Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Pope should be charged in International Court for HIV/AIDS policies


Pope should be charged in International Court for HIV/AIDS policies
By: Aaron M. Laxton, HIV-Infected Queer, Activist & Blogger

Child-sex abuse scandals have without doubt tarnished the Catholic church's reputation but are these cover-ups the only crimes that have been enabled by the Vatican? Recently the church's one billion faithful were shocked at the announcement of Pope Benedict XVI's abdication from power, the first in over 600 years. Although the immediate word from the Vatican was that the announcement came as a result of health issues of the Pontiff, stories after the fact paint a picture of a man, and a church, scrambling to protect against charges for crimes against humanity. It is my position however that enabling child molestors was only one of the major crimes that should be answered for. There is one other crime against humanity that has been perpetuated by the Vatican that deserves equal attention and a zeal to prosecute; the consistent misinformation regarding the use of condoms to protect against HIV/AIDS without doubt has led to countless exposures and subsequent infections not only today but during the previous thirty-two years.

Just as a leader of a country would face charges of genocide for killing his own people, so too should the Pope face charges. The Vatican, which is the worlds richiest country per capita, enjoys unprecendented luxuries as a result of the power. Additionally the deeply-rooted beliefs of the believers create a situation in which church members are placed in a no-win situation that pits faith against practical health prevention practices that are known to greatly reduce the exposure and contraction of HIV. Believers can be swayed towards or away from any particular agenda that the Catholic Church. The church and it's leadership would never place people in harmful situations that are known to cause harm such as placing child-molestor priests into parishes with children... Oh wait, that is exactly what they did!

During the plague era rather than embracing the best science that was coming to light, the Catholic church embraced a policy of "no contraceptives". Those who would choose to use condoms were not simply breaking a rule, they were placing their souls in danger of eternal damnation since the Pope speaks with a Heavenly-authority.

With great ability comes great responsibity; it is not only appropriate but also ethically responsible that the world hold the Vatican accountable? If people were murdered as a result of doctrines perpetuated  by the church then without doubt the public would decry the church's failure to protect its congregants. By condemning the use of condoms and safer-sex practices the church is guilty of murder! As such, the church as led by the Pope should be brought to face charges for crimes against humanity as a result of the needless exposure and infection to HIV/AIDS through the teaching, support and furtherance of church law and policies. The abdication of Pope Benedict XVI does nothing to change the dangerous teachings of the catholic church regarding the use of condoms unless the church as a whole demands that the doctrine is changed.

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