By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

NEW DELHI, March 30, 2009 ( – The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) has condemned the recent deluge of media criticism of Pope Benedict XVI as “senseless” and “irresponsible,” and appealed for more respect for the Pope.

The Indian Bishops’ statement comes in response to the widespread denigration of the Pope that followed the Holy Father’s recent statement during a press conference that condoms are not the solution to AIDS, and that, in fact, they “risk increasing the problem.” (See: World Leaders, Condom-Promoting Forces Attack Pope Over Condom AIDS Remarks,

In a press statement, Rev. Stanislaus Fernandes, S.J., Secretary General of the CBCI, said the Bishops of the Catholic Church in India consider “these kinds of statements as most irresponsible and irreverent towards the person of His Holiness.”

“Pope Benedict XVI is the most loved and respected spiritual leader of the Catholics all over the world. The views of His Holiness on various subjects such as recession, terrorism and moral issues like AIDS and abortion have been received with respect all over the world.

“Catholics universally must abide by the teachings of the Church as pronounced by His Holiness, who has often reminded the world to be more God-fearing while building a society based on humanitarian values and moral principles of life,” the CBCI statement said.

The Catholic Bishops of India urged people to discredit “the senseless statements made against His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI whom the whole Catholic world reveres and honours as its pre-eminent spiritual leader.”

“The Universal Catholic Church headed by Pope Benedict XVI has been working for peace, reconciliation, universal brotherhood, unity and prosperity for the poor and most neglected, a just society based on the Gospel values and to make this world a better place for living for all humankind,” the statement continued.

The Holy Father “is one of the leading intellectuals of modern times, and is perfectly informed on the present tendencies that show the moral degradation of humanity,” affirmed the statement. It concluded that, “It is the moral duty of His Holiness to direct and guide the consciences of people in general, and of Catholics in particular.”

Accordingly, the Holy Father “invites the whole world to go forward, with the Spirit of God, to build a society based on moral values and respect for life.”

Read previous LSN coverage:

Pope Says Condoms Not Solution to AIDS

Prominent Ugandan AIDS Activist Thanks Pope for Opposition to Condoms

Pope Benedict Decries “Bitter Irony” of Abortion as Human Right in Angola


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