I am very pleased to hear of the reduced incidence of HIV-AIDS in Dominica. The Church is as concerned as the State in that regard, and therefore we all must make every effort to see that our nation remains healthy.
However, the issue of HIV-AIDS has moral implications, and it is the particular area of concern for the Church.
You would have heard of the recent international news report of the alleged softened position of the Holy Father on the use of condom for the control of HIV-AIDS. It certainly created some media sensation. However, we must understand what the Holy Father was saying. The context of the question was an interview by a German journalist on the aircraft on the Holy Father’s trip to Cameroon and Angola in March 2009. The Holy Father was making reference to someone already suffering with the disease and saw the use of condom as a first step towards moral behaviour.
As you notice the operative idea is moral behaviour; in other words, moral responsibility. This, to my mind, ought to be the point of departure for any conscientious Christian or conscientious human person.
It always seems that a great number of people eagerly await the Church to take a more accommodating stance on difficult moral issues. It is important to understand the role of the Church in that sphere of life. Of Herself the Church has no ultimate moral authority; that resides in God alone. The Church is only an instrument which communicated God’s moral principles. She has the duty to teach people how to live responsibly so that they can happily and in true freedom fulfill their mission on earth.
The stance of the Church with regard to morality always remains the same. Responsible living in all aspects of life is therefore a sure way to the fight against HIV-AIDS. Sexuality remains one of the most challenging issues on the human agenda and will call for greater responsibility in the proper socialization of our children, so that their decisions will be mature and spiritual.
On the occasion of World Aids day, I commend all wholesome efforts made to address this terrible scourge that menaces our world.