African viewpoint praises 'Pope’s cautious OK to condoms to save lives'

 Catholic Information Service Africa has issued the following opinion piece praising Pope Benedict's recent comments.

CISA writes: 'Critics say the Vatican can be tone deaf, even on the most sensitive subjects, and put forward theories why.

Its structure has been equated to a military-style kingdom overseen by a centuries-old system that still requires Latin to communicate.

There is, however, a unifying figure in the person of the pontiff. In as much as he does not handle public communications, he is the public face of the billion-strong Catholic Church and speaks for the Vatican.

Others say, 'no one speaks for the pope... If the pope wants to speak, he will speak for himself.'

But this week, Pope Benedict XVI has literally broken the sound barrier following excerpts of an interview he gave, softening the Church’s position on the use of condoms.

True, the reaction was swift, worldwide, with conservatives digging in for a long fight. Health firms, Aid activities, charities and reformists have closed ranks to support the Pope’s candour: Condoms save lives through their use to lessen the danger of infection as a 'first assumption of responsibility.'

As a portrait and indictment of this era, the Pope is inviting humanity to grapple, albeit, uncomfortably, for some, with its own collective and individual values. He has chosen a radically different way to make a plea for engagement in an age of open sexuality.

He has done the same by traversing the globe, apologising for the depravity of paedophilia, sexual abuse, cautioned against harmful sects preaching in the Vatican’s name.

He has embraced the internet and engaged the youth, who have, in some countries, embraced materialism and cultures not condoned by the gospels. A silent renaissance of the world’s biggest denomination.

But the toughest questions still come down to personal character. No Pope can pass that on. Pope Benedict XVI is just doing what he is supposed to do: walk in the shoes of St Peter as the moral voice of the Catholic Church. And saving lives in the process.

Source: CISA

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