Bishop Rodrigo Aguilar Martinez of Tehuacan is defending the Magisterium of Pope Benedict XVI in the fight against AIDS. During his trip to Africa, the Pope said that strategies to fight the disease should not be based on condoms, but rather on a more human understanding of sexuality and on the sacrificial and brotherly care for those who have the disease.
Commenting on Pope Benedict’s statements about condom use and AIDS during his flight to Africa, Bishop Aguilar said, “The Pope responded to a tendentious question with clarity and forcefulness according to the doctrine of the Church and the verifiable facts especially in Africa.”
However, the bishop noted, “the reactions to the words of the Pope were very aggressive,” even though the only thing the Holy Father did was to “criticize those who—governments, institutions or persons—hold that the solution to the scourge of HIV-AIDS is based especially on the condom. If a person is infected with AIDS and seeks to have sexual relations, or if the person is healthy but is going to have sexual relations with an infected person, he or she should know that the condom does not protect 100%.”
Campaigns “that are based only on the promotion of the use of condoms,” the bishop explained, “have yielded few results in terms of preventing new AIDS infections. On the other hand, the campaigns that defend the value and effectiveness of sexual abstinence and conjugal fidelity have yielded significant fruits: For example in Uganda, where the number of infected persons has dropped from 12-15% of the population in 1991 to 4-5% in 2003.”
Bishop Aguilar expressed his “gratitude to God for the courageous Magisterium of Pope Benedict XVI.” “Because of his testimony, may we ourselves be faithful witnesses of Jesus Christ. We should not fear to suffer persecution for the sake of Christ and the proclamation, the celebration and the service of his Gospel, which is the full Gospel of Life.”