I take this opportunity on Palm Sunday to clarify what the Holy Father actually said about two issues for which he was vilified by some groups and certain people of the media throughout the world. Jesus was praised as He entered Jerusalem, and five days later they wanted Him crucified. Like Our Lord, Pope Benedict has received much praise and adulation one day, as on his pilgrimages, and then becomes the object of vitriole. One controversy was his lifting the excommunication of four bishops of the Society of St. Pius X. The other firestorm of criticism was unleashed by his comment on the use of condoms to halt AIDS.
Unaware of one of the bishop's views on the Holocaust, he lifted the excommunication in order to open the way to reconciliation with the Society—not to approve of its views. Here are Pope Benedict's words in his letter to the bishops of the world regarding this matter: "But I ask now: Was it, and is it, truly wrong in this case to meet halfway the brother who ‘ has something against you’ (cf. Matt. 5: 23ff.) and to seek reconciliation?"
The other issue which irked a number of critics was his insight into the use of condoms. The best way to defend the Pope is simply to state the truth. So here is an excerpt from LifeSiteNews.com.
by John-Henry Westen:
March 19, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - 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 and the Church are too often unfairly criticized because they hand on the teachings of Jesus Christ and not those of the world. Our Lord encountered the very same opposition. So it is to be expected. But, I wish that the media would get the facts straight and report accurately. There is not enough space in this bulletin, but a future column will have more of what Pope Benedict said on these two matters.
I conclude with a sentence which the Pope wrote to the bishops of the world. It is a correct estimation of a difficult situation the world is facing.
The real problem at this moment of our history is that God is disappearing from the human horizon, and, with the dimming of the light which comes from God, humanity is losing its bearings, with increasingly evident destructive effects.
Our Parish Mission, Our Call to Holiness, begins tonight, Palm Sunday, at 7:00 pm. You will find it spiritually insightful and rewarding. I am looking forward to seeing you present.