All This Talk About the Pope and Condoms…
…makes me dislike the media a little less. But not much less, so keep reading.
In this instance, at least, it’s more like they don’t get the nuances of moral theology. They’re not pushing an agenda: they’re just ignorant. I can excuse them that, because moral theology is by far one of the more complex fields of study.
Kudos to Pope Benedict for approaching a teaching I’d be hesitant to speak publicly on. It’s gutsy, precisely for the reason we’re seeing today. I know exactly what he was getting at: we’d talked about it on multiple occasions at the seminary, regarding condom use in an already illicit situation (homosexual activity/fornication). The problem with saying such a thing publicly is that nobody understands the nuance of the theology, so of course they’ll run with it as the media has and say, “Aha! The Pope approves of condom use!”
No… no, not at all. What the Pope is saying is that condom use doesn’t make the act any more illicit than it already is, so sin doesn’t compound upon sin. And AIDS doesn’t exactly spread through monogamous relations with one’s spouse.
Most of the recent studies out there put the failure rate of condoms at 15% in terms of disease prevention. The media is still stuck in the 90′s where I grew up, telling us to practice “safe sex” with a condom because it’d be the magic bullet which prevented AIDS transmission. So much for that.
My method — and the method espoused by Pope Benedict — works much better.