The pope on condoms: What he could have said…

And it’s already been said, quite well, by the U.S. bishops, in their 1987 statement “The Many Faces of AIDS.” Father Tom Reese points to it in his post at “On Faith,” when he writes: “After clearly stating that the best and most morally acceptable way to combat AIDS is confining sexual activity to marriage, they [the bishops] went on to say:”

Because we live in a pluralistic society, we acknowledge that some will not agree with our understanding of human sexuality. We recognize that public educational programs addressed to a wide audience will reflect the fact that some people will not act as they can and should; that they will not refrain from the type of sexual or drug-abuse behavior that can transmit AIDS. In such situations, educational efforts, if grounded in the broader moral vision outlined above, could include accurate information about prophylactic devices or other practices proposed by some medical experts as potential means of preventing AIDS.

Read the rest of Reese here

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Scott M.

posted March 31, 2009 at 7:41 pm

Right. And in the same spirit “We realize that robbery is acceptable in some cultures. To make it more safe for those who choose to participate, be sure to kill all witnesses to the event”.

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posted April 1, 2009 at 4:30 pm

So why does the pope need to say that? People already understand that. What they don’t understand is that the condom approach is far inferior. That giving up on the idea of people behaving morally makes sense if you don’t really believe there is a God. God can transform society’s moral behaviour. It happened in Europe when Christianity took hold. It can happen in Africa. It can even happen again in Europe and the West.
The other thing people need to understand is that contraception is not a second class doctrine. Some Catholics seem to think the church continues to reject it because she has no choice. That she does not really beleive it. The doctrine is not only true but central. You cannot have a coherent sexual morality and say severing sex from procreation is OK. This world has drifted so far from this truth that anyone who questions it is likely to be seen as crazy. But we must teach it anyway. The wisdom of God is foolish to men.
So Pope Benedict had to say something that was going to be seen as insane. He said it stronger than even most Catholics expected. That the AIDS crisis will get worse under the current policy. Even in human term this man has been very accurate when he makes such predictions. Now that he has the grace of the papal office with him I don’t expect that to change.

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