Monday, November 22, 2010

Pope Says Condems are Ok?

Yesterday's paper had a front-page article about how Pope Benedict XVI said in an interview recently that condemns could be a "step toward morality" in some situations; specifically citing male prostitutes.  I have no doubt that some critics of the Catholic Church's stance that "condoms are bad" will twist the dickens out of this.

Imagine instead that the Pope said "For bank robbers who have a habit of murdering innocent bystanders during a heist, blindfolding and tying them up instead is a step toward morality".  If he had said that it'd be pretty obvious the Holy Father wasn't promoting tying people up but that it's a more moral alternative than murder.

In the same way the Pope specifically mentioned male prostitutes; who are nearly always hired by other males.  In those cases the sexual act is already sterile and promiscuous (the two big things condoms encourage that are opposed to Church teaching).  Would it be morally best for the male prostitute to find another form of work?  Of course.  But in the event that that doesn't happen, using a means to lower the risk of spreading infection in an act that already has the negatives condoms provide is "as step toward morality".  We all know a journey takes many, many steps and the journey toward conformity with Christ--complete morality--requires a lifetime.  The Pope is saying that people in very specific situations can begin their journey in this way; but should not stop there.

I can think of a number of analogies like the robbers above but my guess is--due to the controversial nature of condoms--the real message of striving for complete morality--not just a step toward it--will be ignored.

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