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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

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The Pope, Condoms & Stupid People

The devil must really be laughing today. He delights in ignorance and sin. He  assuredly has had a hand in the miscommunication of the Pope’s words on condom use. The Pope seemed pretty clear to me in his opposition. But Satan delights in dissent and the numbing of consciences.

WHAT DID THE POPE ACTUALLY SAY?

The Holy Father responded to a series of questions in a book entitled LIGHT OF THE WORLD by Peter Seewald. An over-sexed world latches upon a few remarks about condoms and reads far too much into them.

When asked about the Church’s view of condom use, Pope Benedict XVI replied: “It of course does not see it as a real and moral solution.”

The Pope answered: “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 grants that the use of condoms might reflect the first stirrings of a MORAL SENSE and the desire not to harm or kill others through the spread of infection. He is not giving approval to condom use, merely to a movement away from selfishness and irresponsibility to a more mature regard for the needs and rights of others. Notice that he says this might be the “first step.” Later steps would have such a person come to awareness that condoms are an insufficient answer and that marital monogamy and/or abstinence is the way to go.

He clarifies this with an example: “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 re-develop 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.”

The Pope is very clear, despite misrepresentations in the news media, that condom use is “not the proper way” to deal with the HIV epidemic.

The popular misunderstanding of his remarks reflects this papal assertion: “Becoming simply fixated on the issue of condoms makes sexuality more banal and exactly this is the reason why so many people no longer find sexuality to be an expression of their love, but a type of self-administered drug.”

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

The remarks from the Holy Father have been sensationalized and misconstrued. The Church’s moral stand on condom use has NOT CHANGED. Condomistic intercourse is always and everywhere intrinsically immoral.

The press seems to think that the Church has changed its moral teaching, at least allowing male prostitutes to use condoms. Some idiots are actually complaining and questioning that if male prostitutes can use condoms then how about female prostitutes and those who live and act like prostitutes? One writer was upset that condoms were now permitted to all except married couples. But the Pope did not say that condoms were okay; indeed, he argued quite the opposite. He merely says that such usage might indicate the beginnings of a moral reflection. What they are actually doing is still condemned as a matter of mortal sin.

Cynics might argue that if you are going to sin then sin wisely. But the Church will never recommend sinful behavior, even to avoid other evils.

God save us from stupid people!

We pray to the Lord… LORD, hear our prayer!

I doubt you will hear this petition any time soon in our churches, but among faithful learned Catholics, it is certainly a plea we make in our personal prayers.

Media analysts and even governments need to be added to this plea. A similar ignorance led to an Islamic uproar over the Pope’s academic remarks back in 2006 in Regensburg, Bavaria when he urged a disavowal of violence as a dictated in the Koran for forced conversions. Protestors proved his point by murdering a nun and chanted, “Death to the Pope!” The Pope makes a subtle qualification about condom use and extremists on one side demand “further” compromise and on the other, chastise the Holy Father for heretical deviation. Even the Spanish government ridiculed the Pope for not going far enough, and yet the papal responses represent no retreat from the moral law. The Pope does not have the authority to declare right something which is objectively wrong. Pope Benedict XVI carefully nuances his words and many today do not have the intellectual savvy to parse his statements.

A United Nation’s top AIDS official said, “This move recognizes that responsible sexual behavior and the use of condoms have important roles in HIV prevention.” It was nothing of the kind. The Pope still rightly condemns the use of condoms as an unacceptable solution. Activists in South Africa judged the statement as a “step in the right direction.” But I repeat, there has been no change of direction. Other enthusiasts for condomistic contraception wrongly rejoiced that this will allow for population control. The Holy Father will most certainly have to offer a grade-school-level explanation of his words to these thick-headed fools. Otherwise, they will spread the lie that we shall see Church approved artificial contraception. Indeed, some voices in the press are talking about this as I speak.

God save us from stupid people!

God save us from the manipulation of truth and the oppression of Satan!