Matt C. Abbott
African pro-life leader welcomed, lauded pope; 'Condom Exposé'
FacebookTwitterGoogle+
By Matt C. Abbott
March 23, 2009

From an (edited) HLI news release:

Yaoundé, Cameroon — Pope Benedict XVI's plane had not yet touched down in Africa before his trip was defined by the Western media's distortion of a statement he made regarding condoms and the spread of HIV/AIDS.

George Wirnkar, director of outreach for Human Life International's Francophone Africa Region, expressed shock over the furor in the Western media, considering the Holy Father's reception in Africa had been so positive.

"I saw over 2,000 people who stayed in heavy rain singing and praying as the Holy Father presided over vespers in the Basilica of Our Lady Queen of the Apostles," said Mr. Wirnkar. "This is not a sign of dismay or disillusionment with the Church, but of devotion and joy."

Western media have widely reported on the pope's statement that the promotion of condoms actually worsens the problem of HIV/AIDS transmission. What was not given by these media outlets was the context for the statement:

    'I would say that this problem of AIDS cannot be overcome with advertising slogans. If the soul is lacking, if Africans do not help one another, the scourge cannot be resolved by distributing condoms; quite the contrary, we risk worsening the problem. The solution can only come through a twofold commitment: firstly, the humanization of sexuality, in other words a spiritual and human renewal bringing a new way of behaving towards one another; and secondly, true friendship, above all with those who are suffering, a readiness — even through personal sacrifice — to be present with those who suffer.'

"Pope Benedict gave a thoughtful, spiritual response indicating a solution that is increasingly confirmed by empirical science," said Joseph Meaney, director of International Coordination for HLI.

"The hopeful message articulated by the Holy Father is exactly what HLI is trying to bring to fruition in cooperation with African leaders like George Wirnkar. This is about affirming what is most life-giving in African culture."

HLI had just completed its first conference of Medical Midwifery and Nursing Students for Life, Africa's first such program. Held March 13-14, and planned to precede Pope Benedict's visit to Africa, the group of over 125 students listened to speakers and discussed pro-life issues. Conference participants held 10 banners along the pope's welcome route expressing support for the visiting leader of the Catholic Church.

"Papal visits are usually a time of great spiritual renewal and a time when many people are listening to the Church," said Mr. Wirnkar. "Speaking to physician trainees, practitioners, nurses and other medical professionals about issues which Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul II have taught so clearly is crucial, so the Holy Father's visit seemed the perfect time to kick off this program.

"The true story of the papal visit is that the Holy Father is inspiring African Catholics and all persons of good will to have hope, to deal directly with the root causes of the problems affecting our people, and resist the slogans of the West which offer false solutions to these problems."

Said Joseph Meaney:

"It is vital that pro-life young people are not converted to the pro-abortion or population control mentality while in medical school. The graduates of the MMNSL program will become the pro-life professionals we can count on in the future. HLI is proud to reach an ever larger audience in Africa with the pro-life message thanks to George Wirnkar and our other leaders."

(Click here for HLI's report on condoms.)








© Matt C. Abbott

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

Click to enlarge

Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 2019 "Unsolved" podcast about the unsolved murder of Father Alfred Kunz, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wis., and has been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets. He is mentioned in the 2020 Report on the Holy See's Institutional Knowledge and Decision-Making Related to Former Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick (1930 to 2017), which can be found on the Vatican's website. He can be reached at mattcabbott@gmail.com.

(Note: I welcome and appreciate thoughtful feedback. Insults will be ignored. Only in very select cases will I honor a request to have a telephone conversation about a topic in my column. Email is much preferred. God bless you and please keep me in your prayers!)

Subscribe

Receive future articles by Matt C. Abbott: Click here

More by this author

 

Stephen Stone
'The fervent prayer of the righteous'

Siena Hoefling
Protect the Children: Update with VIDEO

Stephen Stone
Flashback: Dems' fake claim that Trump and Utah congressional hopeful Burgess Owens want 'renewed nuclear testing' blows up when examined

Stephen Stone
In defense of Sen. Mike Lee

Rev. Mark H. Creech
Statement on overturning of Roe v. Wade

Tom DeWeese
Cancel Culture is cancelling itself

Linda Goudsmit
The Dr. Duke Show: June 23, 2022 Linda Goudsmit discusses the global takeover of American education

Tom DeWeese
We must harden our schools – mentally and physically – Here’s how and why

Curtis Dahlgren
'Don't weep for the dead; weep for the living.' – Jeremiah

Michael Bresciani
Nancy Pelosi says drag queens are what America is all about!

Jerry Newcombe
Violence in the name of “Jane’s revenge”

Peter Lemiska
The January 6th hearings – A pathetic act of desperation

Victor Sharpe
A nuclear Iran in our world

Selwyn Duke
Why Bill Maher can’t kick his Democrat Party addiction

Paul Cameron
Southern Baptists did a decent job protecting kids
  More columns

Cartoons


Click for full cartoon
More cartoons

RSS feeds

News:
Columns:

Columnists

Matt C. Abbott
Chris Adamo
Russ J. Alan
Bonnie Alba
Chuck Baldwin
Kevin J. Banet
J. Matt Barber
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
. . .
[See more]

Sister sites