Archbishop Léonard shows an acute sense of the consequences of his words about the AIDS issue and has chosen to release his full answer to the question of the journalists, which I discussed in my previous post. Perhaps it may serve as a further explanation, although the damage is already done. It is clear that many people simply don’t read beyond the soundbite.
Here is my translation of the archbishop’s full answer:
What do you think about AIDS? Do you consider the disease as a ‘punishment from God for the sexual revolution?
“Someone once asked John Paul II if AIDS was a punishment from God. He then wisely answered that it is very difficult to know God’s intentions. I myself don’t reason in those terms at all. So I do not see this epidemic as a punishment, but at the most as a sort of immanent justice, sort of like how, in ecology, we are faced with the consequences of what we are doing to the environment. Maybe human love also responds when she is treated badly, without the need of a transcendent source. Maybe it is a sort of immanent justice, but as far as the concrete causes are concerned, doctors should some day be able to say how this disease came to be, how it was initially transmitted and then spread further… But considered more generally, I stick to something in the order of a sort of immanent justice. 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.” Msgr. Léonard – conversations, pp. 173-174.