The Holy See responds to the Belgian Parliament

You might recall that the waffling Beligian Parliament criticized Pope Benedict XVI for his shocking… shocking! … about Africa and AIDS.

The Holy See responds.


The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium, acting under instructions from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, has informed the Secretary for Relations with States of the Resolution with which the House of Representatives in his country asked the Belgian Government to "condemn the unacceptable statements of the Pope on the occasion of his journey to Africa and to protest officially to the Holy See". The meeting took place on 15 April 2009.

The Secretariat of State notes with regret this action, unusual in the context of the diplomatic relations existing between the Holy See and the Kingdom of Belgium. It deplores the fact that a Parliamentary Assembly should have thought it appropriate to criticize the Holy Father on the basis of an isolated extract from an interview, separated from its context, and used by some groups with a clear intent to intimidate, as if to dissuade the Pope from expressing himself on certain themes of obvious moral relevance and from teaching the Church’s doctrine.

As is well known, the Holy Father, in answer to a question concerning the efficacy and the realistic character of the Church’s positions on combating Aids, stated that the solution is to be sought in two directions: on the one hand through bringing out the human dimension of sexuality; and on the other, through true friendship and willingness to help persons who are suffering. He also emphasized the commitment of the Church in both these areas. Without this moral and educational dimension, the battle against Aids will not be won.

While in some European countries an unprecedented media campaign was unleashed concerning the predominant, not to say exclusive, value of prophylactics in the fight against Aids, it is consoling to note that the moral considerations articulated by the Holy Father were understood and appreciated, in particular by the Africans and the true friends of Africa, as well as by some members of the scientific community. As one can read in a recent statement of the Regional Episcopal Conference of West Africa (CERAO): "We are grateful for the message of hope which [the Holy Father] came to entrust to us in Cameroon and Angola. He came to encourage us to live in unity, reconciled with one another in justice and peace, so that the Church in Africa can herself be a burning flame of hope for the life of the entire continent. And we thank him for having restated for all, in a nuanced, clear and insightful way, the common teaching of the Church concerning the pastoral care of sufferers from Aids."


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  1. …the waffling Beligian Parliament…

    For some reason I have the strange craving for Belgian Waffles.

    Seriously, Benedict tells it like it is. To quote then Cardinal Ratzinger “the truth is not determined by a majority vote”.

  2. Charlie says:

    Kudos to the Vatican!

  3. Rob Cartusciello says:

    Like many things, it would sound better in latin.

  4. James says:

    Edward Green, the director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at Harvard who defended the pope’s comments, has lost his job. Harvard just cut his program…

  5. Paule says:

    WHAT?? He lost his job? For real???

  6. jarhead462 says:

    “it is consoling to note that the moral considerations articulated by the Holy Father were understood and appreciated, in particular by the Africans and the true friends of Africa”

    Well stated. I like that line: The TRUE friends of Africa

    Semper Fi!

  7. ***Thunderous applause!***

  8. tertullian says:

    Isn’t Dr Evil Belgian?

  9. therese b says:

    You would think the Belgian Government might refrain from criticising the Catholic Church, given that they spent years behaving atrociously in the Belgian Congo – and when the inevitable backlash came those who suffered for it were predominantly the brave priests and nuns who had gone out there to mitigate the effects of the government\’s abominable mistreatment of the native population. Perhaps it was referred to obliquely in the \”true friends\” comment. A great letter that makes me proud to be a Catholic.

    Bad luck Edward Green. One of many destined to suffer from the pathetic spite of the academic monolith of the liberal intelligentsia.

  10. Marty Helgesen says:

    What is the source of the information that Edward Green has lost his job because of what he said? A quick check of Google and of Lexis Nexis produced no mention of the action. I did find that he had previously expressed the same opinion about the value of condoms, apparently without any serious problems.

  11. hai n says:

    Very much not true, according to statement from Harvard, on the contrary his grant is extended

  12. PS says:

    RE: Edward Green.

    As I understand it, here is what happened:

    Green has a grant for three years, ending in, like Feb. 2009.

    He is interviewed about his condoms in Africa article in which he may or may not say that Harvard and his other backers wer pulling the plug on his program, effectively firing him. I think the interview was with a UK news outlet or blogger. It may have been a TV show as I can find no evidence of such an interview, only oblique references to the thing.

    Harvard and Green point out that he isn’t being fired and, as is often the case, has had his grant extended for another year.

    As I understand it this is common practice, sort of like how plenty apartment leases commit you for a year or more and then go “month to month” to allow you and Landlord the opportunity if you should still be in the place.

  13. Linus says:

    Regarding the action of Harvard. Ninety percent of America’s educational institutions practice ” academic freedom ” only if you openly support the purely secular world view. If you openly question one of the ” dogmas ” of the secular world, you become persona non grata and immediately subject to some form of persecution. In this case, the professor got fired. He was a brave man, I wish him well.

    Do you doubt that if Christ were physically present and preaching today that he too would be persecuted? And then killed?

  14. Long live Pope Benedict XVI!
    Long live The Truth!
    THE Battle, has just BEGUN, and GOD, is GREATER!

  15. Phylis says:

    I think that Catholics should show their support for the Holy Father by protesting to the Belgian Embassy in Washington. I will see if I can find the address and email.

    This behavior of the Belgians is pretty highhanded given their record in the Congo -the worst, the very worst of all of the colonial powers. And Belgium is not without its share of responsibility for the genocide in Rwanda. So ….

  16. Phylis says:

    Here are the contact details for the Belgian Embassy in Washington which I just took from their website. Just email or call your protest and support the Holy Father against Belgian aggression|

    Diplomatic Representatives
    H.E. Jan Matthysen
    Tel: (202) 333-6900
    Fax: (202) 333-3079

    Mr. Sigurd Schelstraete
    Minister-Counselor (Political Affairs), Deputy Chief of Mission
    Tel: (202) 333-6900
    Fax: (202) 333-3079

    Mr. Patrick Herman
    Minister-Counselor (Economic Affairs)
    Tel: (202) 625-5868
    Fax: (202) 625-7567

    Mr. Jeroen Cooreman
    Tel (202) 625-5815
    Fax: (202) 333-3079

    Mr. Piet Heirbaut
    Tel (202) 625-5808
    Fax: (202) 333-3079

    Mr. Philippe De Mûelenaere
    First Secretary
    Tel: (202) 625-5813
    Fax: (202) 625-7567

    Mr. Elie Loos
    Tel: (202) 333-6900
    Fax: (202) 333-5457

    Mr. Erwin De Wandel
    Counselor, Development Cooperation
    Tel: (202) 625-5887
    Fax: (202) 625-7567

    Mr. Harold Vandermeulen
    First Secretary, Development Cooperation
    Tel: (202) 625-5889
    Fax: (202) 625-7567


    Rear Admiral (lower half) Willy Temmerman
    Defense, Military, Naval and Air Attaché
    Tel: (202) 625-5845
    Fax: (202) 333-8483

    Lieutenant Colonel Martine DIERCKX
    Assistant Defense, Military, Naval and Air Attaché
    Tel: (202) 625-5849
    Fax: (202) 333-8483

    Lieutenant Colonel Rudy PRIEM
    Defense Cooperation Attaché
    Tel: (301) 350-3900 Ext 310
    Fax: (301) 350-5892

    Chief Superintendent of Police
    Patrick Stevens
    Counselor, Liaison Officer (Police Affairs) Tel: (202) 625-5811
    Fax: (202)333-8625


    Mr. Bernard Geenen
    Attaché (Commercial Affairs, Walloon Region)
    Tel: (202) 625-5852
    Fax: (202) 625-6252

    Françoise Keuppens
    Liaison Officer Flemish Representation
    3330 Garfield Street NW
    Washington, DC 20008
    Phone: (202) 625-5851
    Fax: (202) 342-8346
    E-mail: or

  17. Valerio says:

    I am afraid the Belgian government comes out of this with “belgian” chocolate all over its face.
    Once again a proof of the all pervasive anti-catholicism, and in particular anti-pope diatribe so widespread. In our all-tolerant world, only one thing in not allowed.
    Tolerance of the Holy Father and of the true Church.
    Ubi Petrus, ibi Ecclesia.

  18. Mike says:

    What is half of the entire Belgian army doing in Washington?

  19. “True friends of Africa”.
    I like that. Beligum still behaving atrociously like they did in Beligum Congo. Harvard agent of the Dark Prince.

  20. therese b says:

    “What is half of the entire Belgian army doing in Washington?”
    Mike –
    They came over as Security on the “Singing Nun” concert tour in 1963 and couldn’t find their way back to Idlewild Airport before it changed its name.

  21. His Prince Micahel says:

    Phylis, thank-you for all the info…MESSAGE sent!
    Sister and Brothers, Be sure:

    Micah 7;15 is NOW

    Zechariah 12;8 is NOW

    Amos 9;11 is NOW

    Psalm 110 is NOW

    ALL, for The Greater Glory of God!
    Daniel 12;1

  22. Noel says:

    What a bunch of walloons!

  23. John Parker says:

    The front-page in this week’s Le-Vif-L’Express (the Belgian equivalent of Newsweek) screams: “Et si le pape avait raison?” (“What if the pope just happens to be right?”), headlining a very well-researched article at last putting into context exactly what the pope said. It should be required reading for the numbskulls that run this country. The posturings of these small-minded Belgian politicians are nothing less than scandalous. As the article points out, the pope is absolutely right to say that condoms are not THE answer and, in the African context, can make things worse. The Africans, it seems, are rightly furious at this neo-colonial nannying (and from Belgium, with its track record in the Congo!)

    As a long-standing resident of Brussels, I am quite used to numpty statements from the thousands of political gravy-trainers it takes to run this tiny country (there are nine – NINE – parliaments to run a country of ten million people!) but this kind of sanctimonious waffle (pun very much intended) really does take the biscuit!

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