Sunday, December 03, 2006

Urbi et Orbi, TB Edition

The British prime minister made his World AIDS Day statement on MTV:
In a pointed criticism of the Vatican's stance on contraception, Mr Blair used a television interview on World Aids Day to insist that preaching abstinence was not enough.... Mr Blair said: "The danger is if we have a sort of blanket ban from religious hierarchy saying it's wrong to do it, then you discourage people from doing it in circumstances where they need to protect their lives."...

"When I was growing up it was more to do with telling youngsters about the actual act of sex. I think what it is about now is telling them about the dangers of having unprotected sex," he said.

Mr Blair insisted that people should be encouraged to protect themselves against HIV, and that it was "silly" to say otherwise.
Meanwhile, the primate of England and Wales offered a counterpoint on the Sunday chat-shows:
Cardinal [Cormac] Murphy-O'Connor told the BBC's Sunday AM: "I have to say the prime minister is saying 'I am going to give more and more aid, including more condoms into Africa'.

"I think what I would like to say to the prime minister is that it would be much better if he used that money to provide more antiretroviral drugs - medicines - for the millions of children, women who are affected.

"I speak to bishops in Africa and they tell me that their dioceses are flooded with condoms and I said 'Well, has it affected?' They said 'Well, sad to say it has meant more promiscuity and more Aids'.

"You have got to look at this, I think, within the whole context of the African culture."

He went on to say the best way to combat the disease is by having monogamous relationships.

He said: "The way to combat Aids is primarily, as everybody should know, behaviourally - keeping monogamous relationships between a man and a woman."