I’ve been in Cameroun with some of IWHC’s partners for a few days leading up to the Pope’s visit, and it’s been interesting to see the reactions on the ground. We tried to get “tickets” to the supposedly public papal mass taking place on Thursday, but apparently you have to be Catholic. We’re taking an early bus and going there anyway to try and get some video footage. There is an organization called Creation Positif that is based in the Cameroun capital city Yaounde that I think consists of people living with HIV/AIDS that was doing condom demonstrations in the street yesterday. One woman I met with said, “The Pope should just go back home!” I loved that. People here are pissed off about the Pope’s remarks on Tuesday about how condoms won’t stop AIDS, but no one wants to go on the record saying so – I’ve been asking everyone if they’d do a short video talking about it. Hopefully, we’ll get some footage Thursday.
Pope Benedict XVI is taking this opportunity to go all out when he hasn’t before – most of these ludricious, egregious, and unfounded statements haven’t been made by this particular pope before. The new era of attempted domination began yesterday.
Pope pic via the creative commons Flickr photostream of sam_herd
Jen Wilen is the Assistant Program Officer of Francophone Africa at the International Women’s Health Coalition. Read her bio here.