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March 28/29 From the Pastor's Desk...

My Dear Parishioners,

I frequently have a problem with the way the media handles some issues, especially those which deal with religion. This was brought to the forefront recently with the Pope’s visit to Africa and his statement that "condoms are not the answer." As I am sure that you are aware, the media went on a feeding frenzy along with condemnations by a number of European nations. I myself felt embarrassed by the situation until I came across an article on the internet from an American newspaper. It received little if any attention by the media, and rather than let it get lost, I offer it to you for your thought and reflection. It is from the March 22, 2009, edition of the Augusta Chronicle…


Reach of the AIDS crisis goes beyond the issue of condoms

“The media feeding frenzy surrounding Pope Benedict was churning so much this past week that you’d think the pontiff had received a bonus from AIG. Rather, his problem was AIDS – and his sugges-tion that condoms aren’t the answer. Guess what? He was absolutely right. To get to that place, though, one must check one’s politically correct hat at the door and think it through.

CONSIDER: If the AIDS crisis were simply a matter of, say, accidentally transmitting germs from one person to another – such as in a sneeze or cough or handshake - then a purely physical response might be warranted.

What the nattering nabobs are missing in their feverish attempts to discredit the Pope is: Condoms are a purely physical response to a multifaceted problem of the human soul and society. The real problems are promiscuity, infidelity and cultures that reduce women to sexual vessels. In some areas of Africa, for instance, refusing sex is not an option for a woman. In other words, rape is the norm. If the media got half as worked up about the treatment of women in the world as they do to shout down the Pope, the world might just be a better place for it.

What the Pope is saying is that there is more than the physical – that there ought to be a spiritual dimension to human sexuality. If not, are we much more than the animals we keep?

Condom use has increased dramatically in Africa over the years – while the incidence of AIDS has increased as well. Meanwhile behavior modification is believed to be behind a drop in AIDS in Uganda, where fidelity has been stressed.

Those who really want to do good and not just have a good time claiming the Pope is from another planet or time, should look at what the real problem is and what works to solve it. It’s not merely a physical problem. A purely physical solution won’t solve it.

Spring is just around the corner as March fades into history this Tuesday. Palm Sunday is next weekend, and with it we once again begin our journey through the holiest week of the year. Why not plan ahead to attend the Holy Week services and to walk with Our Lord, Jesus Christ, though his Passion, Death and Resurrection. The times of our Holy Week Services are:

Holy Thursday, April 9th - Mass of the Lord’s Supper, 7 pm
Good Friday Services - 1 pm
Holy Saturday – Easter Vigil - 8 pm
Easter Sunday Masses - 8 am and 10 am

Oremus pro invicem,
Fr. Tom

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