Sunday, November 21, 2010


The news in Ireland, of course when not reporting on our economic crisis, blows the Holy Father's comments out of proportion and indeed misreports him. Thanks to his hermaneuticalness we have link to the full text at Catholic World Report.

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.

The Pope was pointing out that the modern approach to sexuality trivializes it and dehumanizes it turning sexuality into a search for pleasure and a 'drug' to self-medicate oneself rather a means to a truly human self-communication within a lifelong committment to another. He calls for a recovery, a recommittment to humanization and puts condom use and the fight to defeat AIDS in that context. If comeone uses a condom to avoid harming another this does not make the activity right but it is not as bad as the activity would be without it. As my fellow Capuchin Br. Charles reports a commentator on his blog as saying
When robbing a bank, just don't shoot the teller.
The Pope has said the equivalent of 'Bank robbery is evil but if you must rob a bank and choose not to use violence then this is better. Still we would prefer if you gave up robbing banks altogether.'

The Holy Father is pointing to the turning away from selfishness which may be present in the use of a condom rather than approving of their use. As he goes on to say:

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.

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