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The Pope and condoms. - helen-louise
baratron
baratron
The Pope and condoms.
So why wasn't this all over my friends list: Pope condones condom use in exceptional cases? His actual comments are given here. The Vatican is trying to play down his remarks, but they are, quite frankly, amazing. Especially when viewed in light of some of the misinformation that has been believed? - well, certainly spread - by other Catholic bishops. In 2003, Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo of Columbia claimed that the HIV virus which causes Aids could actually pass through tiny holes in the rubber of condoms. And in 2007, Archbishop Francisco Chimoio, the head of the Catholic Church in Mozambique told the BBC he believes some European-made condoms are infected with HIV deliberately. There have been others - these are the two which I could find references to easily, courtesy of Bad Science.

Here is the Pope, after all these years, mentioning the ABC theory: A - Abstinence, B - Be Faithful, C - Use a Condom, with the obvious assumption that he believes that condoms can prevent the spread of HIV. Not that they are the way to prevent it, or the only way to prevent it, but that they do work. Moreover, "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." Okay, there is a lot of waffle in that statement - but in comparison to the misinformation that has been spread by Catholic bishops in the past, it is totally new.

I am really quite surprised - amazed - and pleased. The world can change. Yes, the Pope still thinks that condoms are not "a real or moral solution" but "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." Gosh.

I hope this means that - even if it does not itself distribute condoms - the Catholic Church will no longer block their distribution.

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Current Mood: impressed impressed

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Comments
jinian From: jinian Date: 22nd November 2010 22:44 (UTC) (Link)
It is boggling and cool, especially from this Pope, who I understand is not the sort at all.
hiddenpaw From: hiddenpaw Date: 23rd November 2010 00:15 (UTC) (Link)
It is interesting to see where it gose. Certainly the assumption that a gay man using a condom for sex in no more sinful than a gay man having sex and indeed in that case the correct moral thing to do is not at all religously contentous in catholic terms because there is no way one can describe a condom being used by gay men as being used for contraception which is what the catholic church is actually against.

Infact on a purely theological basis it is interesting to ponder weather on that basis it is not sinful for a woman to use a condom if she is at the infertile stage of her monthly cycle. now there is a thought to keep the pontif busy.

Note to readers who don't know me: I'm not a catholic and do not share the views of the catholic church on homosexuality or contraception. I'm just talking in an theological sense.
baratron From: baratron Date: 23rd November 2010 02:00 (UTC) (Link)
on that basis it is not sinful for a woman to use a condom if she is at the infertile stage of her monthly cycle

Or is infertile due to age? There's an awful lot of 60-somethings who are divorced or widowed and in new relationships. Being post-menopausal they have no need for contraception, but they are at risk of sexually-transmitted diseases. Indeed, there is a health campaign running in the UK at the moment with a 1960s theme. "If you remember wearing this" (insert horrible flower power clothing) "then you need to wear this" (picture of a condom).

I'm sure the Catholic Church wouldn't mind a widow and a widower getting married to keep each other company after death parted them from their original spouses...

It's definitely interesting, that's for sure.
alexmc From: alexmc Date: 23rd November 2010 07:46 (UTC) (Link)
When I heard this story on the radio my understanding of it was that when the condom was not being used for contraception then it was ok.

So the situations you describe sound ok.... :-)
hiddenpaw From: hiddenpaw Date: 23rd November 2010 08:26 (UTC) (Link)
I hadn't even thought of the perminantly infertile but of course now you mention it you are theologically compleatly correct.

I should of course add the normal disclaimer that the catholic church belive sex it's self is sinful if it is not for procreation but a condom will not be a sin ontop of a sin in such situations and nstead a good thing. infact one might even say that in such situations as infertility not to wear a condom would be to compound a sin in catholic terms.

I have noticed that our current pope is very big on accedemic thought. To be a truely great accedemic thinker one must be prepeared to think things that one is uncomfortable with. Prehaps then such rumors are more true than people realised.
lovingboth From: lovingboth Date: 23rd November 2010 20:24 (UTC) (Link)
Or it's just that he doesn't want any more Catholic priests being infected when they're shagged by male prostitutes...

The male prostitute bit is the weirdest bit of all, really.
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