The Pope Is Lying To Us

[digg-reddit-me]1. What is a lie? According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

“A lie consists in speaking a falsehood with the intention of deceiving.” The Lord denounces lying as the work of the devil: “You are of your father the devil, . . . there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Lying is the most direct offense against the truth. To lie is to speak or act against the truth in order to lead someone into error. By injuring man’s relation to truth and to his neighbor, a lie offends against the fundamental relation of man and of his word to the Lord.

The gravity of a lie is measured against the nature of the truth it deforms, the circumstances, the intentions of the one who lies, and the harm suffered by its victims. If a lie in itself only constitutes a venial sin, it becomes mortal when it does grave injury to the virtues of justice and charity.

2. The Pope said that condoms “aggravate” the problem of AIDS.  Pope Benedict XVI in Africa today stated that the AIDS crisis is:

a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems.

3. To “aggravate” means to “worsen” or “make worse.” 

4. Condoms are extremely effective in preventing the transmission of HIV/AIDS.  The Center for Disease Control:

Latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, are highly effective in preventing heterosexual sexual transmission of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Research on the effectiveness of latex condoms in preventing heterosexual transmission is both comprehensive and conclusive. 

The CDC report continued:

even with repeated sexual contact, 98-100% of those people who used latex condoms correctly and consistently did not become infected.

5. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Conclusion: The Pope is lying – and rejecting truth.

Or he is willfully refusing to believe the facts – which is a form of lying. Given the measures of the gravity of a lie from the Catechism, this must be considered a very grave lie. People will surely get AIDS because of this statement.

I am sure for many this is no revelation – as they believe the Catholic Church is fundamentally corrupt. The Pope’s statement here is not much further than previous statements which emphasized that condoms are no 100% effective in preventing AIDS. But the brazenness and the irresponsibility of this statement is truly breathtaking. People will die because they trusted the Pope – who is lying to them for all the world to see.

As a Catholic…I don’t know how to react. But the conclusion – that the Pope is lying cannot really be disputed. That his lie is not the power-protecting lie that we are used to from the Vatican – but one that will cause deaths – makes it all the worse.

It’s hard to see anything at the moment short of the fact that a rigid ideology can warp a mind – so that clear falsehoods must be declared true in order to maintain the edifice of belief – no matter the cost. This is more than a moral failure. It is a crime. It is a grave sin. 

How does the Catholic Church respond to this? At what point must the Pope acknowledge the sense of the faithful that birth control is not a sin? How can there be accountability in a monarchic system such as the Church?

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Pope Endorses Barack Obama in UN Speech

Pope Benedict @ the United Nations

[digg-me]Not quite. But close.

Addressing the United Nations on Friday, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of reducing income inequality; of increasing international cooperation; of respecting the law; of having solidarity with the poor and weak; of opposing (unnecessary) ((I inserted unnecessary here although Pope Benedict did not. Although the pope spoke in this speech of avoiding war, I presume he speaks of this in the context of the “just war” theory that has been accepted by him and the rest of the Catholic Church in the past.)) war; of “giving attention and encouragement to even the faintest sign of dialogue or desire for reconciliation;” of creating “structures capable of harmonizing the day-to-day unfolding of the lives of people;” of the “protection of the environment…and the climate.” And like Barack Obama, though many conservative Catholics are loathe to admit, the previous pope, Pope John Paul II even specifically opposed the invasion of Iraq.

In the past eight years, the Republican party has come to stand for the right of the president to torture prisoners; for rising inequality and acceptance of corporate fraud; for elevating the executive above the Rule of Law and the other constitutionally co-equal branches of government; for ignoring the climate crisis; for refusing to give aid to the poor and weak because of potential “moral hazards” while bailing out big corporations; for preventive war; for refusing to engage in dialogue with our enemies. Pope Benedict’s speech was a direct challenge to the worldview and policies of the Bush administration and an articulation of basic moral principles and basic responsibilities of the state.

Within these principles articulated by the pope, we can easily find the mainstream Democratic agenda, a rejection of the radical policies of George W. Bush, and more specifically, an endorsement of the school of politics that Barack Obama stands for: talking with our enemies; avoiding unnecessary wars and violence; respecting the Rule of Law; reducing income inequality; promoting access to health care; and protecting the environment.

This is the Democratic agenda.

The Pope explained that it is the responsibility of “every generation [to] engag[e] anew in the arduous search for the right way to order human affairs…motivated by hope.” I would call that a pretty good encapsulation of Obama’s appeal – that he represents a new generation striving to find the best way to manage the world and our nation “motivated by hope”.

Jonah Goldberg may call it fascism; Steve Marlsberg may call such efforts to reduce inequality and allow citizens access to basic needs Communism; Rush Limbaugh may call efforts to focus on the real threat of Al Qaeda in the Pakistani/Afghani border “cut-and-run.” But those who listened to Pope Benedict’s address to the United Nations can see that he stands with those the so-called “conservatives” have labeled fascists, communists, and cowards – and the pope understood that the basic moral values he stood for are the essence of what he called “freedom.”