Pontifications

Pontifications


UDATE on pope-condom comments

posted by David Gibson

THURSDAY UPDATE: John Thavis has a good look at the whole Vatican “redaction temptation” issue as regards the pope’s “official” comments.  It’s called, “There they go again…”

PREVIOUS ENTRY BEGINS HERE: As the pushback against the pope’s statements about condoms worsening the spread of AIDS grows, the Vatican has apparently tweaked the pope’s comments for the official transcript to substitute the word “condoms” with “prophylactics.” Not sure why.  The new version also seems to modify slightly but significantly his words regarding the condoms worsening the problem.

As Corriere della Sera reports, in the original tape-recorded comments to journalists, the pope says:

“…non si può superare con la distribuzione di preservativi che, al contrario, aumentano il problema.”

“One cannot overcome the problem with the distribution of condoms, which, on the contrary, increase the problem.”

In the official text (in Italian), he is rendered saying:

“…non si può risolvere il flagello con la distribuzione di profilattici: al contrario, il rischio è di aumentare il problema.”

“One cannot overcome the problem with the distribution of prophylactics: on the contrary, that risks increasing the problem.”

(My translation of that last bit.)



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Meredith Gould

posted March 18, 2009 at 4:55 pm


I’m really having a Voice Crying in the Wilderness experience these days. To me, it’s yet another example of a Vatican communications snafu.Their arrogant disregard for communications as a ministry and the power for new media is blowing what’s left of my mind.



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George

posted March 18, 2009 at 6:27 pm


I understand the point the Pope is trying to make: because condom availability takes some risk out of sexual encounters, he believes it promotes an increase in extra-marital sex.
It ultimately comes down to his priorities, however. Is it more important for the RCC to marginally curb extra-marital sex, or is it more important to stop AIDS from destroying lives?



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Gerard Nadal

posted March 18, 2009 at 7:07 pm


With all due respect, the mandate of the Magisterium is not to be a ministry of public health. The mandate is to preach and teach the faith. The clear and consistent teaching of the Scriptures, Apostles and the Church has always been abstinence before marriage, fidelity in marriage. Period.
It would be an abandonment of the faith and Apostolic Mandate to teach people how to fornicate without consequence. Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states unequivocally that abstinence and monogamy in long term relationships are the only way to avoid transmission of STD’s.
Beyond everything else, I doubt the Pope’s detractors realize how utterly foolish they look. Implicit in their line of argument is that Papal teaching only has credibility if it teaches what we want. I doubt that billions of people are refraining from sex because the Magisterium teaches against fornication and condom usage. Billions of people pining to fulfill their sexual urges, but not doing so because the Church teaches otherwise. I doubt it. I doubt that condom manufacturers would sell even one extra condom if the Pope suddenly taught otherwise. What foolishness.



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pagansister

posted March 18, 2009 at 7:59 pm


Wow! What a difference a change in words makes…condoms becomes prophylactics. Now I feel differently about his statement. :o) NOT!



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Gerard Nadal

posted March 18, 2009 at 8:19 pm


Hi Pagansister,
Come on, admit it. That one word has changed your whole perspective! Now you’re a Benny groupie :o)
Just wondering if the wording was changed to include all latex barrier methods including things like dental dams? Either way, I can’t imagine that there is a potential run on the condom aisle at CVS, people lined up around the block waiting for Benedict to shout “GO!”
Hope you’re enjoying the warmer weather. Feels like Spring is upon us.
God Bless.



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pagansister

posted March 18, 2009 at 8:37 pm


Still working on that “Benny groupie” thing, Gerard. :o)
Your visual of folks lining up to run down the condom aisle on Benny’s signal made me smile! Thanks for that.
Our first day of spring on Friday is due to be near 40…but yesterday and today..very nice.
Take good care, My Friend.



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elmo

posted March 19, 2009 at 11:06 am


Condoms have no place in a marriage because they render the marital act sterile, lifeless. Sex in marriage is reduced to two bodies using each other for gratification when condoms or other birth control are involved. By refusing to validate men’s decision to stray from their wives, the Church is challenging men to stop using women. Wow! You’d think that would be considered progressive or something!
A couple seconds of thought would have made this much clear: A man who cheats on his wife is not going to let the Vatican stop him from using a condom. So all of this outrage against the pope for teaching what the Church teaches on this issue is so much smoke and mirrors to distract from Gibson’s main objective which is to undermine the Church’s teachings every chance he gets.



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elmo

posted March 19, 2009 at 11:08 am


Condoms have no place in a marriage because they render the marital act sterile, lifeless. Sex in marriage is reduced to two bodies using each other for gratification when condoms or other birth control are involved. By refusing to validate men’s decision to stray from their wives, the Church is challenging men to stop using women. Wow! You’d think that would be considered progressive or something!
A couple seconds of thought would have made this much clear: A man who cheats on his wife is not going to let the Vatican stop him from using a condom. So all of this outrage against the pope for teaching what the Church teaches on this issue is so much smoke and mirrors to distract from Gibson’s main objective which is to undermine the Church’s teachings every chance he gets.



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pagansister

posted March 19, 2009 at 11:51 am


Guess what, elmo? Sex isn’t just for making babies! It is for fun and pleasure and closeness to the person you’re with. What the heck is wrong with gratification???? My problem with no birth control…is why take the change on getting pregnant just because a large body of religion tells you “God gives you kids??”



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Valerie

posted March 19, 2009 at 12:02 pm


“Condoms have no place in a marriage because they render the marital act sterile, lifeless. Sex in marriage is reduced to two bodies using each other for gratification when condoms or other birth control are involved.”
ROTFL



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elmo

posted March 19, 2009 at 12:54 pm


Wow, you all just keep repeating my comments over and over, sometimes with nothing at all to add. I’m so flattered!
Pagansister: Yes, we all know that sex isn’t just for making babies and that it is for pleasure and intimacy, as well. Duh. Condoms bring nothing to the table in the pleasure and intimacy department. They make what should be natural and easy uncomfortable and awkward. I remember being in college in the 90s and the relentless attempts to make “safe sex sexy” when obviously it is not. Sex in a marriage that is open to life, with no barriers between husband and wife — now that is hot.
What the heck is wrong with gratification????
I deserve better than being a sperm receptacle. The Vatican agrees with me. Not bad for a bunch of “celibate old men”.
My problem with no birth control…is why take the change on getting pregnant just because a large body of religion tells you “God gives you kids??”
Because sex should have no consequences?? So sex should be distorted to something that is simply transactional, with no meaning or outcomes besides a good time for a couple of moments?? How depressing. How anti-human. We were made for more than mutual masturbation. And, actually it isn’t just the Catholic Church that says that sex results in pregnancy, it’s natural law. When men and women are united, life results. How is that a bad thing? And you know, if you don’t want to have children then you can abstain from sex. It’s pretty easy.



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pagansister

posted March 19, 2009 at 9:10 pm


Am not sure just where to start, elmo. Yes, sex is for procreation, as well as pleasure and yes, I agree, condoms are not the most “stimulating” form of birth control. However, in the case of some in Africa, it may be the only thing keeping a woman/man/ or baby from contracting Aids. Tell the folks, who are so poor in Africa that a way to forget is to have sex, that they should not have sex. Easier perhaps when there is food on the table, and your child (children) aren’t dying. Fortunately, I’ve only had 1 partner…for 44 years, and I’ve been his only partner. Other forms of birth control…much better, and allow for sex whenever the mood hits, but my life (or his) wasn’t in danger. You are certainly not only a sperm receptical, nor should a woman only be an “egg” receptical. But I’m assuming you’re not a resident of Africa, livng in poverty. The RCC comes at those folks like they live on the level that Benny does…with food, clean water, a roof over their heads, which might include electricity, and plumbing. They don’t. So to tell them to just not have sex but to follow the rules you choose to follow from the church, is not reasonable. Condoms are necessary to help prevent unnecessary deaths.



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pagansister

posted March 19, 2009 at 9:29 pm


A small addition, elmo. Am glad that I’m not RC. I’d have not agreed to just “not have sex” when I didn’t want to “make a baby.” Like I said, sex isn’t just to make babies. Why worry about having unwanted children ( or in some cases, ones you can’t afford). Too many “unplanned” RC kids. I have many Catholic friends who only have 1, 2 or 3 kids, and I know they weren’t NOT having sex. They had the number they could feed and clothe. Common sense. They were using birth control, and it wasn’t “abstinence”. What I find unreal is that in the marriage ceremony, the couple is supposed to “accept all the children God gives you?” No mention of whether you can feed them or not! Does not compute.



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Gerard Nadal

posted March 19, 2009 at 10:15 pm


Hi Pagansister,
Glad you’re not RC??? Having you in the Church would be a hoot!! Seriously. Our loss ;o)
God Bless!



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Mere Catholic

posted March 19, 2009 at 11:34 pm


I find the uproar over this predictably boring. Catholic teachings on conjugal love and fidelity within marriage are not new teachings. Aside from the “gee, the Pope is Catholic” aspect of this, it also highlights the West’s dogma which says all sex and any sex is okay as long as it involves covering oneself strategically in latex. But this reductionism ultimately denies that man is only carnal but also spiritual. If you ignore the soul, no amount of money, cute slogans, or condoms will help Africa. That to me was the essence and the freshness of the Pope’s statement to those who care to read beyond soundbites. America magazine’s editors, likely not on the mailing list for the Ratzinger fan club, have a wonderful interview ( http://tiny.cc/DboCJ ) with a Jesuit priest who has long worked in Africa. WIth a real insider’s view of African culture, he is sounding a concern similar to Benedict’s.



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pagansister

posted March 20, 2009 at 11:33 am


You may find it boring, Mere Catholic, BUT you did comment, right?
And a “Happy Spring” Hi! to you too, Gerard Nadal.
Thanks for the compliment. Coming from you, it means alot. There are many who think I “hate” the RCC…which is so NOT true, and you realize that.
I’m not sure Benny would be smiling if I came into the fold. :o). All the Best to you and yours.



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