Friday, December 24, 2010

My Head Hurts

My head hurts.  That is the only way to describe the situation swirling around the whole Pope Benedict XVI condom use issue.  I found recently a lengthy statement that accurately sums up what I'm thinking.  More on this later .. here it is: (from the St Joseph's Men Society)

Please allow me to clarify the statement Pope Benedict made about condom use. First the controversy was primarily caused by the Pope himself because he always uses ambigous "new speak" when making statements that should be more precise and clear. For example to pope's answer to a question about the criticism some have expressed about the Church's prohibitin against condoms is as follows: "...There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants. But it is not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection. That can really lie only in a humanization of sexuality."

Translation in normal language: 'I suppose one could make the case that the use of condoms in certain cases could be a sign of moral responsibility. An example might be seen in the case of a homosexual using a condom to prevent infecting his partner with the HIV virus. In other words, the very act of sodomy is a perversion that is a mortal sin, therefore one should not add to the sin of sodomy with the sin of murder. Besides, in this case condom use is not to prevent the conception of children. The deliberate frustration of natural conception is what the Church prohibits.'

The interviewer goes on the ask: "Are you saying, then, that the Catholic Church is actually not opposed in principle to the use of condoms?"

The Pope answers in even more vague and confusing terms: "She of course does not regard it as a real or moral solution, but, in this or that case, there can be nonetheless, in the intention of reducing the risk of infection, a first step in a movement toward a different way, a more human way, of living sexuality."

Huh? Now understand I have a degree in Philosophy but this existentialist/phenomenological bull crap just doesn't fly when to comes to the precision needed in moral philosophy and theology. So let me translate again:

'Of course the Church does not regard the use of condoms even to prevent AIDS as morally permissible specifically where the conception of children is concerned. However, in cases of sodomy or other illicit sexual actions that do not involve conception it would be better to avoid spreading a life threatening disease. Condom use would be more sexually responsible, more human, for unrepentant homosexuals who have no intention of living chaste lives according to the Gospel and Natural Law.'

Even this post is a tad more charitable than I am feeling right now but it'll do for now.

I'm anticipating the objections of people even to this but more on that later. All posts on this subject I'll label Latex Catholicism. To better express my feelings, I'll say this, Pope Benedict XVI has wrapped himself in a giant latex condom from which he'll never excape.

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