Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pope continues to duck the core issue

It's of course very encouraging to see the Pope finally give some ground on his previously absolutist stance on condom use.  But it's more than a little troubling that he very carefully singled out "male prostitutes" as his example of the exceptional circumstances in which it might be justified.  It seems logical to assume that most prostitutes and their clients are perfectly well aware that they are straying well beyond the strictures of the church anyway, so would always have been less likely to be influenced by the teachings on condoms.  The biggest single problem with the previous stance was in fact the way it discouraged the use of condoms by Catholics within marriage, even when it's absolutely essential to protect the health of one partner.

So why has Pope Benedict chosen to leave a degree of ambiguity over the really core issue?  I can only assume it's because any acceptance of contraception within wedlock, for whatever reason, would implicitly concede the point that married sex can be 'recreational', and doesn't happen for the sole purpose of producing children.  If so, the fact that people's lives are still being put at risk simply to uphold a world view that is so totally and demonstrably divorced from the way the real world works - and always has worked - just beggars belief.

3 comments:

  1. What concerns me is that the previous outright ban was based on the immutable teachings of the Bible, and their illogicality, given today’s desperate need for protection against a killer which is wrecking whole countries’ ways of life, could be attributed to the fact that the word of God couldn’t be challenged or changed by a mere mortal.

    What has changed?

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  2. Ezio Cardinal Auditore da FirenzeNovember 21, 2010 at 6:22 PM

    Speaking, as I of course do, as one of the leading candidates for Pope at the next Papal Conclave, I feel I should stay out of this discussion.

    Go in peace, to love and serve the Lord.

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  3. If I must, Your Eminence, but please don't ask me how long it's been since my last confession...

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