Friday, March 20, 2009

Jon Snow: ‘The Pope is condemning many millions of people to death’

And the unequivocal riposte of Aunty Joanna is that he is doing no such thing.

The Pope (with a hint of redaction from the Vatican's press office) has reiterated that 'condoms (even) aggravate the problem of aids' and that abstinence and fidelity are the only absolutely certain ways of avoiding sexually transmitted infections. And one gets the slight impression that Mrs Bogle agrees with him.

Cranmer likes orthodoxy, passion, eloquent conviction and balls.

But what is noteworthy during this interview is the moment when Jon Snow criticises Mrs Bogle for being ‘fierce’, reminding her that ‘we’re talking about God and Christ and all this stuff’.

Actually, they were talking about 22 million Africans dying of AIDS.

And that, of course, is nothing to be remotely angered by or passionate about.

Cranmer does not entirely agree with Mrs Bogle on the question of ‘bits of rubber’, but he is rather irritated by the patronising and pompous attitude of Mr Snow and the inference that God, Christ and the death of 22 million human beings may only be discussed in a calm, objective and dispassionate manner. We appear to have lost all understanding of righteous anger.

One wonders what Mr Snow might have said to Jesus as he was turning over a few tables in the Temple.


Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

Jon Snow's comment that the Pope is condeming many millions of Africans to death was disgraceful and typical of the hysterical hyperbole that we have come to expect from liberal commentators.

Joanna Bogle however gave robust replies and would not be intimidated. Jon Snow was probably irritated that she did not allow him to control the conversation.

Judging from the euphoric reactions that are being expressed in the blogosphere there may be many in the US who regret that she has not the necessary citizenship qualification to run on a Republican ticket at the enxt election.

But this could be rectified if she applies to Hawaii....

20 March 2009 at 16:55  
Anonymous Asian Colonial Subject said...

"Cranmer likes orthodoxy, passion, eloquent conviction and balls."

These qualities are in rather sort supply nowadays, especially amongst Christians...

20 March 2009 at 18:25  
Blogger Catholic Observer said...

Harvard AIDS Expert Says Pope is Correct on Condom Distribution Making AIDS Worse

By John-Henry Westen

March 19, 2009 ( - Edward C. Green, director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, has said that the evidence confirms that the Pope is correct in his assessment that condom distribution exacerbates the problem of AIDS.

"The pope is correct," Green told National Review Online Wednesday, "or put it a better way, the best evidence we have supports the pope's comments."

"There is," Green added, "a consistent association shown by our best studies, including the U.S.-funded 'Demographic Health Surveys,' between greater availability and use of condoms and higher (not lower) HIV-infection rates. This may be due in part to a phenomenon known as risk compensation, meaning that when one uses a risk-reduction 'technology' such as condoms, one often loses the benefit (reduction in risk) by 'compensating' or taking greater chances than one would take without the risk-reduction technology." ( see the full interview with Green here:

The Harvard AIDS Project's webpage on Green lists his book "Rethinking AIDS Prevention: Learning from Successes in Developing Countries". It is stated that Green reveals, "The largely medical solutions funded by major donors have had little impact in Africa, the continent hardest hit by AIDS. Instead, relatively simple, low-cost behavioral change programs--stressing increased monogamy and delayed sexual activity for young people--have made the greatest headway in fighting or preventing the disease's spread."

The full text of Pope Benedict XVI's exchange with the reporter, which has set off a firestorm around the world in the media, has been released by the Vatican press office.

The pope was asked, "Holy Father among the many evils that affect Africa there is also the particular problem of the spread of AIDS. The position of the Catholic Church for fighting this evil is frequently considered unrealistic and ineffective?"

Benedict XVI replied:

"I would say the opposite. I think that the reality that is most effective, the most present and the strongest in the fight against AIDS, is precisely that of the Catholic Church, with its programs and its diversity. I think of the Sant'Egidio Community, which does so much visibly and invisibly in the fight against AIDS ... and of all the sisters at the service of the sick.

"I would say that one cannot overcome this problem of AIDS only with money -- which is important, but if there is no soul, no people who know how to use it, (money) doesn't help.

"One cannot overcome the problem with the distribution of condoms. On the contrary, they increase the problem.

"The solution can only be a double one: first, a humanization of sexuality, that is, a spiritual human renewal that brings with it a new way of behaving with one another; second, a true friendship even and especially with those who suffer, and a willingness to make personal sacrifices and to be with the suffering. And these are factors that help and that result in real and visible progress.

"Therefore I would say this is our double strength -- to renew the human being from the inside, to give him spiritual human strength for proper behavior regarding one's own body and toward the other person, and the capacity to suffer with the suffering. ... I think this is the proper response and the church is doing this, and so it offers a great and important contribution. I thank all those who are doing this."

See Dr. Green's impressive credentials and list of publications at:

20 March 2009 at 19:07  
Blogger Hugh Oxford said...

Of course the sub-Saharan African countries with the highest Catholic populations also have the lowest rates of HIV/Aids.

That's because HIV/Aids is an STD and is spread by people's behavioural choices. And that's why condoms create the climate and culture that remove self-control.

"Strongly Christian Uganda continues to frustrate condom-pushing NGO's by maintaining its abstinence and fidelity AIDS prevention programs and one of the lowest rates of AIDS in Africa, at 4.1%. Uganda's population is listed by the CIA Factbook as 33% Roman Catholic and 33% Protestant. Of African countries with low Catholic populations, Botswana is typical with 37.3% AIDS, one of the highest in Africa, and 5% of the total population Catholic. In 2003, Swaziland was shown to have a 38.8% AIDS infection rate and only 20% Catholic population." shaft1..._sex_education_

Incidentally predominant African Muslim countries have even lower percentage of Aids, although the Western liberal media doesn't seem to want to admit it.

"I will never sell condoms in my shop; it is like promoting adultery and operating a brothel," Sharrif Mohamed, who owns a shop in Isiolo, Eastern Province, told the UN media 'PlusNews'.

Most traders in the mainly Muslim northeastern part of the country have refused to stock condoms, which are usually only available at government health centres."

So the Pope's right. But for Western liberal elites to admit it would be to admit that they're in the wrong. Mind you, if the evidence of their own societies hasn't convinced them of their error, why would Africa?

20 March 2009 at 19:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have noticed on many occasions that when someone - particularly a Christian - says something that is inconsistent with the current group-think, no one stops to consider what is being said and wonder why it is being said. There is always a knee-jerk reaction intended to stop these (unacceptable) things being said, in case the very words destroy the illusion of their reality. I can't see anything wrong with what the Pope has said. It is always open to individuals to ignore the warnings - and continue as before. I suspect that is what the majority will do anyway. But they can't now say they weren't offered an alternative solution that will definitely work.

20 March 2009 at 19:47  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

Hugh Oxford

That was a very interesting point you made about the predominantly Muslim African countries. I was wondering about that. It seemed logical


20 March 2009 at 19:54  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

NGO's = Satan's little helpers

20 March 2009 at 20:30  
Blogger Gordon said...

Please forgive me for having an overly simplistic view:

The Pope says [I paraphrase] "don't use condoms, and don't sleep around - both condoms and sluttishness are un-Christian."

Now all the morons sleeping around are apparantly spreading aids because Benedict says they can't use condoms. I'm supposed to believe the lefty morons that these people are so devotedly Catholic that they follow the pope's rules to the letter about condoms but ignore the bit about sleeping around?

I may be a little dense but I'm not that dense.

21 March 2009 at 00:48  
Anonymous not a machine said...

yet again we see how the media articulates one unfounded fact to another.

the HIV problem in africa is populary put down to unprotected sex , well thats true unprotected sex is the main transmission route for the virus .

however there is also the problem of multiple partners both in and out of marriage which has lead to the population of infected that is giving this horror its full blown destructive path.

when you ask the question how many before having sex have had an HIV test , you get blank looks . most people have the test when they get unwell. condoms will not reduce the number of different partner sex interactions in fact it may increase it.

given that men dont want to know what the test may say and still want to carry on having sex , large parts of african society have not established , the moral stand of "no sex please i have not been tested" and so the cycle is repeated .

until they can start to establish a group that are 1) free of the virus 2) that lives in a monoganmus way .

they will keep a large infected population.

it doesnt really matter if those infected keep having sex , so long as they forfeit reproduction . of course drugs that alieviate the illness should be made available .

but to me there is an issue of the innocent , and until the innocent is protected from getting this desiese , through weak moral behaviour , no ammount of condoms will help .

to ask judith : your an agnostic , thats fine , i am not which i presume as an agnostic you must be ok with .

so whilst christians can be socialists , they must still put god first.

I dont quite see your argument : do you think christians should yield to non christain political states/constructs as proof positive that god doesnt exist.

scoialist states see the church as threat , my concern is that i am sure of god and that the agnostic/athiest socialists have got somthing terribly wrong , but they are hell bent in making sure the church is consigned to history.

do you see my argument now ??

21 March 2009 at 02:22  
Anonymous len said...

It is interesting, that this pope, the infallable vicar of christ, gods man on earth, has to be corrected by the vatican press office.
The merits for /against condoms seems inconclusive.
Education as to the realities of aids seem to be lacking?

21 March 2009 at 08:30  
Blogger BrianSJ said...

It is my impression that the quoted numbers of people with AIDS include lots of people with TB and all sorts of other diseases. Sorry, lost the source.

21 March 2009 at 09:03  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

Snow's father was a bishop in the C of E. Perhaps that explains his rooted prejudice against the Church.

21 March 2009 at 15:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Popes for centuries have condemned people to death,especially during the crusades, inquisition and reformation. Whats new?

21 March 2009 at 19:30  
Anonymous WATCHMAN said...

As the pope heads up mystery babylon he ultimately condemns all who follow him.
" Come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
Revelation 18: 1-5

22 March 2009 at 10:20  
Blogger Damo Mackerel said...

Is it all down to racism and I don't use that word lightly. Why do the liberals think the Pope can save Africans? Why do they think that Africans hang on every word the Pope says but us 'sophisticated' Europeans do or should not? Ali G comes to mind.

25 March 2009 at 11:37  
Blogger Joanna Bogle said...

Auntie Joanna was deeply unhappy about her performance on the Jon Snow programme, where she lost her cool and failed to communicate things calmly. She has been haunted by it ever since, and the message has been hammered home by a lot of hate-mail. Kind people have also written to support and encourage her, but she retains a strong conviction that she let the side down and that the TV scenes will be used against her in the future. She is grateful for Cranmer's kind words. It occurs to her that there was something ghastly in the way that the thoughtful and measured words by Benedict XVI with a Christian message on the AIDS tragedy were so brutally denounced across the western mass media, and that this is something rather frightening for all those who recognise the importance of real answers in this area.

She takes this opportunity of thanking Cranmer again for his always immensely readable and useful Blog, and notes a marked sympathy of ideas and beliefs between traditional Anglicans and Christians of the Roman Catholic Church - something which she cherishes. She notes that Papa Benedict has written and spoken movingly about the beliefs, values, and solidarity which all Christians share, and that he continues to teach that we should work together whenever possible, and she adds that he is supported by all mainstream RCs in this.

25 March 2009 at 18:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...and she adds that he is supported by all mainstream RCs in this."

Not quite all, though it depends how you define 'mainstream'. At least one hates him.

25 March 2009 at 19:20  

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