Question of the Week: Papal Genocide

Earlier this year, the Pope rejected the use of condoms as a way of preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa.  Sub-Saharan Africa is by far the worst hit region by the AIDS pandemic, with almost 25,000,000 reported cases and 2,000,000 deaths annually attributed to the disease*.  More than a couple of urban myths are propagating in the region, purporting to offer cures to the infected.  One of the most disturbing is the myth that having sex with a virgin will cure AIDS. This has lead to some infected men raping children in an attempt to beat the disease.

Although condoms will not cure the disease, the evidence shows that their use will dramatically reduce its spread.  This made it all the more appalling when the Vatican rejected the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, on the grounds that they believe their imaginary friend doesn’t like them.

With this in mind our resident physicist, Mik, has asked: Should the Pope be taken to the Hague and tried for genocide?  Is the Vatican directly responsible for every HIV infection brought about by its rejection of condoms?  Could the effects of the Pope’s rejection of the use of condoms be reasonably characterised as genocide?

*2005 figures

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  1. #1 by Trystan on November 8, 2009 - 14:28

    Yes, it is genocide. No, he isn’t responsible for all cases in Africa because there are some other crazy conspiracies doing the rounds.

  2. #2 by Stu on November 8, 2009 - 19:01

    Most definately Genocide!! I can’t believe they will discuss the removal of limbo as a place where un-baptised babies go when they die. But will not allow the use of a piece of rubber to prevent millions of deaths! Sometimes I despair! The rest of the time I just think they’re all C***s!!!!!

  3. #3 by AexMagd on November 9, 2009 - 14:01

    I’m fairly undecided – he’ll just do a Karadzic and not show up – but if you haven’t seen it yet the Intelligence Squared debate about the Catholic church is up on YouTube:

    It features some classic question-ducking from the Archbish and Widdecombe on the condom question

  4. #4 by Red Celt on November 15, 2009 - 10:05

    I’m not so sure that the charge should be one of genocide. A neater (more apt) charge would be crimes against humanity.

    Here’s something I prepared earlier:-

    I used to think of Catholicism as just another branch of a religion that I consider ridiculous; no more, nor less, dangerous or evil than any other sub-sect of the Jewish sect of Christianity.

    Then, some years back, something happened which changed all of that. During the awful conflict in what was once called Yugoslavia, news reports came in of floods of refugees fleeing the area. On their way out of the country, columns of women and children (the men were mostly detained/shot) were frequently stopped by soldiers and raped; mothers infront of their children – and daughters infront of their mothers.

    At the NGO camps receiving these traumatised refugees they were offered the morning-after pill.

    The pope (the previous one) was outraged and poured scorn and vitriol upon all concerned. By all concerned, I mean the NGOs offering the pill. Not the men who had abused and raped the women in the first place.

    So… genocide? Not so much. Crimes against humanity (in the ongoing suffering of thousands in Africa)? Most definitely.

(will not be published)