If the Church still maintained standing armies of crusaders, and decided tomorrow to send the cavalry into the slums of Johannesburg and Lagos and Nairobi, slaughtering the helpless residents and some of their children, it probably wouldn't go over very well. Instead, they tell their legions of new converts to kill themselves, by refusing to use birth control/protection despite living in the most overpopulated and AIDS-infested regions on Earth.
Pray tell, what is the Church doing to combat AIDS? Fidelity? Yes, that's nice, and I support fidelity. Unfortunately, as Dr. House would say, "People lie." Infidelity is a fact and will not disappear because we want to believe it away. Christianity itself posits that man is inherently flawed, deeply so, but is faith the only tool God has granted us? Surely not. Ingrained cultural mores that seem savage or downright insane to outside observers, such as having sex with a virgin to "cure" sexual diseases or refusing to use protection because it's not manly, are similarly difficult to extinguish. We have an arsenal at the ready, including education, technology, and that elusive bottled lightning, hope, but the hope that the Pope is peddling is tainted by the Church's slow-motion in an age of rapid change.
The real savage, insane belief is that faith should trump reason - the prohibition of condoms is just faith healing in fancier robes. And a funny hat. And you wonder why you're losing believers at terrifying rates in the developed world, Benny...?
More than 22 million people in sub-Saharan Africa are infected with HIV, according to a 2008 UNAIDS/WHO report. Nine out of 10 children with HIV in the world live in the region, which has 11.4 million orphans because of AIDS, the report said, and 1.5 million people there died of the disease in 2007.