The Catholic Letter

Did The Pope Say It's Okay To Use Condoms?

Media Reports That Pope Okays Condom Use

Could Someone Have Made A Mistake?

Every now and then, some wise-cracker pulls a few sentences out of a statement from a Church official (such as the Pope) and publishes them WAY out of context.  Such, I'm glad to say, is the case here.

Let's start at the beginning.  Pope Benedict the XVI's comments about the use of condoms are in a book, where a German journalist named Peter Seewald interviewed him for a few days.  He asked our Holy Father if condom use ought not to be permitted in Africa because of the spread of AIDS.

Now before we look at the Pope's response, we have to understand that this is not an official document.  This is just an interview.  None of the response is considered infallible by anyone in the Catholic Church.  Not that it matters, because Pope Benedict's answer is pretty spot-on anyway, and doesn't at all stray from our Tradition.

What the Pope said was that for someone (say, a male prostitute) to use a condom might "be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility."

WOW!  Even when taken out of context (which most of the media has done), I have no idea how this comment can be taken to mean that it's okay, or even morally responsible, for anyone to use a condom.

Pope Benedict XVI is talking about the change that can take place in a person's heart... not about the sin itself.  He's referring to the fact that the use of a condom might be a sign--an indication.  If a male prostitute is spreading disease without concern for his victims, we might say that he's beginning to see the light if he suddenly decides to start wearing a condom.  He's at least starting to understand that his actions affect other people, and that he has some sort of responsibility to keep his actions from ruining the lives of others.

To say that the Church (or the Pope) is "coming around" to the left's way of thinking is preposterous.  Any time you hear that the Church is changing its teaching on ANYTHING, you can bet your bottom dollar that it's a misinterpretation at best, a flat out lie at worst.

In this case, I think it's a little of both.  Don't buy into it.