The so-called worldwide consernation over Pope Benedict XVI's recent comments about the use of condoms is a veritable tempest in a teapot manufactured as if Benedict, countless popes before him, and the Catholic Church have long waged a vendetta against Trojan Inc. and every other manufacturer of condoms on the planet.
That makes as much sense as believing the Crusades were really all about re-claiming vacation spots in Jerusalem.
The remarks that ignited a "firestorm" by allegedly condoning condoms: "There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as pers where 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 towards recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one can not do whatever one wants. "
Benedict's circuitous comments, made in an extensive, book-length interview with German writer Peter Seewald, do not at all change Church teachings on sex and birth control but rather assert that condoms make health sense for male prostitutes as well as, presumably, male homosexuals who only chances of becoming parents do not begin in bedrooms but in courts.
His remarks on condom use by such individuals as "a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility" and that prophylactics are "not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection. a humanization of sexuality, " http://tiny.cc/zo2pv , seem to reflect wishful thinking more than they do serious hopes or expectations for a viable path toward moral redemption.
Practically speaking, gigolos and homosexuals are not very likely to become paragons of merit and morality on the basis of a Catholic pope granting his okay. Indeed, if they needed that permission to protect themselves from disease, they're too far gone already.
Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi clarified any misconceptions, indicating that the pope had to "consider exceptional situations where the exercise of sexuality represents a real risk to someone's life."
Father Lombardi clarified his clarification by adding that "disordered" sex is not morally just but that the use of condoms in such situations can "reduce the danger of infection." Wives may ask importuning, HIV or AIDS-infected husbands to wear protection, although in Western civilizations they would not have to bother. Here they more likely would divorce them and send them on their diseased, merry way.
It would seem to this layman that neither Benedict XVI nor Rev. Lombardi were blazing some radical new theological or sociological trails. The pope was simply fulfilling his role as successor to St. Louis. Peter, Bishop of Rome, pastor of the whole Church, and the Vicar of Christ upon Earth in his inconsequential modification to Church teachings on condom use.
Benedict was hoping to save some lives, not intentionally lighting any firestorms.
Regrettably for those millions of Catholics who utilize condoms as contraceptives, the pope added that the Church still considers them verbotten since they implore "a banalization of sexuality."