Monday, November 22, 2010

4 Things about the Pope and Condoms

There's been a pile of controversy over the pope's comments about condoms in a book coming out on Wednesday. Most of it has been misinformation which has snowballed into an all-out lie. Here's the top 4 things you need to know:

1) Artificial Contraception not approved by Church
The pope did not approve of condoms to be used as contraceptives. The church clearly forbids all forms of artificial contraception and nothing the pope said violates this.

2) Comments referred only to male prostitutes
The pope's comments referred only to male prostitutes. Obviously the Church has made numerous comments on the immorality of homosexual sex, plus the fact that these acts are inherently nonreproductive, the use or non-use of condoms becomes a moot point. The main objection to the use of a condom is its contraceptive quality. In a situation that can be nothing but non-contraceptive, the objection becomes moot.

3) Pope did not say it is good for gay men to use condoms
The pope did not say a gay man using a condom to prevent the spread of AIDS or HIV is doing something morally good. Rather, the intention behind him using it can be the beginning point of a sense of morality. Basically the thought of the gay man to protect the health of his partner is at least the beginning of a sense of morality on the issue, even though everything about the situation is immoral.

4) Not official teachings
These are the personal thoughts of Pope Benedict, and in no way can be construed as a change in Catholic teaching on the issues of artificial contraception and birth control. In order for something to be an official church teaching, the pope must declare it using formal and official Church channels such as publishing an encyclical or papal bull. In order for something to be declared infallible, the criteria is even more stringent and is very seldom used.


The media is having a field day with this as usual. There are broad pronouncements that the Catholic Church has completely altered its teaching on condom use and contraception in general. However this has not occurred. This is being completely blown out of proportion. To get my broader treatment of this, please go here.

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