John Allen har fulgt pave Benedikt til Kamerun, og nå til Angola, og sier her at han aldri tidligere har opplevd at vestlig presse så dramatisk har hengt seg opp i ett tema (kondom), og nesten ikke i det helle tatt har beskrevet hva paven har gjort i Kamerun:
I don’t think I’ve ever covered a papal trip where the gap between internal and external perceptions has been as vast as over these three days.
It’s almost as if the pope has made two separate visits to Cameroon: the one reported internationally and the one Africans actually experienced.
In the U.S. and many other parts of the world, coverage has been «all condoms, all the time,» triggered by comments from Benedict aboard the papal plane to the effect that condoms aren’t the right way to fight AIDS. In Africa, meanwhile, the trip has been a hit, beginning with Benedict’s dramatic insistence that Christians must never be silent in the face of «corruption and abuses of power,» and extending through a remarkable meeting with African Muslims ….. …
Vast and pumped-up crowds flocked to see the pope, and Benedict seemed swept up in the enthusiasm. Twice he referred to Africa as the «continent of hope,» and at one point, this consummate theologian even mused aloud about a new burst of intellectual energy in Africa that might generate a 21st century version of the famed school of Alexandria, which gave the early church such luminaries as Clement and Origen.
As counter-intuitive as it may seem to Westerners, it was difficult to find anyone in Cameroon — at least anyone who wasn’t a foreign journalist or missionary, or an employee of an overseas NGO — for whom the condoms issue loomed especially large. The locals had different opinions on whether condoms are the right way to tackle AIDS, of course, but it didn’t seem to dominate their impressions of the event.
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In Cameroon today, Benedict XVI seemed infected with an ad extra spirit, concentrating on how the gospel message can transform the broader culture. He delivered a largely outward-looking message during his open-air Mass before an enthusiastic crowd of 40,000 at a downtown sports stadium in Yaoundè.