• Our Blogger

    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Rose Da Corta on Ask a Priest
    Vedran Jalsovec on Ask a Priest
    Alana on Ask a Priest
    Frances on Ask a Priest
    Maggie on Ask a Priest

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!

7 Responses

  1. @Father Joe

    Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

  2. Do people really think this way? I suspect you are right. People are often looking for ways to mitigate or escape responsibility. A spontaneous act seems to lack full discretion, as if one just accidentally walked into it. However, this can also smack of pretense instead of taking real and full ownership of our actions, particularly when a part of us believes the act is tainted or wrong. The statement from the Pope is really concerned about the first stirrings of a moral conscience, which we are bound to follow, even when inaccurate judgments might be made. Jesus was often most upset with hypocrisy and wants us to be people of integrity. The so-called loop-holes cannot fool God who knows our hearts and minds. Thanks for coming by and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Here’s what I hope comes of all this. I hope that the Pope’s statement ultimately discredits a particular moral loophole that really bugs me. It’s a problem. Have you ever heard of this?

    It probably applies to the general public more than to prostitutes, but some folks have been known to avoid STD prevention measures because they seem to believe that the “premeditation” required to engage in things like obtaining and carrying condoms would make any ensuing extra-marital sex more sinful than if it were “spontaneous”. I don’t know whether that sounds quite as silly to you as it does to me, but it’s apparently not uncommon for people to think like that.

    I hope that Pope Benedict will say that contemplating a specific act of extra-marital sex for only ten seconds before willingly engaging in it does not change the inherent sinfulness of the act; that wanting to avoid spreading disease is not a bad impulse; and that therefore looking into methods of disease prevention does not make extra-marital sex more sinful than it would have been otherwise.

    In other words, I want him to tell people that this perceived moral loophole does not actually exist.

    People like me can argue that if you’re already looking into which loopholes and mitigating factors might apply to your possible future conduct, then you HAVE engaged in general premeditation anyway, so what’s the point? We can point out that if such an excuse doesn’t fool us — mere humans — then it would have no chance whatsoever of fooling an all-knowing deity. We can talk about the harmfulness of various actions, or of their rightness or wrongness in human terms.

    But if people’s views of God and sin are influencing their behavior, then that part of the discussion might be best handled by someone who believes in God and sin. I think that sort of thing would mean more if it came from a fellow Christian, rather than from public health agencies.

    Anyway, that’s what I want to come out of ths controversy. No doubt the Pope will be leery of saying anything that might be misconstrued as permission to do as one pleases provided that one takes health precautions. That’s understandable. But on the other side of that coin, there may be a kind of perverse disincentive against seeking to limit the harm that one might do to oneself and others. That should be addressed as well, I think.

    Really, I just want him to debunk the “spontaneity” loophole.

  4. It is your a straight forward explanations, and rye humor that endear me to you.

  5. Yup, I was skeptical of the condom story, because I figured there had to be more to it. It just didn’t sound likely, the way it was being reported.

  6. Cardinal Pell said that although the issue was “difficult and delicate” for the church, Pope Benedict had not changed his teaching.

    The Catholic News Agency also reports Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, saying the Pope is not altering Catholic teaching on condom use or justifying the disordered use of sexuality.

    The Pope’s comments in Peter Seewald’s “Light of the World: the Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times”, were “not reforming or changing the teaching of the Church but he reaffirms it, putting it in the perspective of the value and dignity of human sexuality as an expression of love and responsibility”, said Fr Lombardi.

    In a short passage at the end of the tenth chapter of Seewald’s book, the Pope discusses the “banalization of sexuality,” which treats sexuality as a drug. The pontiff uses the example of a prostitute.

    “In such a case, the Pope does not morally justify the disordered exercise of sexuality,” the spokesman explained. Rather, the use of the condom to lessen the danger of contagion may be “a first act of responsibility” and “a first step on the path toward a more human sexuality” rather than acting to put another’s life at risk.

    “In this, the reasoning of the Pope certainly cannot be defined as a revolutionary turning point,” Fr. Lombardi said, following worldwide media reports of a change in Church teaching on contraception.

  7. Good people are on different sides of the condom debate. My post does not use the word “stupid” in reference to this, but to how the Pope’s words have been so terribly misconstrued. Apologies are granted for any upset. Peace!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s