Sunday, November 21, 2010

Lucia The Pope and those comments on condom use UPDATE 2

First of all, this is what was said:
[The Pope's] comments to Peter Seewald reaffirm his belief that the use of condoms is not “the answer” to Aids – but he goes on to say that “in certain cases, where the intention is to reduce the risk of infection, it can nevertheless be a first step on the way to another, more humane sexuality”.

He also says: “There may be justified individual cases, for example when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be … a first bit of responsibility, to redevelop the understanding that not everything is permitted and that one may not do everything one wishes. But it is not the proper way to deal with the horror of HIV infection.”
This does not mean, that the Pope is encouraging condom use for male prostitutes. The Catholic Church's position is that all sexual activity should be limited to a man and his wife within matrimony and that sexual activity is to be free of contraceptives, ie open to life.  What the Pope's comments seem to indicate is that when one is participating in an immoral sexual act, condom use could be a more responsible way of lessening disastrous consequences.  could indicate an awakening of the moral sense of the individual.   [paragraph updated 5:34pm]
We must note that the example that Pope Benedict gives for the use of a condom is a male prostitute; thus, it is reasonable to assume that he is referring to a male prostitute engaged in homosexual acts. The Holy Father is simply observing that for some homosexual prostitutes the use of a condom may indicate an awakening of a moral sense; an awakening that sexual pleasure is not the highest value, but that we must take care that we harm no one with our choices. He is not speaking to the morality of the use of a condom, but to something that may be true about the psychological state of those who use them. If such individuals are using condoms to avoid harming another, they may eventually realize that sexual acts between members of the same sex are inherently harmful since they are not in accord with human nature. The Holy Father does not in any way think the use of condoms is a part of the solution to reducing the risk of AIDs. As he explicitly states, the true solution involves “humanizing sexuality.”
Well, even I  (and the Holy Smoke blogger) misunderstood the position.  As Janet Smith says:
The Church has no formal teaching about how to reduce the evil of intrinsically immoral action. We must note that what is intrinsically wrong in a homosexual sexual act in which a condom is used is not the moral wrong of contraception but the homosexual act itself. In the case of homosexual sexual activity, a condom does not act as a contraceptive; it is not possible for homosexuals to contracept since their sexual activity has no procreative power that can be thwarted. But the Holy Father is not making a point about whether the use of a condom is contraceptive or even whether it reduces the evil of a homosexual sexual act; again, he is speaking about the psychological state of some who might use condoms. The intention behind the use of the condom (the desire not to harm another) may indicate some growth in a sense of moral responsibility.
Essential reading : Pope Benedict on condoms in "Light of the World" ~ The Catholic World Report

14 comment(s):

Andrei said...

What the Pope said is far too subtle for Liberals to understand and they don't want to anyway.

Expect a lot of noise over this sigh

Lucia Maria said...

Yep, the Guardian's got one up right now. I expect the Dom Post to have some clone of it (probably from the Times in the UK) plastered across the front of the world section, screaming "The Pope gives the nod to condoms!!!"

Lucia Maria said...

Here's some links to articles that get it wrong:

Pope Benedict says that condoms can be used to stop the spread of HIV ~ The Guardian
Comments in interview signal break with Vatican's blanket ban on the use of contraceptives

Pope says condom use is acceptable in 'single justified cases' ~ LA Times
Taking the Roman Catholic world by surprise, Benedict says that under some circumstances it might be acceptable for a prostitute to use a condom.

Lucia Maria said...

A number of hours ago, I put a link up on this thread at WDTPRS to help Catholics who were freaking out over the comments. As yet, my comment is still in moderation, but other commenters have put it up as well.

I must be in moderation, because I've hardly commented there.

Lucia Maria said...

I wasn't fast enough for Stuff in NZ, they are all over this: Pope: condoms can be justified in some cases.

News agencies should really should start looking into the concept of getting knowledgeable religious reporters on these sorts of topics rather than just playing Chinese Whispers (ie if enough people say it, it must be true!)

Andrei said...

Reading that tripe makes my blood boil.

I know what the Pope said and its not what they imply he said

Lucia Maria said...

I'm just glad I was home today so I could do this post.

Faye said...

Haha you Catholics are funny. Now the Pope says it's OK for male prostitutes to use condoms even though you anti choice types say the condoms have holes in them and therefore fail to protect anyone from catching an STI like AIDS.

Andrei said...

I'm not a Catholic Faye and the Pope didn't say "it is OK for male prostitutes to use condoms" he said it was an improvement upon knowingly infecting someone else with HIV.

Lucia Maria said...


You obviously didn't read the post.


I saw the BBC TV News tonight and they said the Pope's comments still fit in with traditional teachings.
In normal cases wearing condoms would prevent the creation of life, in HIV cases wearing condoms would save life.
Obviously, I need to read more than take the spin from the tv news and the Sunday Times, but the Pope has made a wise and pragmatic move on the issue.

Faye said...

Yes I did read the post and I saw the pope on TV.

I've been laughing ever since...

Lucia Maria said...

There is a cure for that, Faye.

MathewK said...

Naturally the bum-boys will still be angry with the Pope. Oh well, whatever, it's their ass on the line after all.

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