David Gibson of Politics Daily has the latest sensitive, pastoral utterance from a leading Catholic official:
The Catholic Church in Belgium has been battered by scandals and missteps over the past year, and now its new leader, the conservative Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard of Brussels, has sparked a fresh controversy with comments declaring that people afflicted with AIDS are receiving "a sort of immanent justice" for their sexual practices.
Léonard, who Pope Benedict XVI appointed this year to replace a much-loved liberal, Cardinal Godfried Danneels, compared the suffering of AIDS victims to human-caused degradation of the environment, for which people themselves then pay the price.
"Maybe human love also responds when she is treated badly, without the need of a transcendent source," Léonard said in a just-published book of interviews he gave to two Belgian journalists over the past few years. "Badly handling physical nature causes it to treat us badly in turn, and badly dealing with the deeper nature of human love will ultimately always lead to catastrophes on all levels."