Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Pope and condoms???

Maybe you saw it on the morning news or in the paper: "Pope supports condoms!" or "Pope signals shift in teaching on condoms." Wait a moment, I thought Catholics were against artificial birth control? Is this a change in official Catholic teaching?

Not so fast.

These were private comments taken from a new interview length book and, no, Pope Benedict wasn't saying condoms are no "ok."

So what is Pope Benedict saying? This is the statement the press has seized upon:
There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants. But it is not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection. That can really lie only in a humanization of sexuality.[Emphasis added]
Even in the book he clarifies his own statement:

Seewald: Are you saying, then, that the Catholic Church is actually not opposed in principle to the use of condoms?

Benedict: She of course does not regard it as a real or moral solution, but, in this or that case, there can be nonetheless, in the intention of reducing the risk of infection, a first step in a movement toward a different way, a more human way, of living sexuality.

Jimmy Akin of the National Catholic Register explains it much better than I can. Read his comments here.

Also check out Janet Smith's comments.

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