Patrick McIlheran, a conservative columnist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, startled me with a ‘quick hit’ that was printed in the Easter Sunday edition. The columnist trumpets a letter to the Washington Post by Harvard School of Public Health HIV/Aids researcher, Edward Green, where, according to McIlheran, Green said: “The pope is correct.”
As Pope Benedict boarded a plane to
Dr. Green’s research and his public presentations, by contrast, state that condoms are seldom used consistently and correctly in general populations and for many reasons, most of which are unknown, condom distribution programs in those areas of
In fact, even in the Washington Post letter that is generating the public attention, Green says: “Don’t misunderstand me; I am not anti-condom. All people should have full access to condoms, and condoms should always be a backup strategy for those who will not or cannot remain in a mutually faithful relationship.”
Although Dr. Green’s research findings overlap with Pope Benedicts moral position that reducing multiple concurrent partners and promotion of fidelity and abstinence have been successful strategies for many people, we cannot ignore the distinction between the proven effectiveness of consistent and correct use of condoms by individuals at risk and our inability to show condom distribution program effectiveness in certain parts of Africa on a population research basis.
Dr. Green supports universal access to condoms and consistent and correct use by individuals at risk of sexually transmitted disease infection. Pope Benedict XVI does not.
It is pointless to speculate on Dr. Green’s motivations for writing a letter to the Washington Post that minimizes the distinctions between the