles every three months to get a birth control injection (she was 27 & had ten children already). There are ways of distributing birth control. That has already been proven.

Second, disposal really isn't an issue. HIV is an extremely fragile virus & cannot survive long outside the human body. We're talking minutes here. You can't get HIV by picking up a used condom.

Third, companies don't really donate many condoms. Charities & government distribute the vast bulk of them.
post #53 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylark
How hollow would the Church's teaching on abortion be if she were to say, "
:LOL

This just struck me as wildly ironic to consider the Catholic church is a "She". I know many do call it that. It would sure be a different institution if it really were.
post #54 of 78
But would people actually walk 30 miles in order to get a condom? Probably not...most likely those individuals would reuse the condom they already had because 30 miles of walking is really a lot to ask just to be able to have safer sex. How are you going to educate these people that reusing condoms would not work and would increase the risk of breakage? Do people have to plan ahead and think "well, I'm going to have sex next month, so I better go make the journey today?" Heck, even asking teens to go to the convenience store for a condom in the US is a big enough task.

The whole "condoms will prevent the spread" thing just doesn't seem feasible, unless somehow you can get enough condoms donated to provide every single person enough condoms so that they had a new one every time they wanted to have sex. That's a whole lot of condoms...what happens when these become limited? Do you once again tell people to go back to abstaining? Do you just continue to somehow find an endless supply of condoms? Sometime, the funding will run out. Then what do you tell these people? "Sorry, but we're all tapped out"? Why not teach that abstinence and mutual monogamy can also go a long way to stopping the spread? That's what the Catholic church is teaching...not that condoms are evil and won't stop AIDS, but that there are *other* ways of stopping AIDS...not just a quick fix or a bandaid to cover the problem.
post #55 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllyRae
But here's where the flaw in the arguement lies...

1) In a 3rd world country, there are virtually no means of obtaining enough condoms for every single person to use a brand new good quality condom every single time and dispose of it so that no one else is exposed to the virus.
I still maintain some is better than none.

Quote:
It will inevitably happen that condoms will be shared, reused, used incorrectly, stored in sunlight and therefore ruined, used past the date, or even having companies distribute "2nds" instead of brand new high quality ones.
Quite the glass half empty philosophy. I still maintain some is better than none. Education must compliment distribution, of course. Co's should be legally prevented from distributing inferior product, just as they should be prevented from distributing substandard artifical baby milk.

Quote:
Then, these infected condoms will go where? Thrown in the trash? Do they have proper means of disposing of trash? If not, where do they go? On the ground? In the water? Where children can be exposed?
It is my understanding AIDS virus is short lived and not contagious except from direct fluid transmission, ie: sex!

Quote:
What happens when companies decide that donating free condoms is no longer worth their while...what happens then? Do these people get non-latex condoms (which are not effective at blocking AIDS)...do you continue to let them believe that any condom works, when it's really only high quality latex condoms that have not been left in direct sunlight and are not damaged or old?
Funding is needed for education and proper use as above. Don't give up before it's been done.

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Why allow people to believe that condoms will solve all of their problems?
Straw man.

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Could they potentially help? Yeah, if all of the other factors can be accounted for, plus every single person could receive education on how to use them (because reading the side of the package just won't work in this case). But, "potentially" isn't good enough.
I maintain partial use is better than none.

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AIDS will continue to spread as long as long as other factors exist, such as having multiple partners, being exposed to blood, etc. Condoms alone are not the solution.
Agreed. But still a large part of the solution!


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The spread of AIDS can be reduced by mutual monogamy as well. Multiple partners = spread (even moreso than spreading through birth, etc.).
Obvious.

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Married couples do not have to abstain from sex. First, it is likely that both partners are already infected. Second, I believe that for medical reasons, birth control is allowed (such as using bc to control non-reproductive female problems).
Which contradicts your earlier worries about inferior condoms or improper use.

Quote:
I'm not sure about condom use, but there are often exceptions in the church for medical reasons within the bounds of marriage. However, wouldn't passing out free condoms become almost a "license" to be promiscuous and to risk spreading AIDS anyhow, since human error accounts for a HUGE reason why AIDS still exists despite condom use.
No. Why the assumption the only option besides a Church sanctioned marriage is wildly promiscuous sex? I am not of the opinion that avaialability of birth control encourages sluttish behavior in men or women.

Quote:
The bishops did say that the only circumstances in which condoms could possibly be used were by a married couple in which one partner was HIV positive. Even then, Cardinal Napier said, condoms could only be used if the couple abstained from sex when the woman was ovulating.
Well, that's something!
post #56 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaryLLL

Quite the glass half empty philosophy. I still maintain some is better than none. Education must compliment distribution, of course. Co's should be legally prevented from distributing inferior product, just as they should be prevented from distributing substandard artifical baby milk.
It's not a glass half-empty approach... It's just knowing that humans will inevitably be the reason why even an "effective" approach becomes less so. I'm sure that 90% of condom failure rates are human-related, rather than product related. And given the need, humans will be resourceful (for example, if they are told that condoms will save their life, yet they don't have any, they may reuse one of their own or someone else's.) As nasty as that seems to us, if someone's told that this piece of rubber will save their life, they will probably use that at any cost, even if the use of the condom becomes unsafe in itself.

I agree about the Co's being legally prevented...but I wonder how well that will work. Can Nestle still distribute powdered formula even though the use of it is harmful? (I honestly don't know if they are prevented to do that...I haven't read up on that).
post #57 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllyRae
It's not a glass half-empty approach... It's just knowing that humans will inevitably be the reason why even an "effective" approach becomes less so. I'm sure that 90% of condom failure rates are human-related, rather than product related. And given the need, humans will be resourceful (for example, if they are told that condoms will save their life, yet they don't have any, they may reuse one of their own or someone else's.) As nasty as that seems to us, if someone's told that this piece of rubber will save their life, they will probably use that at any cost, even if the use of the condom becomes unsafe in itself.
So let's not do anything? Just idealistically insist on NO SEX AT ALL UNLESS MARRIED OR MAYBE EVEN THEN and hope for the best? Good luck with that. It hasn't worked so far, has it?



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I agree about the Co's being legally prevented...but I wonder how well that will work. Can Nestle still distribute powdered formula even though the use of it is harmful?
http://www.twnside.org.sg/title/baby.htm

Also read Milk, Money and Madness
post #58 of 78
Frankly, I think we're all aware that condom use is a band-aid kind of solution. How many women in the US have a damned hard time getting the men in their lives to use condoms? Lots. Now go to an area of the world where mens' desires trump womens' nearly 100% of the time. Where womens' voices often go unheeded. Where wholesale rape as war machine has been unleashed on countless numbers of women and children. Where dry sex is demanded. Condoms are not a panacea. If men won't wear them, they are useless.

Also, I was unaware that most Africans are Catholic. I presumed they were mostly Muslim or animist. Are imans all over the world handing out condoms and preaching to their effectiveness. This is not just the respnsibility of the Pope.
post #59 of 78
As to abortion and birth control. Well they've been around since the beginning of time, and certainly in Jesus' day. Oddly enough, he didn't have much to say about them. Actually he said nothing. What he did say was, follow the laws of the Lord AND follow the laws of Caesar. And the law of Caesar is: abortion = legal / birth control = legal. You don't have to have one and you don't have to take the Pill, but you can't prevent others from doing so.
post #60 of 78
Good point about the atmosphere... I wasn't aware that it was so bad...

Although I wasn't aware that most were Catholic as well (which is actually odd considering what you posted about wholesale rape, demanding sex, etc.).

It really does seem like it's a unique problem and there is not any *one* solution that will work. There's more to the story than just whether or not condoms are being used. It's easy to point fingers and say "this is the solution to the problem"...however, it appears that it's far more complex than that... It seems to me that if people were already in an atmosphere where Catholic teachings are blatently disregarded regarding the sanctity of marriage, respect of the body and others, etc., whether or not Catholics approve of condoms is not really the issue. Catholicism isn't 'pick and choose'...you can't completely disgregard 90% of the church's teachings and then claim you aren't using condoms because the church doesn't approve. The issue goes far deeper and is far more complex than that.
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