Pope: Condoms ok – well, sort of.

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Oh dear, more sleight of hand from the church. 

In this article, (http://www.theage.com.au/world/pope-lifts-ban-on-condoms-20101121-182jr.html) the Age reports that the pope is ok with condoms – well, a bit. I say ‘a bit’ because approval seems to be limited to cases in which use of condoms is the lesser of two evils. The ‘worse’ evil is the transmission of HIV and Hep C and so forth. Suddenly, the church has woken up to the fact that they need to stop blaming the recipients of the various diseases and actually help the modern world as it seeks to manage illnesses. (Now to do something about those pesky priests).

In a cunning piece of spin, the spokesman for his Worthlessness (with apologies to Jerry Lewis), said:

in this particular case, the Pope does not morally justify the disordered exercise of sexuality, but considers that the use of condoms may be a ‘first act of responsibility’.

So, still immoral, but it’s ok where I deem it to be so.

In a comment on the article (http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/condom-is-out-of-the-bag-but-use-is-still-open-to-debate-20101122-182sv.html), well-known apologist Barney Zwartz, trots out the usual theological gymnastics to smooth the waters. Firstly he quotes the dogma:

Catholic teaching insists that the marriage act must be open to conception to be a properly sacramental expression of God’s love”.

As luck would have it, however, Barney reports that we are able to rationalise all this by drawing upon “two ancient theological arguments”. That’s the good-ol’ logical fallacy of argument from antiquity – if something is old or ancient, or was peddled by the ‘ancients’, then it must be good.

Regardless of the bogus arguments, even Barney is unable to report on this with a straight face, providing the following papal escape-hatch:

But progressive Catholics should not get too excited. Benedict’s careful strategy of releasing his idea apparently casually in an interview rather than in a formal teaching is the Vatican equivalent of a politician running an idea up a flagpole and seeing who salutes.

This latest mumbling from il papa feels more like a press release from a politician than from a man who purports to channel the word of god.

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