Skip to comments.Some Big Change from the Pope on Condom Use? (In a word, no!)
Posted on 11/20/2010 12:59:42 PM PST by Pyro7480
Concering this report from the AP regarding remarks from Pope Benedict XVI on condom use, everyone is expecting clarifications. We can be pretty certain of that, but in the meantime, I’ll offer one.
The key phrase that explains everything that will go right over the vast majority of people’s heads? ”Re-develop the understanding”.
From the AFP [emphasis mine]:
Benedict offered the example of a male prostitute using a condom.
“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,” Benedict was quoted as saying.
The scenario offered is of someone in a state of complete ignorance about Catholic teaching. A prostitute doesn’t understand much at all about morality. Perhaps the only morality he can muster is that he shouldn’t do something intentionally that could kill another person. The fact that the Pope used a prostitute as an example shows he’s referring to that type of person. Someone who actively, and as a profession, engages in sex outside of marriage has no inkling of what the Christian moral teaching is on human sexuality. Most of the rest of us have more culpability on the matter than a prostitute. Because most of the rest of us are not prostitutes, we have more “responsibility” than that “first bit of responsibility” a prostitute can muster.
As long as you have an ounce of moral responsibility in you, there is hope that you can “re-develop your understanding”. “Re-developing” your understanding means coming to a more Christian perspective on things. Common sense should tell you that someone who is HIV-positive who goes around intentionally infecting others with HIV is more evil than someone who would say no to that. The Pope was using the extreme example of a prostitute to explain just such a difference.
Does this mean that the Pope is going to approve of the use of condom distribution to prevent AIDS? Nope. His very next statement shows where he is on that.
“But it is not the proper way to deal with the horror of HIV infection.”
The Catholic track record in Africa on this issue is better than the non-Catholic track record.
From the Times-Online:
The head of a Harvard-based AIDs prevention centre says the Pope is correct to claim that condom distribution risks aggravating the transmission of HIV.
Last week Benedict XVI incurred the wrath of AIDs campaigners and criticism from the Governments of France and Germany for saying, en route to Africa, that AIDS could not be overcome by the distribution of condoms. In comments condemned as “scary” and “alienating” by members of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Benedict XVI lauded monogamy as a way to combat the spread of AIDs. He said that condom distribution risked exaggerating the spread of the virus.
Edward C. Green, director of the AIDS Prevention Center at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies said this week: The best evidence we have supports the Popes comments.”
So, there you have it. Condom distribution exacerbates the AIDS crisis. In Catholic areas of Africa, where condoms are not distributed and it is taught that sex is forbidden outside of marriage, there is greater success.
Claims that the Pope has ‘softened’ or ‘shifted’ on the issue of condoms are false. Condoms are still off limits. The Pope was using an extreme example of a prostitute to demonstrate a point about “intention”.
“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.”
God judges based on the intentions of the heart.
From the catechism:
Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God’s law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice. Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin.
The protistute in the Pope’s scenario is an example given because he would be one who would have no “knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God’s law.” Those of us who want to practice “feigned ignorance and hardness of heart” on the Church’s teaching on condoms actually “increase the voluntary character of the sin”. This means that we put ourselves in even deeper sin if we harden ourselves willfully against the Church’s teaching on condom use.
Hat-tip, Elizabeth Scalia
Why is the Pope hiding behind a women?
All this time we have been told that there needs to be a Pope to teach the faith, after all Scripture is too hard for us to understand. Now he needs a women to translate what he meant to say?
LOL! Just LOL!
Sometimes, absurdity should be left to stand on its own
It is immoral for a male prostitute to give anal sex to a man.
It is no more immoral for that same male prostitute to also wear a condom, and it might help with some diseases.
There is no attempt to or affect of avoiding pregnancy because the man receiving can’t get pregnant, and the seed will be spilled/wasted regardless of whether a condom is used.
It is not a new development to say that such a homosexual male protitute may wear a condom, but it is new for a pope to discuss the topic and to suggest that male homosexual condom use may make their immoral act less immoral (less selfish).
If someone is familiar with Thomistic ethics, this is not a surprise. If the reason that you use a condom is to prevent disease, and not for prevention of conception, it is permissible. Thomistic ethics does not consider secondary factors or secondary consequences. For instance, it does not consider the issue of homosexuality in this decision, but only the prevention of disease. It is a clever way of dealing with moral issues, but it is also the reason that Thomistic ethics is strongly criticized.
That is very much the heart of Catholicism and allows for changing doctrine ..That is how one can have homosexual priests and still teach that homosexuality is a damning sin
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Maybe we all needs a women. I'se a women an' I'se sure a lot of pippil here at fripperpublic needs me.
Piping hot new interpretations available daily from your favorite Mrs. Jiggery-Popery!
Over and out!
Sadly, FoxNews is about to get this story wrong.
“That is very much the heart of Catholicism and allows for changing doctrine ..That is how one can have homosexual priests and still teach that homosexuality is a damning sin”
That comments smacks of the worst kind of religious ignorance on your part. Every Church and sect has sinners - including yours. Does your sect teach against sin? Do you still have sinners in your sect anyway? Does that mean your sect changed teachings? No.
Anti-Catholicism = ignorance.
Wow, isn’t it something that humans are still sinful, yet knowing full well that sin is sin.
Ignorance in the RF? Reminds me of Aunt Pittypat in "Gone With the Wind"
As the fires began to rage, she said,
Indeed.. but we call sin sin..we do not obfuscate the issue.
“Indeed.. but we call sin sin..we do not obfuscate the issue.”
So do we. You are the one obfuscating. You called homosexuality a sin. Wouldn’t it be homosexual sex that is the sin? Homosexual attraction is a disorder. The sin is acting on the impulses not experiencing the impulses themselves. This clear example of you now knowing what you’re talking about only highlights that original ignorance all the more.
Anti-Catholicism = Ignorance.
This is an example of scriptural ignorance.
Calling homosexual "attraction" not a sin but a disorder, begins the error . Sin is sin
Christ says it is not necessary to ACT on the impulse for it to be sin. Just the thought or the attraction is the sin
Mat 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
The root of sin is in our heart.. God looks at and judges the heart.
Homosexual "attraction " is an abomination before God, not just a "disorder"
The letter of the law. The spirit of the law. If a person is so spiritually blind that he argues the intent, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of hope that he will ever see any truth. It isn’t just what is in your book of don’ts, it’s what in your heart. That cannot be hidden from God.
Except when you are the one bearing false witness.
Sexual temptation is not willed, and is not a sin.
Homosexual attraction is a temptation.
Homosexual lust (an internal assent to the temptation) is a sin.
Do you see this distinction?
“Calling homosexual “attraction” not a sin but a disorder, begins the error . Sin is sin”
Sin is sin. A feeling is not a sin, but a feeling. Sin normally REQUIRES action. I have no idea if you’re a man or woman so let’s just say you see someone of the opposite sex who you find very atractive. Is that attraction sinful? No, it is, in itself, perfectly healthy and normal. You can act on it in a sinful way, however. If a homosexual man or woman sees a person they find attractive - even of the same sex - it doesn’t mean they have committed a sin. Acting on it however would be sinful.
If your boss ruins your day and you have the sudden desire to wring his neck, that is not sinful. To nuture that feeling, however, or to act on it by strinking him, would be sinful.
“Christ says it is not necessary to ACT on the impulse for it to be sin. Just the thought or the attraction is the sin”
No. That is not what Christ said. It is amazing to me how the supposed “Bible Only” people are so bad at seeing what the Bible actually says. Look at the very verse you posted:
“But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”
“TO LUST AFTER HER.” In other words, it is not a man merely noting that a woman is attractive. That is normal and there’s nothing wrong with that. It is looking on a woman with LUST, looking on her TO LUST AFTER HER that is the sin. And in that specific reference it would be adultery in the heart. Again, why can’t Protestants actually read?
“The root of sin is in our heart.. God looks at and judges the heart.”
Exactly. And if a person feels something that is improper, but doesn’t nurture that feeling and doesn’t act on it, no sin has been committed. I know a woman who suffers from same sex attraction. She chose Christ over a woman she believed she was in love with. She still suffers the attraction, but she refuses to act sinfully.
“Homosexual “attraction “ is an abomination before God, not just a “disorder””
I’ll condemn the sin and love the sinner. A feeling in itself is not a sin.
Mat 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
Looking..not fantasying, not welcoming it... LOOKING
Sexual temptation is willed every time you LOOK, that your eyes are not diverted, that you dwell even for a second on it .
Sin is conceived in the heart and no one knows the heart except God ...LOOKING..LOOKING
To reiterate: being tempted is not a sin.
Looking, an internal act --- a willed action, "Looking at a woman to lust after her" --- is a sin.
We --- you, myself, and Jesus --- are in agreement on that.
Mrs wrote this ..We call sin sin, too.
Sin is not a "proclivity " or a "disorder" not a mistake .. until we call it sin we only deceive ourselves not God
Ah, the papal face palm.
“Sin is not a “proclivity “ or a “disorder” not a mistake .. until we call it sin we only deceive ourselves not God”
We agree entirely on that. The problem is that you are the one saying a disorder is a sin. I’m not. I’m saying a disorder is a disorder and a sin is a sin. Same sex attraction, homosexuality, is the disorder. Sodomy is the sin.
...then of course you're right.
A wrongful, willful thought, word, deed, or omission is a sin. Violating God's law is a sin.
By way of analogy, a child might be born with Fetal Alchol Syndrome. He will have a lifelong proclivity, or disorder, inclining him to abuse alcohol. However, if he does not do so, he has not committed a sin.
Indeed. I look at Bibi Netanyahu and I sigh and think, “What a fine man! I wish we had a head of state like that.” But I don’t want to have sex with Bibi. He has his own wife, children, grandchildren. I just like to look, occasionally, and think, “What a fine man. What a good grandfather he is!”
And there’s nothing wrong with that. According to some people here, however, you just committed adultery. I love it when they post a verse that actually contradicts exactly what they say it said.
The Gospel doesn’t mention a woman’s looking on a man to lust after him, but if I did, like with James Morrison, the world’s hottest actor, I would feel a little bit bad about it and also throw myself at my husband and have yet another baby, and he’s the cutest thing, too, with an explosion of curly red hair.
However, I don’t feel “personally” about Bibi or about Dick Cheney; I admire them as exemplars of gentlemanly political grandfathers. I also don’t have any sexual desire for Catherine Zeta-Jones, but I like to look at the pictures because I think she’s one of nature’s wonders ... like looking at a beautiful landscape.
‘But it is not the proper way to deal with the horror of HIV infection.’
Well, well, so different when one hears the entire story.
“There are not over a 100 people in the U.S. that hate the Catholic Church, there are millions however, who hate what
they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church — which is, of course, quite a different thing.” — Bishop Fulton J. Sheen
Excellent post Vlad - thank you. I learn a lot from reading your posts.
I absolutely loved Bishop Fulton J. Sheen. You can still see him on youtube. Such common sense and logical thinking. How I miss people who have such an extensive education with such an amazing understanding of philosophy. The Pope is a profound thinker also..... He is amazing. God bless him.
St. Thomas, in the Prima Secundae (the first part of the second part) of the Summa Theologica notes in question seven that circumstances (that is secondary factors) are a component part of all moral actions:
That circumstances must be considered, at least so far as St. Thomas and those who follow his lead go, is clearly established in the respondeo of the second article of this question:
Circumstances come under the consideration of the theologian, for a threefold reason. First, because the theologian considers human acts, inasmuch as man is thereby directed to Happiness. Now, everything that is directed to an end should be proportionate to that end. But acts are made proportionate to an end by means of a certain commensurateness, which results from the due circumstances. Hence the theologian has to consider the circumstances. Secondly, because the theologian considers human acts according as they are found to be good or evil, better or worse: and this diversity depends on circumstances, as we shall see further on (18, A10,11; 73, 7). Thirdly, because the theologian considers human acts under the aspect of merit and demerit, which is proper to human acts; and for this it is requisite that they be voluntary. Now a human act is deemed to be voluntary or involuntary, according to knowledge or ignorance of circumstances, as stated above (Question 6, Article 8). Therefore the theologian has to consider circumstances.
While it may be stated that Thomas does not hold that a circumstance as a circumstance never makes an argument good or bad, his reason is not because secondary things are not considered. Rather, things that are intrinsically disordered do not fall under circumstances, though a person might mistakenly think that they are only a circumstance, but rather become the object. They relevant analysis is eleven questions later, in question 18, article 10, in the ad secunda:
A circumstance, so long as it is but a circumstance, does not specify an action, since thus it is a mere accident: but when it becomes a principal condition of the object, then it does specify the action.
The moral sophistry that is attributed to Thomistic ethics in the above post cannot be derived from Thomas. Those who wish to criticize Thomas on these grounds know not what they do. (If one wants to criticize Thomas, one might begin by quoting him).
I have a video and audio cassetes of Bishop Sheen. His insights were remarkable!
To apply the relevant Thomistic analysis to the situation:
The act is off because it falls under the species of sodomy, which is intrinsically disordered. This is not the ordered use of the relevant human body parts. Nothing is going to alter the disordered nature of the act. The use of the condom here does not further disorder the act by making it a contraceptive act (zero chance of conception here), and may prevent the act from also being an act of manslaughter, though one is still chancing manslaughter.
An analogous situation: A man, while drunk, decides to play Russian Roullette rather than shooting himself in the head with a fully loaded revolver. The situation is an improvement, but still disordered on two counts.
I am jealous! He was such a clear thinker and is exactly what we need in today’s world. He had so much personality also!
In my video, Bishop Sheen said this (paraphrasing):
“..they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,..”
Our Founding Fathers knew our Creator gave us unalienable rights, not the government.
I like the way Bishop Sheen connected our Founders’ words with God’s will.
This raises the question: is condomized intercourse wrong only because it is contraceptive in intent? I think it can be argued that it is wrong also because it is not normal marital intercourse.
An analogy. Let's say a man anally copulates with his wife. This is his preferred and completed act of intercourse. The evil here is not just that it is sterile intercourse (maybe that point does not even apply because she's already past the age of fertility) but that it is not a normal completed act of marital intecourse. The mere fact that they are married does not make ejaculation into her rectum marital intercourse. This is not the act that consummates or signifies marriage.
(Sorry to bring up such repellent images.)
The same may be true of condomized intercourse in marriage. The act itself is wrong because it has been altered to negate its natural procreative and unitive significance.
It's a little complicated, but do you see what I'm getting at>
Incodientally, I once read a comment by a feminist lesbian thast she occasionally had sex with men, ut she always did it with a condom because it signified to her that she wasn't really aiming for or signifying union with this man: she was maintaining her "separatism." Honest to God, that's what she said.
I was born and raised a Catholic..educated in Catholic schools through college, The problem is I do know what the catholic church teaches and I know what God teaches and they are often very different things
Anyone who has the power of reason -— whether or not they went to a Catholic school!-— can understand the difference between a temptation and an act of internal assent.