Hos Zenit leser jeg i dag en uttalelse fra Kameruns katolske biskoper, som er sjokkerte over medias dekning av pave Benedikts besøk i landet. Jeg gjengir deres uttalelse i motsatt rekkefølge:
Sammen med paven minner biskpene alle katolikker og andre innbyggere i Kamerun om:
1) That sexual relations have as their first end the procreation desired by God himself at the beginning of creation. Marriage between a man and a woman is the ideal framework willed by God for this procreation.
2) That the Catholic Church does not reject AIDS patients and in no way encourages the spread of the sickness as certain media lead one to believe. She is and will always be active in the multifaceted fight against the sickness.
Biskopene kan ikke forstå at pavens balanserte og grundige svar skulle få slike oppslag i vestlig media, og gi det inntrykket at menneskene i Kamerun opplevde pavens besøk negativt på noen som helst måte. Og videre:
The Cameroonian episcopate underlines very strongly that Cameroonians welcomed Pope Benedict XVI with joy and enthusiasm, thus confirming their legendary hospitality. But by this, it does not deny the reality of AIDS, or its devastating effect on families in Cameroon.
The Holy Father has put man at the center of his concern and has reminded us of the teachings of Christ and of the Church. The Catholic Church’s commitment to persons living with the AIDS virus, the support of infected and affected persons, are priorities for the Catholic Church. The support of persons and families as well as the teaching of the Church allow each one to appreciate himself in his dignity as adoptive child of God. This dignity obliges one to look at others and at the world in another way. Instead of seeking his own interest, the Church proposes to man everlasting values.
The Catholic Church everywhere is committed daily in the fight against AIDS. In this connection, she has created structures adapted for the reception, control and treatment of HIV infected persons. This assistance is at the same time moral, psychological, nutritional, medical and spiritual. Herein lies the Holy Father’s first message on AIDS.
Together with this multifaceted and constant action, the Church, as moral force, has the imperative duty to remind Christians that all disordered sexual practice outside of marriage is dangerous and favors the spread of AIDS. This is why she preaches abstinence for single people and fidelity within the couple. It is her duty. She cannot subtract herself from it. Herein lies the Holy Father’s second message.
Consequently, the bishops of Cameroon lament that the Western media have clearly forgotten other essential aspects of the Holy Father’s African message on poverty, reconciliation, justice and peace. This is very serious, knowing the number of dead that other sickness cause in Africa, and on which there is no true publicity; knowing the number of dead that fratricidal fights cause in Africa due to injustice and poverty.
De gjengir hele pave Benedikts svar på flyet på vei til Kamerun (så folk selv kan vurdere hvor grundig paven svarte), der det femte av seks spørsmål ble stilt av den franske journalisten Philippe Visseyrias:
«Holiness, among the many evils that afflict Africa, in particular is the spread of AIDS. The position of the Catholic Church on the way to fight against it is often considered unrealistic and ineffective. Will you address this subject during your trip?»
Here is the Holy Father’s complete answer:
«I would say the contrary. I think that the most efficient reality, the most present at the front of the struggle against AIDS, is precisely the Catholic Church, with her movements, with her various organizations. I am thinking of the Sant’Egidio Community that does so much, visibly and also invisibly, for the struggle against AIDS, of the Camilliani, of all the sisters who are at the disposition of the sick.
«I would say that this problem of AIDS can’t be overcome only with publicity slogans. If there is not the soul, if the Africans are not helped, the scourge can’t be resolved with the distribution of condoms: on the contrary, there is a risk of increasing the problem. The solution can only be found in a double commitment: first, a humanization of sexuality, that is, a spiritual and human renewal that brings with it a new way of behaving with one another; and second, a true friendship, also and above all for those who suffer, the willingness — even with sacrifice and self-denial — to be with the suffering. And these are the factors that help and that lead to visible progress.
«Because of this, I would say that this, our double effort to renew man interiorly, to give spiritual and human strength for correct behavior with regard to one’s body and that of another, and this capacity to suffer with those who suffer, to remain present in situations of trial. It seems to me that this is the correct answer, and the Church does this and thus offers a very great and important contribution. We thank all those who do this.»