... And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? ... Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye, Matthew 7:1-5.
... at a meeting with female Catholic groups ... He further emphasised “think about those lands where poverty abounds, zones devastated by war, in many tragic situations resulting or not from forced immigration, almost always women keep human dignity intact, they defend the family and uphold the cultural and religious values”.Thus the top Catholic Church patriarch can patronize and deign to recognize women's contribution ... but upholds the ecclesiastical opinion that only male power reigns supreme in the clergy.
The United Nations magazine, Africa Renewal, quotes an expert who participated in a UN survey of AIDS' impact on young African women. She described the conditions under which most young African women contract AIDS as follows:
"[They] are not in a position to abstain. They are not in a position to demand faithfulness of their partners. In many cases they are in fact faithful, but are being infected by unfaithful partners...A woman who is a victim of violence or the fear of violence is not going to negotiate anything, let alone fidelity or condom use ... Her main objective is to get through the day without being beaten up."
The Pope is correct in saying that AIDS cannot be eradicated by condom use alone. Clearly, when young women are raped or otherwise forced into sex against their will, the men abusing them will not commit to use condoms. But instead of offering these women useless verbiage, the Pope could have offered the vast resources of the Church to distribute anti-viral foam to young married women in AIDS-infested areas. Foam is the only form of AIDS prevention that young wives completely control and can use without their husbands' permission.