How is Pope Benedict XVI like an AIDS victim?

Did the pope mean to say this? From a "Q&A" during Benedict's recent visit to a Roman prison:

Q. What can sick and HIV-positive prisoners ask of the Pope?...We are not often mentioned, and then in aggressive terms, as if seeking to eliminate us from society. This makes us feel subhuman. A. "We have to endure the fact that people speak about us 'aggressively'. They also speak 'aggressively' about the Pope, yet nonetheless we persevere..."

Given that all such encounters are highly-scripted beforehand, it seems to be a genuine expression of how the pope thinks he is treated. And how HIV-positive people are treated.

David Gibson is a national reporter for Religion News Service and author of The Coming Catholic Church (HarperOne) and The Rule of Benedict (HarperOne). He blogs at dotCommonweal.

Also by this author
Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul

Please email comments to [email protected] and join the conversation on our Facebook page.

Must Reads

Politics
Religion
Culture
Collections