No matter how much "awe" George W. Bush feels by meeting with "Sir" (another Bush gaffe: one is supposed to call the pope "His Holiness") Pope Benedict, I doubt he will take the Pontiff's sensible advice on Iraq given to him during their meeting today...
seek "regional and negotiated" solutions to Middle East conflicts like Iraq.
The two men see eye-to-eye on ethical issues like abortion and euthanasia but differ on the war in Iraq, which Benedict's predecessor, John Paul II, tried hard to avert.
Of course, not all of the pope's views are kosher in my eyes.
The Vatican's antiquated view on contraception has caused countless millions to die of STDs. There are over 1 billion Roman Catholics; many of them are uneducated, in poor or developing countries, and follow what their church says. This no-condoms policy, which the United States under the Bush administration has largely shared, is not the solution to issues like HIV/AIDS.
Sexual abstinence and total marital fidelity cannot be expected of a handful of people, let alone millions. Even Pope John Paul II, less conservative than his successor, rejected condoms as a prevention of AIDS — a reckless act indeed. The Catholic church doesn't have to encourage condoms (and other contraceptives), but by condemning them the likelihood of transmission of diseases like AIDS is greatly increased.
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