by Paul Richardson

 Pope Benedict XVI SC


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     Do church leaders get it? Do they realise that a considerable number of secular opinion formers despise them and want to see the church marginalised and its influence destroyed?

     If anyone has any doubts about this, they should look at the treatment of Pope Benedict’s visit to Africa. As far as the European media was concerned, it was condoms all the way. The Pope’s insistence that Christians can never be silent in the face of corruption, his important meeting with Muslim leaders and his strong defence of the rights of women went largely unreported in the mainstream media.

     Even on the subject of condoms the media showed little desire to understand the complexities of the debate. AIDS is a serious problem in African and most people would agree that condoms have a role to play in combating the disease but there are experts who stress that other factors are also important. The churches, including the Catholic Church, may have been ahead of the game in recognising the significance of these other factors.


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