Late last week, the august Catholic News Agency reported that Pope Benedict XVI will be “praying in July for victims of AIDS and religious women in mission territories.” The article went on to explain that “the Pope’s general intention is ‘that Christ may ease the physical and spiritual sufferings of those who are sick with AIDS, especially in the poorest countries.’”
This past weekend – as a direct result of the Holy Father’s intercession – AIDS sufferers all over the world felt a warm, tingling sensation in their extremities, and suddenly their various conditions were completely healed—from tuberculosis to toxoplasmosis to that vast range of enterprising “opportunistic” infections, all of which typically ravage the bodies of HIV/AIDS patients and leave them hollowed-out, breathless husks, beneath a white sheet, under cold fluorescent light.
Anyway, back to the miraculous. These erstwhile “brides of death” immediately proclaimed their gratefulness to the Holy See, unanimously concurring that this man, the Vicar of Jesus Christ on earth, had been so right about so many things—especially condoms! Many fell to their knees and offered up their own orisons, acknowledging the Catholic Church’s goodness and hoping to one day – if God should will it – kiss the Ring of the Fisherman.
I would personally like to take this moment to thank the current pope (born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, but known inevitably to his friends and close associates as “Ratso Rizzo”) for his strong humanitarian stance on HIV/AIDS, and his many wise pronouncements which have made such a, um, difference in the battle against this virulent and hitherto incurable plague. Collected below are a few of his utterances which I find particularly inspiring:
“The problem cannot be overcome by the distribution of prophylactics: on the contrary, they increase it.” [emphasis added] (1.)
“I think that the most efficient, most truly present player in the fight against AIDS is the Catholic Church herself.” (2.)
“To seek a solution to the problem of infection by promoting the use of prophylactics would be to embark on a way not only insufficiently reliable from the technical point of view, but also and above all, unacceptable from the moral aspect. Such a proposal for ‘safe’ or at least ‘safer’ sex – as they say – ignores the real cause of the problem, namely, the permissiveness which, in the area of sex as in that related to other abuses, corrodes the moral fiber of the people.” (3.)
Ah! I can hardly say how much I am in agreement with His Holiness—especially as regards the importance of fiber in a healthy diet.
Thanks so much, Benny. We all really appreciate you taking the time.