Did the pope approve condom use?

By Elizabeth Tenety A leaked excerpt from Pope Benedict XVI’s book-length interview with journalist Peter Seewald in which the pope … Continued

By Elizabeth Tenety

A leaked excerpt from Pope Benedict XVI’s book-length interview with journalist Peter Seewald in which the pope talks about condom use has attracted major media attention over the past few days. Did he really say it was okay to use condoms?

From the Washington Post’s report on the pope’s statement:

“Benedict said that condoms are not a moral solution but that in some cases [such as use by a male prostitute to prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS] they could be justified ‘with the intent of reducing the risk of infection.'”

On Tuesday, the Vatican’s spokesman, Rev. Frederico Lombardi, elaborated that the pontiff was not limiting his comments to homosexuals. Michelle Boorstein and William Warn reported that Lombardi said the pope “‘was speaking of men, women and even transsexuals’ . . . ‘taking into consideration the risk of life of another with whom you have a relationship.'”

Boorstein and Wan wrote:

Some saw Benedict’s remarks as a deliberate effort to open the door to more frank talk about the use of condoms to help prevent the spread of HIV infection, talks that more-liberal Catholics hope would eventually lead to greater church acceptance of birth control. Others saw it as a casual comment being overblown by wishful progressives.

So did Pope Benedict’s statement crack open the door to condom use?

Here are the pontiff’s original remarks:

Pope Benedict: 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.

Pope Benedict: That can really lie only in a humanization of sexuality.

Peter Seewald: Are you saying, then, that the Catholic Church is actually not opposed in principle to the use of condoms?

Pope Benedict: 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.

For a concise explainer of the condom comments, watch British Catholic journalist Austin Ivereigy, who clarifies in the video below that “the church’s ban on contraception remains.”

Catholic reporter John Allen further emphasized:

“Pope Benedict XVI has signaled that in some limited cases, where the intent is to prevent the transmission of disease rather than to prevent pregnancy, the use of condoms might be morally justified.

The Catholic Church teaches that sex is reserved for married, heterosexual couples, and that artificial contraception violates the natural order, and thus is not permitted. Any sex outside of marriage, including homosexual sex, is considered sinful.

Catholic News Service’s John Thavis reported Sunday:

The Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, said Nov. 21 that the pope was not “reforming or changing” the church’s teaching on sexual responsibility, but rather considering an “exceptional situation” in which sexual activity places a person’s life at risk. While the pope was not morally justifying disordered sexual activity, he was saying that use of a condom to reduce the risk of transmitting the disease may be an act of moral responsibility, Father Lombardi said.

But some who work on HIV/ AIDS programs have already signaled that they see Pope Benedict’s comments as major progress in global health: UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé said “This is a significant and positive step forward taken by the Vatican,” and added “This move recognizes that responsible sexual behaviour and the use of condoms have important roles in HIV prevention.”

Benedict previously said that using condoms to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS “aggravates the problems,” a comment that unleashed worldwide criticism of the Catholic church.

But the pope’s nuanced approach to sexual morality in the Seewald interview –Vatican spokesman Lombardi above cited “exceptional situations” to justify condom use– may represent a new engagement with the spectrum of human sexuality.

Andrew Sullivan, who is gay and Catholic, wrote Saturday that “what this exception to the rule suggests is that sexual morality is not always black and white.”

Elizabeth Tenety
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  • elizdelphi

    The Church recognizes that homosexual conduct is always gravely immoral. The idea that the Pope seems to have been expressing was that the choice to use a condom in that situation could be an incremental step toward taking moral responsibility–an incremental step toward recognizing the seriousness of their sin, which could lead to repenting and choosing not to sin. The idea that the Pope has said anything new or made any change to Catholic teaching or “endorsed the use of condoms” is silly, though some will be eager to pretend so.We believe in chastity–either celibate chastity, or marital chastity which includes openness to new life. We find the chaste life and chaste people BEAUTIFUL. We believe in basic human values, we believe in virtue which we pray God to give to us. Also, choosing chastity and marital fidelity is not going to place ourselves or or others at risk of sexually transmitted disease.

  • lufrank1

    To elizdelphi . . . .Homosexuality is DETERMINED by genotype and physiology (sexual hormonal activity during early development)….So if God made YOU in “His” image, he also made homosexuals!”Basic Human Values”, like “Beauty” is in the eye of the beholder. No human, including the Pope actually KNOWS who, what, or if about GOD. Not Nobody, Not Nohow.Furthermore, NO HUMAN BEING should actually believe that THEY speak for “God” and can classify exactly what is sin and what isn’t. That is BEYOND any of us mere humans! The Pope, Priests, Nuns, Preachers (of ANY faith) are merely fallible Humans — Like the authors of ALL “sacred” texts. Religion – Mankind’s Bane.

  • areyousaying

    The Church recognizes that homosexual conduct is always gravely immoral. ———————-Except, however, when his priests conduct themselves that way with little boys. The priest who raped me didn’t use a condom.Perhaps Ratzinger should stock some in the rectories as he continues to protect his known predators from civil law.Meanwhile, Catholics should go to confession and ask forgiveness for their continued complicity.

  • Secular

    Whay do people care about what this ex-Nazi Ratzinger, thinks of human sexuality. This fellow is totally worthless bigot who has little relevance in this 21st century. How come if this tyrant thinks homosexuality is evil did not turn over the pedophile to civil authorities. I suppose in his book homosexuality is only allowed or rather encouraged if it is one of his ilk buggering hapless children. If those priests were to have been caught buggering an adult male this scoundrels would have defrocked him in a new york second. This guy is a vile sick scoundrel.

  • paulc2

    Wow, the hatred for the Catholic Church on this website is so palpable. When the hate is so visible, its hard to have a constructive discussion.

  • veerle1

    Why believe in something when you don’t know what it wants you to do?Religion is a sytematic methodology of government controlling its citizens. The brainwashing begins from day one and continues incessantly. Those who resist it are ostracised. The pope is just an old man, who doesn’t have a leg up on anyone, morally or otherwise. Use your own mental resources. Don’t look to others to decide how you should live or think. A free society is one in which we respect each other and mind our own business. The “church” does neither.

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  • PSolus

    paulc2,”Wow, the hatred for the Catholic Church on this website is so palpable.”So, you noticed that too?Do you have any idea what might be the source of all that “hatred”?”When the hate is so visible, its hard to have a constructive discussion.”And that is such a pity, because the catholic church has a long history of “constructive discussion”; the crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, Galileo and heliocentricity, the list goes on.

  • MVoisinet1

    Andrew Sullivan has absolutely positively NO RIGHT AT ALL in totally engaging in a homosexual relationship. What he is doing is totally contrary to Church Teachings. Homosexuality is not only contrary to Biblical teachings it is a direct contradiction of Gods Laws as well. Homosexuality is considered sodomy. Sodomy is also in direct contradiction of Gods Laws. A man shall not engage in sexual intercourse with a man. Nor shall a woman engage in sexual intercourse with a woman. If you want my honest opinion I think that all same sex marriages should be abolished completely. Those are my sentiments exactly. God instituted marriage between a man and a woman and the procreation of children. And it shall not be violated in any way,shape or form. What Andrew Sullivan is doing is completely violating the marriage bed as a direct result of his most despicable acts. What Andrew Sullivan is doing is not only in direct contradiction of Gods Laws it is also a direct violation of human nature as well. If God would have intended for men to totally engage in a same sex marriage He would have created Adam and Steve and not Adam and Eve. In the Catholic Church they always emphasize that same sex couples deserve respect and concern. They also contend that you should love the sinner but hate the sin. Sure,we should love and respect these particular individuals. But we must completely refrain from any further association with these particular individuals at all times. Yes,we should love and forgive these particular individuals. But we must be completely leery of them each and every time. In the Catholic Church homosexuality is considered a mortal sin. And you most certainly shall not receive the Sacraments if you are in the state of mortal sin. If in the event that you do receive the Sacraments while in the state of mortal sin you are most certainly receiving them unworthily. And you are most certainly receiving them under very false pretenses. If you so desire to receive the Sacraments once again you must go to Confession on Saturday Afternoon and confess your sins to God. And you must make full amends for what you have done. After you have received full absolution for your sins and are truly repentant of them then you will be deemed worthy to receive the Sacraments and not before. You must truly resolve not to commit the same sins over and over again. As the old saying goes:Actions do speak louder than words. Showing that you are truly sorry is much more important than the actual words used.

  • ThomasBaum

    If we make an attempt to look past the “rules and regulations” that so many seem to get hung up on maybe, just maybe, we just might get a glimpse of what Jesus did and what Jesus tried to get thru to us.As my namesake is reputed to have said, “These are some hard-headed and stiff-necked people”, we ain’t changed much, have we?As my Brother Jesus is reputed to have said, “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith?”.Or will He find “quite a bit” that is masquerading as faith.One of my beliefs is that God gave us a brain to do more than fill a space within our head.Isn’t there something written to the effect: “I will write in on their hearts”, sometimes it makes one wonder if what is written on stone, paper or whatever is ever actually taken to one’s heart rather than crammed down other’s throats.See you all in the Kingdom since God’s Plan is not contingent on whether or not you approve of the fact that God’s Plan is for everyone to, ultimately, be in God’s Kingdom.I find it rather sad that this “GOOD NEWS” seems just so devastating to so many.It is not so much the ones that don’t believe that God Wins Total Victory but the ones that don’t want God to Win Total Victory. Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • brucerealtor@gmail.com

    Prophalatically speaking, it appears he did.

  • Chops2

    paulc2Seriously, when an organization systematically covers up the rping of children globally, r u surprised theres hatred? Had it been a secular organization they would be banned globally. Just feel lucky that religious groups can pretty much get away with anything.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Paulc2The Catholic Church has nothing against gay people. However, it has a LONG list of grievances against gay people that attack the very nature of being gay.So what is the difference?Pardon me for not grasping the point of your hair splitting.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Paulc2 The Catholic Church promotes false teachings and false doctrines regarding gay people. You are the one, not me, who is made uncomfortable by the truth.No matter how many times you repeat a lie, it is still a lie. No matter how you may seek to justify a lie, even by saying it comes from the voice of God, nevertheless, it is still a lie.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    MVoisinet1 The only thing wrong with being gay is people like you who hate gay people, condemn them, shun them, persecute them, torment them, beat them, and worse.You are what is wrong with being gay. If only all the people like you could be forced into a closet, and made to be silent, if only all the people like you would simply disappear, then the problem would be sovled.Just because you hate gay people does not mean God does. After all there is no rule that says God must be subservient to you.

  • fairness3

    GO “DANIELINTHELIONSDEN” GREAT RESPONSE–YOU MAKE PERFECT SENSE!

  • Carstonio

    If we make an attempt to look past the “rules and regulations” that so many seem to get hung up on maybe, just maybe, we just might get a glimpse of what Jesus did and what Jesus tried to get thru to us.Obviously some of the rules offered by different religions can be defended using the consequentialist principles of morality. It must be stressed, however, that obedience to a rule simply because it’s a rule is not the same as morality. The person who created the rule may not care whether following the rule has any benefit for others, or whether violating the rule harms others. And the person who follows rules for rules’ sake may not care about the consequences either – the person may simply be trying to avoid punishment or please others. The specific issue with religion-based rules involves the claimed sources. Anyone can come up with a rule for humanity and claim that it came from gods. The burden of proof is on any such claims, and that has nothing to do with the merits of the rule.Morality is really about principles and not about rules, simply because we don’t live in a world of absolutes. Many situations have no clear-cut moral answers to them, often because any answer would cause different types of harm. Two people following the same moral principles can disagree on what the most moral action would be in a given difficult situation.

  • bgreen2224

    Hooey!

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    CarstonioFunny that you should bring this up, because I, too, was thinking along the same lines. I note the tortured legalisms of the Catholic Church, in it effort to have a rule that covers literally every possible contingency that might ever happen anywhere to any person who has ever lived, or may ever live; yet still, unforseen contingencies arise, to spoil the self-consistency of the “system.”Gay people, once an abomnation, turn out to be, in the eyes of most people, and many if not most Catholics’ eyes, not so bad after all. But, oops, this throws a wrench into things.I note the tortured reaction of people like Paulc2, who try to explain these unfathomabley complex rules, to people who are not Catholic; to me, a non-Catholic, these tortured mental gymnastics, that Catholics are compelled to engage in, are peculiar and strange; the peculiarity of these practices is what is palpable, and then we, who do not understand this tortured obtrusiveness into non-Catholic affairs, are accused bitterly of hatred, if we do not understand, and we are sought to read up on and study the Catholic religion, so that we may become Catholic too. I don’t think so. What pretentiousness; what hypcrisy; criticism is not the same as hatred; a tit-for-tat disrespect for the Catholic Church, likewise, is not hatred.

  • MaryC4

    MVoisinet1 said:How can you demonstrate love and respect if you are shunning the person being loved and respected? And to be logical, the sin of participating in homosexual sex acts is no more mortal than the sin of divorcing and remarrying. So I assume you shun divorced and remarried couples in the same way that you shun gay people with partners.So you don’t attend family gatherings that include divorced and remarried couples, nor do you socialize with them in any way.Of course this shunning must also be practiced with couples who are living together without being married. Also it’s a mortal sin to miss Mass on Sunday without a good reason, so I hope you’re also shunning anyone you know who doesn’t attend Mass regularly.But I bet you don’t really shun all these sinners. You want to believe that gay sex is somehow more mortal than other mortal sins. You are just using religion to justify your personal distaste for homosexuality. You are entitled to your feelings, but don’t delude yourself that shunning gay people is what Jesus would do. Don’t confuse your personal prejudices with

  • Thoma2010

    The problem we human beings have when faced with critical issues such as HIV/AIDS is that we exaggerate theory. In some parts of the world this disease has done much havoc. Those who have not lost loved relatives and friends do not understand what is at stake. At the beginning, sexual immorality was the culprit but the matrix has changed. The use of condoms in the fight against HIV/AIDS is no longer just an issue of morality but an urgent case for survival. We know of millions who have died of this disease without having been immoral at all. So when we talk about the use of condoms as a method of controlling the spread of a devastating disease, the lives of people must come first. You do not need to be a seasoned Christian to stop others from dying. You need to be human and responsible. If you know that you have been playing with poisoned stuff, you should not procceed to eat good food or touch that of others without having cleansed yourself or having taken some serious precautions. Ignoring such precautions means that you risk killing yourself and many others. This is not just a question of whether you are good or bad. It is a question of being careful lest you destroy the world that is not your personal property in the first place. May be the Pope simply needs to admit the fact that we are talking about preventive measures and nothing more. Christian must be allowed room to use common prudence and not blind faith. It is after all difficult to identify those who have been up to no good because they do not want to declare their mischief anyway. In the absence of the moral stamina Roman Catholicism may sanction, the easy way out for humanity is to insist on protection. We all need to be protected and if condoms could do the job, do we need moral theories about this? Do we need to ask God if it is good or bad to run away from a hungry lion? Its time for the world, in the name of oneness and as humans to move forward and use those tools available to control certain pandemics. After all it is the common sense provided by God that has made it possible for humanity to come up with condoms. Certainly the Devil could not be credited with such brilliance and innovativeness. Next time people must just talk about how many condoms are needed to help us out of this problem and stop arguing about whether they are moral or not. The truth is that they protect the innocent! Failure to use them assuming that people could be responsible in the name of God has seen us burying millions. It is high time to come to terms with the fact that some of the expectations that Christians will always act responsible have been proved to be assumptions that are premised on the practice of rare virtues. Condoms, if they constitute one of the answers we have at the moment, must been used without any recourse to quibbles of conscience!

  • wmpowellfan

    How can the Catholic church be against contraception, when the world’s resources are truly being stretched and too many people are having children they can’t afford? The Catholics may see unrestricted child-bearing as a building of their membership, but consider Catholic illegal aliens from Mexico, and how they are coming to the U.S. to have children *they* cannot afford, at our expense — the Catholic church is a big supporter and enabler of illegal immigration. Reprehensible, immoral, irresponsible and criminal.

  • amelia45

    The world is different now than it was 2000 years ago. Well, the world is not so different but our understanding of the world and how we can live in it are different.The problem in being Catholic is that the official Church does not seem to live in this world of new understanding and new ways of living in the world. There is birth control. It gives enormous help to women in timing the birth of children and in determining the number of children. It makes it possible to pursue other possibilities in life in addition to motherhood. We can work and have more food, better education for ourselves and our children, travel to know the world better. Birth control makes it possible to be a loving – and sexy – spouse without worrying about having an unplanned child.There are advances in medicine that make it possible to determine if a mother is in danger of losing her life due to a pregnancy. Coming to that point, when a woman already has children, is dreadful, but I know women who have chosen to lose the barely formed child rather than have the children they already have loose their mother. I also know women who have risked all for the new child. I know one who died, and her unborn child died, too. The Church cannot face making the choice – and would risk both. Sometimes life requires action, a choice when no choice is a good one.Millions in this country do not have health care but the Church leaders will not support the current health bill because they say it doesn’t do enough to end abortions. Other members of the Church disagree, especially those who are in health care. The Church requires an absolute in the political world of Caesar that does not offer absolutes. So the Church would rather let the millions continue to suffer without health care. They could choose to support the bill and continue to fight to end all abortions – that really is a choice.I can’t let them make decisions for me although I love the Church.

  • MPatalinjug

    Yonkers, New YorkOf course, it is a very significant retreat by the Pope and the Catholic Church.And it is a retreat that is driven by the fear of a greater “moral” hazard if the Catholic Church, through the Pope, chooses to let millions of people in Africa die of exposure to HIV/AIDS, rather than save lives by allowing them to use condoms to protect themselves from this highly-contagious disease.Like a supertanker, the Catholic Church takes time to turn around. It took the Church several centuries before it had to admit the the Earth was indeed flat, that it was the Earth which orbited the Sun, and that the Earth was not “The Center of the Universe.’ It took this Church 529 years before it could bring itself to apolgize to Galileo.This retreat on Condoms could very well presage further retreats on long-held but erroneous doctrines or positions, in particular on Abortion and on the use of Artificial Means of Birth ControlThe wealthy and advanced countries of Europe–including Spain and Italy which were once upon a time the two major bastions of Catholicism–have long allowed abortion and the use of Contraceptives, by statute.If the Catholic Church obstinately refuses to change its oppositon to these, it will certainly become eventually irrelevant.The reqiem bells for Religion in general and for Catholicism in particular have been tolling ceaselessly and remorselessly in Europe where most of the people have had the benefit of a good and enlightening Secular education. Catholic churches have had to close because they have lost adherrents as well as priests to run them.Mariano Patalinjug

  • slowe111

    The modern and civilized response to such a positon is, of course, to advocate for the complete elimination of the Catholic churches’ terrorism and tyrany in favor of Humanism. Theism is antiquated, and religion has become obsolete. Lets evolve by abandoning the mistakes of our ingorant ancestors.

  • ThomasBaum

    CarstonioYou wrote, “Part of my point about “baby factories” was that in many past societies marriage was for procreation only, where the wife had no function in the marriage or in society other than to bear and (sometimes) raise children.”I took that as part of your point and I would like to add for those that think of humans as “higher” than the animals that “sex” for most of the varied forms of life, including animals, seems to be for procreation and procreation only whereas “sex” can and should be for more than that if indeed we are “higher” than the animals.Seems as if a lot of the rationale for things is that it goes against the “natural order of things”, seems to me that we are called to rise above the “natural order of things”.You also wrote, “She was the husband’s property and often they had little personal interaction.”This may have been the “official” policy of many a society, but not all, and I would think that not all men subscribed to it.Sometimes the ones that think they are “running the show”, so to speak, don’t have a clue of what is really going down.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    MVoisinet1 You wrote, “But we must completely refrain from any further association with these particular individuals at all times.”I suppose you have heard that Jesus, God-Incarnate, did not follow your advice even tho the religious leaders of His day objected strenously to Jesus’s seemingly going out of His way to associate with sinners.Seems to me the Catholic Church considers all of us sinners and that if we were not sinners than we would not even need what God did for us, does it not teach this?We seem to be very good at placing a hierarchy on sin, do you think that might be so that some of us can say, “at least we are not as bad as…”, sounds kind of like the Pharisee in the temple thanking God that he was not like the tax collector, doesn’t it?If you consider something a sin, then don’t do it and if you do do it than you can confess the sin in the sacrament of reconciliation or you can go directly to God and confess.By the way, it is called the sacrament of “reconciliation” for a reason.Jesus died for us, Jesus extended the invitation to “Come follow Me”, what do you think Jesus might want us to do for others?Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • Carstonio

    “The Church recognizes that homosexual conduct is always gravely immoral”What is the Church’s rationale? To deem something immoral, one has to demonstrate that the thing causes harm to others.We can’t assume that male prostitution is always about homosexuality – there may be cases where such prostitutes would be hired by women. In any case, the Pope’s extremely narrow stance does a disservice to women and to men who aren’t prostitutes. There are many areas of the world where HIV is mostly a woman’s disease.

  • wireman65

    These guys just get more and moe bizzare. I really think they could benefit from the services of a mental health professional.

  • WPL22

    It seems to me that the Pontiff needs to stop pontificating regarding sex. Here is a man who leads an organization that cannot or does not want control the sexual behavior of their so-called chaste clergy, and yet he feels it is OK to tell others how to behave sexually! Why is that the Pontiff is sort of saying it is OK for male prostitutes to use condoms but not female prostitutes? Why is it that the Pontiff turns a blind eye to clergy having sex with children but condemns married couples for using contraception.The Pontiff speaks of moving in the direction of compassion. It would be nice if he lead the Catholic church in the direction of compassion by declaring that it is OK for women who have been raped to choose to abort. Yes, that would truly be an act of compassion, one that might even qualify this pope for sainthood.

  • Albie1

    Which century is it?

  • paulc2

    While I know this will mostly fall on deaf ears on this website, I will at least make the effort to explain Catholic moral teaching on sex and marriage.The purpose of Sex is to create new life.The purpose of marriage is to create a spiritual covenent between a man, a woman and God to conceive and raise children. Sex outside of marriage is gravely immoral because it does not recognize the spiritual aspect of the sexual act nor does it come withit the responsibility for raising a family. This applies to gay sex, adultery and premarital sex.Artificial Birth control is gravely immoral because it seeks to separate sex from its intended purpose, which is for procreation (not recreation). The use of artificial birth control has directly led, as Pope Paul VI prophesied, to the objectification of woman, increased immorality, increased STDs and increases levels of out of wedlock births as abortions. Contrary to what ABC advocates would have you believe, it has led to more births and more STDs because people believe it completely separates sex from the responsibilities of parenthood. Well, it does not. The CDC data says that 15% of couples who use condoms will have birth within a year. Roughly the same percentage that die playing Russian Roullette (1/6). So, while Pope Benedict said that condom use by a Male prostitute might be a first sign of moral behavior (because it will protect 85% of his partners on average), he did not advocate condom use. He in fact said the only answer to AIDS is abstinence.I know that many on this website hate the Catholic Church because it points out their sins, but that is actually doing a service to the sinner. Remember, the Church’s role is to administer the sacraments and teach about salvation. It does not judge. That is God’s role. The church merely passes on what it has been taught. Any one is free to ignore those teachings, but their will be ramifications to those decisions. And the ramifications will be greater still to those that teach and condone immorality.

  • Carstonio

    “The purpose of marriage is to create a spiritual covenent between a man, a woman and God to conceive and raise children.”I have no objection if Catholics believe that for their own marriages. However, any religion that make such assertions for the entire human race opens itself up to criticism. One can be repulsed by the ugliness of Catholic-bashing while remaining skeptical in principle of the Church’s claim to know what is best for people.”The use of artificial birth control has directly led, as Pope Paul VI prophesied, to the objectification of woman, increased immorality, increased STDs and increases levels of out of wedlock births as abortions.”Even if we assume that there was a correlation between the former and the latter, that still wouldn’t equal causation. One can argue that limiting sex to procreation also objectifies women by treating them as nothing more than baby factories.

  • gladerunner

    I was reading an article about this to my wife over the weekend. I told her the part where he said that if the condom was used primarily to prevent disease that he seemed to be okay with it. She thought about it for a moment and then asked.. “Disease prevention is okay? Hmmm, Does morning sickness count as a disease?”

  • fairness3

    The Pope and his entourage should come into the 21st Century…who really cares what he and/or his advisors and minions think on this issue? On sexuality in general, either?

  • paulc2

    I said: “The purpose of marriage is to create a spiritual covenent between a man, a woman and God to conceive and raise children.”I said: Carstonio Said:My reply: Its more than a correlation. There is direct causation between the rampant use of ABC and the increase in unplanned pregnancy and STDs. I explained this in my last post. People are led to believe that if they Use ABC (artificial Birth Control) that there is no ramifications ot having sex. This is a misconception because ABC fails more often than people realize. Because far more people are having out of wedlock sex now, we see 25% of american teenagers graduating with STDs and 33% of all births being out of wedlock. These are appalling rates and many , many times higher than in 1960, when ABCs weren’t so readily available.As for limiting sex to procreation objectifying women, this is a false charge. By preaching chastity, doesn’t the Church in fact show respect for both men and women and treat them as far more than sex objects? I beleive that there are many studies that show it is people with low self respect that are the quickest and most likely to engage in extramarital sex.

  • gershwin2009

    I guess the pope is concerned about priests involvement with male prostitutes and, thus, HIV spreading into the church ranks. Smart move Mr. Ratzinger.

  • MikkiMac

    So the pope says its okay for homosexuals to have sex if they use a condom, but it is not okay if families use condoms to control the size of their families?What a hypocritical statement. If I were a catholic, I’d leave the RC church.I know a lot of catholics who decided how many kids they felt they could afford to take care of; they are usually the same ones who feel priests should be allowed to marry and that women should be a part of the church service.The catholic church is still living and thinking with medieval mentality.If the RC wants to prohibit condoms as a means of birth control then they should sell all their golden altars and chalices, plates, and candlesticks and use the money to feed the poor catholics and get them off our welfare rolls.I am SO glad for Martin Luther and his 95 Theses. And, that as bad as Henry VIII appears to have treated his wives, he started the Church of England.We’ve come a long way baby, but there is still a long, long way to go.

  • elwoll

    Wow, can those little red slippers dance around an issue without stepping in it!

  • gershwin2009

    I guess the pope is concerned about priests involvement with male prostitutes and, thus, HIV spreading into the church ranks. Smart move Mr. Ratzinger.

  • paulc2

    Again, the hate for the Catholic Church on this website is palpable. The church teaches what it has been told by Christ to teach. The words of hate on this website speak for themselves

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Elizdelphi “The Church recognizes that homosexual conduct is always gravely immoral.”This is the church’s invention, not is not true.Being gay is not bad; it is not a sin; Jesus did not issue any warnings against it, and there is nothing in the ten commandmants about it that usues the word “abomination.”Catholic persecution of gay people has nothing to do with love, but is instead, based on ignorance, fear, political expediency, and always, the need to scapegoat the weakest group in society.The Catholic Church vigorously persecutes and mistreats gay people, all the while, assuming the status of victim, itself, rejecting ALL criticizing as Catholic bashing.

  • paulc2

    Daniel in the Lions den, you said: 1> There is no sin in being Gay. There is sin in extramarital sex, whether you are gay or not. Gay’s can not be married because they can not fulfill the basic purpose of marriage, which is to procreate2> The Church does not persecute Gay people. It simply conitnues to teach that a) marriage is between 1 man, 1 woman and God for the purpose of concieving and raising childrenThe church must teach the truth, That is its reason for existance. You might find those truths uncomfortable for your desired life style, but that doesn’t make them any less true.

  • Carstonio

    “It’s charter is to preach to all the nations.”Many religions claim to have similar charters. The burden is on any one religion to prove that not only does it have a charter, but also that all other religions are lying about their own charters.”There is direct causation between the rampant use of ABC and the increase in unplanned pregnancy and STDs.”One shouldn’t assume that there is more sex per capita as a result of greater availability of birth control. There are other factors to consider, such as a larger population makes it easier for diseases in general to spread.”People are led to believe that if they use ABC (artificial Birth Control) that there is no ramifications of having sex.”That’s purely conjectural, since one has no way of gleaning other people’s motivations or mental states. One can argue that someone who has taken the precaution of acquiring birth control is aware of any ramifications and acting responsibly to address them. I’m not necessarily arguing for people to have sex out of wedlock. I’m arguing that STDs are public health issues just like any other diseases. Having unprotected sex is somewhat like cooking chicken at too low a temperature. While the latter also exposes diners to an unnecessary health risk, it doesn’t mean that eating any chicken is wrong or immoral.”By preaching chastity, doesn’t the Church in fact show respect for both men and women and treat them as far more than sex objects?”The problem is that society has a long, long history of a double standard for chastity, such as putting all the blame on women for unplanned pregnancies.

  • gladerunner

    “Wow, the hatred for the Catholic Church on this website is so palpable.”

  • ThomasBaum

    paulc2 You wrote, “Artificial Birth control is gravely immoral because it seeks to separate sex from its intended purpose, which is for procreation (not recreation).”Do you also think that “natural family planning” is “gravely immoral”?Do you think that “sex” is either procreational or recreational or maybe that God might just have had more in mind, so to speak, that just those two limited views of “sex”, in other words “sex” can be more than just “sex” and it can be just “sex”.By the way, I am a Catholic and I cherish my Catholic Faith and it was Jesus Who said, “Come follow Me”, He did not say follow My Church but He did say that it was His Church and not Peter’s, did He not?The present Pope has said that a person is to ‘follow their conscience’.You also wrote, “Remember, the Church’s role is to administer the sacraments and teach about salvation.”What about “Proclaiming the GOOD NEWS”?Didn’t Jesus say something to the effect: “I have come not to condemn the world but that the world might be saved”?Do you think that there might just be a “chance” that the “world” will be saved, rather than just “some of the world”?As I have said repeatedly: God is a searcher of hearts and minds, not of religious affiliations or lack thereof and It is important what one does and why one does it and what one knows.As I have also said numerous times: Judaism is a covenantal relationship between God and a people, a people that God chose and formed.Christianity is a covenantal relationship between God and a person and those individual persons make up the “Church”.God became One of us for ALL of us. And as you may or may not know, Catholicism teaches that the “Church” is not confined by the confines of the “Catholic Church”.As I have already stated: Jesus extended the invitation to “Come follow Me”, it was not to: follow My teachings, follow My Church, follow Peter or his successors, follow the Bible but to follow Jesus and He also said, “I will send the Holy Spirit to guide you…”, did He not?On the cross, Jesus said, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do”, if you notice there is no * after “them”.Do you think that Jesus just might have been attempting to get thru to us also in this statement?Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • AdamYoung2

    Near to his death bed the Pope finally wants to tell the truth. The point that this story reveals is that Catholic theology which has been forced down the throats of the congregation was wrong from the beginning. The decades of deception makes me want to vomit. We citizens need to stop trusting these men who wear black skirts for knowing God’s mind. Amen !

  • linguist64

    Again, the hate for the Catholic Church on this website is palpable. The church teaches what it has been told by Christ to teach. The words of hate on this website speak for themselvesPosted by: paulc2 | November 22, 2010 10:54 AM I agree with you. There’s a tremendous amount of hatred toward the Catholic Church, and most of it (as all forms of hatred) stems from ignorance. I’ve yet to meet a Catholic hater who actually understood the Cathechism and the Magisterium of the church. I invite anyone who thinks the Church is bad to read the Cathechism of the Catholic Church in its entirety. As a Catholic, I believe in the Church’s admonition to speak the Truth in love. Also, I know the Church has endured much worse throughout history and it continues to thrive.

  • Carstonio

    “This kind of black and white view is lauded by those who thunder against ‘moral relativism.'”That’s my point as well. The contention that removing pregnancy from sex corrupts people’s sense of responsibility is an absolutist idea,

  • ThomasBaum

    paulc2You wrote, “Again, the hate for the Catholic Church on this website is palpable. The church teaches what it has been told by Christ to teach. The words of hate on this website speak for themselves”Even tho the “Catholic Church” is far from perfect and Jesus never said anything about His Church being perfect, only that ” the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it”, sounds as if the “Catholic Church” must be doing something right, doesn’t it?Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • Carstonio

    Do you think that “sex” is either procreational or recreational or maybe that God might just have had more in mind, so to speak, that just those two limited views of “sex”, in other words “sex” can be more than just “sex” and it can be just “sex”.Although I don’t subscribe to any religion, I think you have a valid point. The procreation/recreation concept is a false dichotomy. It doesn’t recognize that for couples, sex is an important part of emotional intimacy. Part of my point about “baby factories” was that in many past societies marriage was for procreation only, where the wife had no function in the marriage or in society other than to bear and (sometimes) raise children. She was the husband’s property and often they had little personal interaction.

  • usapdx

    And just what percent of USA RCs FULLY ( 100% ) agree with the RCC administration on birth control? If the RCC administraters where married like Pope Peter was but in this day, they change their tone if they had to work to earn their way. P.S. How many can earth feed ?

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Tell us, Father, about condoms.This is just plain weird.What does it say about a person, a people, a sect, and its leaders, that they are preoccupied with condoms and condom use?Do Catholics realize how obnoxious they sometimes appear to non-Catholics?The very first think that the Catholic Church needs to do, should do, is to cancel all of its false and misleading doctrines designed to isolate and persecute gay people. Once that is done, then we can get on to solving its other millions of problems.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    The insensitivity of Catholicism is truely breath-taking.I do not think a predictably disgruntled reaction is the same as hatred. The Catholic does not allow or admit any criticism of any kind. But that does not mean that there will be a lot of critics, and that does not make all criticism the same as hatred.

  • d2K4xAqw

    Contraception…..there is nothing wrong with it…..interfering with natural events..we do it all the time. Every time you enter a hospital you interfere with some “natural” event..probablly one that would kill you…we ask for some artificial way to prevent it…..it is a strange view that the Church has, and I feel it incorrect as do 95% of Catholics

  • paulc2

    Danielinthelionsden,Look, the “rules” fo the Catholic Church are actually the teachings of Christ. You can follow them or you can disregard them as you please, but you will be responsible for your decision. The moral rules of marriage and sexuality are simple and obvious. Sex is to create life. Marriage is a covenant relationship between a man, a woman and God to conceive and raise children. Sex outside of marriage is immoral, whether we are talking premarital sex, adultery or gay sex. As for Artificial Birth Control, it has led directly to higher out of wedlock birthrates, higher STD rates, higher abortion rates, the general lowering of moral standards, and the increased objectification of women. It has done this by promising something it can’t deliver: the complete separation of the sex act from pregnancy. Condoms are only 85% effective for instance. 1 out of 6 couples using condoms will have a pregnancy this year. That’s a lot of surprised and unprepared couples that will have their pregnancy end in abortion or with single motherhood. And because people take sex so lightly these days, moral standards have dropped and pornagraphy has skyrocketed.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    PaulC2The teachings of the Catholic Church have expanded WELL beyond the teachings of Christ.The Catholic Church does not allow criticism but labels ALL criticism as hatred.As I have said before, the Catholic Church’s most bitter critics are other Catholics themselves.As I said earlier, you cannot imagine just how obnoxious your Catholic views are to non-Catholics.Your eyes, ears, and heart are all close, shut tight. And talk all you want, give all the excuses you want, blame it on Jesus, but the Catholic Church has an anti-gay agenda which seeks to destroy gay people, and is a menace to society. Why would you expect the people that you persecute to respond with love and gratitude? You throw your bombs, and then you are shocked when someone throws one back.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    It is simply beyond comprehension that anyone could be so backward as to oppose contraception, and not only that, but oppose it as a core religious belief, and not only that, but cite the teachings of Christ as justification.This is simply absurd.

  • paulc2

    Daniel, the Catholic church is not Anti-gay. You can’t help who you are. But it is anti-chastity. It doesn’t persecute anyone. It simply does not support Gay marriage. And it most definitely is not a menace to society. I gave you the reasons that the Church opposes contraception. Those are very real statistics that can be verified by anyone.Things aren’t always as you see them.

  • mytalkinghead

    These comments from the Pope were not about birth control – they were about disease transmission and the potential use of condoms as a vehicle to reduce transmission of disease. The Pope did not change the position of the catholic church on birth control and did not reclassify nor condone behavior traditionally identified as “sinful”. He merely said that the use of a condom COULD be considered a STEP toward greater moral behavior by accepting personal responsibility for ones behavior and its consequences by taking a step to safeguard others from disease one might be able to transmit. The moral debasement inherent in prostitution and other willingly chosen sexual practices defined as sinful precludes a real conversation about catholic morality since those engaged in these behaviors specifically have aligned themselves against these moral positions and do not profess adherence to catholic doctrine. Why have this conversation?

  • mytalkinghead

    These comments from the Pope were not about birth control – they were about disease transmission and the potential use of condoms as a scientific/medical device to reduce transmission of disease. The Pope did not change the moral position of the catholic church on birth control or sexual behavior and did not reclassify nor condone behavior traditionally identified as “sinful”. He merely said that the use of a condom COULD be considered a STEP toward greater moral behavior as an attempt to accept more personal responsibility for ones behavior and its consequences by taking a step to safeguard others from disease one might otherwise transmit in the course of their regular willing pursuit and performance of this traditionally delineated sinful behavior. The moral debasement inherent in prostitution and other willingly chosen sexual practices defined morally as sinful precludes a real conversation about catholic morality since those engaged in these behaviors specifically have aligned themselves against these moral positions and do not profess adherence to catholic doctrine. So, why have this conversation? Is there some other religion that specifically PROMOTES, RECOMMENDS and PREFERS these behaviors above all other sexual behaviors? If so then you could reasonably discuss whether these peoples behavior accurately represent the beliefs and dogma of the religion they profess: i.e are they actually having enough sexual partners, are they engaged in enough sexual variety, are they soliciting enough money for their sexual favors, etc. You could also reasonably discuss the potential benefits/liabilities of this religion vs Catholicism. Otherwise, to try to apply Catholicism to these peoples behaviors is like trying to apply the principles of PETA to the behaviors of avid NRA adherents or vice versa…there is no platform for a reasonable discussion on this because the two platforms are diametrically opposed and specifically negate one another. Each platform would need to be evaluated on its own merits and accepted or declined based on the personal perspective of the individual evaluator. Thats really what it comes down to:If it is acceptable practice to someone to engage in these behaviors and they want to engage in these behaviors then they will find a reason to justify it. If these behaviors are abhorent to a person then they will find a reason to not perform them and to justify that.Even in the Bible there is a phrase that says, “let each man be fully convinced in his own mind”. So if your very highest and best moral, ethical self tells you these behaviors are your highest manifestation of the “goodness” that is in you, then by golly go ahead and do it. And if your highest and best self tells you to abstain then by golly abstain. But above all be FULLY CONVINCED and be willing to bear the cost of it. No one is making you either participate or not participate – you are free – so do what is in you to do and OWN IT!

  • cornbread_r2

    It doesn’t persecute anyone. It simply does not support Gay marriage. […] I gave you [DILD] the reasons that the Church opposes contraception. — paulc2 Your church does a lot more than just “simply not support” same-sex marriage. It actively lobbies against it and encourages its members to vote against measures to make it legal. Defeat of these measures ranks high on the IMO, natural family planning (NFP) is a form of contraception. Regardless of how apologists try to disguise it by calling it “family planning”, the fact of the matter is that during any particular month that those methods are successfully employed a In addition, IIRC, the RCC advises couples to have only as many children as they can properly raise and educate. In today’s economy, that isn’t likely to be many. It seems to me, therefore, that the vast majority of a good Catholic couple’s breeding years are spent

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    paulc2″Tell me Father, about condom usage.”It is ABSOLUTELY beyond comprehension that condoms are the subject of Catholic discussion. AND they’re ACTUALLY serious about it, and EVEN distressed about it.These very same people, who give an impression of obnoxious disconnection to the real world, make judgements on the inferiority of gay people, and then expect their opinions to be respected.