The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

As expected, here’s the “clarification” …

… from Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi, about the whole condom thingy:

Pope Benedict states that AIDs cannot be solved only by the distribution of condoms, and, in fact, concentrating on condoms just trivializes sexuality, which loses its meaning as an expression of love and becomes like a drug.

At the same time, the Pope considered an exceptional situation in which the exercise of sexuality represents a real risk to the lives of others. In this case, the Pope does not morally justify the exercise of disordered sexuality, but believes that the use of condoms to reduce the risk of infection is a “first step on the road to a more human sexuality”, rather than not to
use it and risking the lives of others.


Father Lombardi’s statement clarifies Pope Benedict XVI has not reformed or changed the Church’s teaching, but by putting it in perspective reaffirms the value and dignity of human sexuality as an expression of love and responsibility.

Meantime, the Wall Street Journal has just published a good piece about the controversy elicited by the pope’s remarks, with more from Lombardi.

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posted November 21, 2010 at 9:13 pm

Joe, I certainly hope your exclaiming the name of Jesus at the end of your post was a call out for His grace and mercy and not using His holy name to communicate your exasperation.
You’ll forgive me if I disagree with your rant. I’ve been actively Catholic for over thirty years now, have been in seminary twice, served on a handful of parish council and a diocesan pastoral council, have taught religious ed in one way or another for thirty years and worked with priests on any number of projects. I frankly don’t recognize the Church you’re describing.
Your exasperation is common, it seems to me, among those Catholics and non-Catholics who get their information about the Church from secular sources, most of which are notoriously stupid when it comes to Catholicism, and this latest fiasco only proves the point once again. The Holy Father expounds on a host of issues over the course of a lengthy interview. Where does the press pounce? On condoms. The only reason you know about this is because this is where the secular press decided to focus. Because this is where the secular press decided to focus, and because so many Catholics get their information about the Church only from the secular press, then this is where so many Catholics focus and assume that the Church is obsessed with sex. Don’t believe me? Think I’m just a naive apologist for all things Catholic? Fine. I challenge you to do an internet search on stories about the Church by the NY Times, the AP or the London Times. Then check out the stories about the Church covered on Zenit and CNS. Compare what the Church considers important news about the Church and what the secular press considers important news about the Church. It might open your eyes. You have been duped, sir. Would that more Catholics were less willingly duped.
This is much ado about not much at all.

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posted November 21, 2010 at 10:28 pm

Well, I think I am going to buy a copy of “Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times,” instead of getting some one-line press dramatization about “condoms”.
It is indicative of our time, isn’t it, that with the public discussions with the pope, that for the main line press and a very significant number of people, the key work out of the entire discussion is “condoms”.
Condoms, condoms, condoms, condoms, condoms, condoms….

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posted November 21, 2010 at 11:04 pm

I promise this will be my last post on this subject. I just wanted all to know of Jimmy Akin’s masterful analysis of the pope’s comments. BTW, he really takes L’Osservatore Romano to task for how they handled the publishing of the excerpts.

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posted November 23, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Hmmm, EIGHT posts, TWO with “UPDATES”, one called a “clarification”, and STILL we have people linking us to yet more “masterful ananlysis”.
And that’s just on this one blog, nevermind the other 4 B’net blogistas commenting (plus the rest of the known world).
So much for being “clear” (as some claim).
Convolution, thy name is Benny.

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