Don't Let the Condom Headlines Fool You!


(Picture from Macleod Cartoons)

Who would think that I would ever be defending the Catholic Church? Well, I'm kind of doing that in this post. Although I don't agree with the Church's stance on condoms, media outlets are misrepresenting the Church's stance. I'm here to tell you that the Church is still against condoms. I won't let the media paint a positive picture...especially when Catholic sources are fighting back and disagreeing with the way the media is reporting.

Many media outlets and reporters have egregiously misrepresented the position of Pope Benedict/The Vatican/the Catholic Church regarding condoms. Pope Benedict and various other Catholics have made it very clear that the official stance on condom use is "Don't use condoms because they are immoral and misguided." The Church is absolutely against the use of birth control, condoms, and contraceptives because they view them as interfering with the way God made humans. They think that God made sex as a special thing that should only be experienced by married couples with the intent of procreation.

Groups like the Knights of Columbus, for example, have lied about AIDS, condoms, and sex and tried to stop governmental distribution of condoms. Pope Benedict has said that condoms are not the answer to the problem of AIDS and can even make AIDS worse. I've previously covered this in great detail. Apologists for the Knights of Columbus have tried to argue that "It's just a few bad apples, but as you can see, this clearly isn't the case."

Anyway, various sources are featuring headlines like, "Condom Use Still Immoral, but Preferable to Spreading AIDS." This isn't accurate because the Pope only made a comment about male prostitutes using condoms to prevent the spread of AIDS. The Pope isn't standing up (as he should) saying things like, "Well, condoms actually can help diminish AIDS. Adhere to the ABC Method (Abstinence, Be Faithful, Condoms). What I said earlier was wrong."

This USA Today article sets things straight. There has been no change in Church doctrine.

After the Vatican paper jumped the gun on an embargo on the book's text on Saturday, chief Vatican spokesman Rev. Frederico Lombardi told media Sunday this does not reflect any doctrinal change in the Catholic view forbidding artificial contraception.

Benedict said that for male prostitutes — for whom contraception isn't the central issue — condoms are not a moral solution. But he said they may be used "in the intention of reducing the risk of infection."

He called it "a first step in a movement toward a different way, a more human way of living sexuality."

Benedict drew the wrath of the United Nations, European governments and AIDS activisits when he told reporters en route to Africa in 2009 that the AIDS problem on the continent couldn't be resolved by distributing condoms.

"On the contrary, it increases the problem," he said then.

Journalist Peter Seewald, who interviewed Benedict over the course of six days this ummer, revisited those comments and asked Benedict if it wasn't "madness" for the Vatican to forbid a high risk population to use condoms.

"There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility," Benedict said.

But he stressed that it wasn't the way to deal with the evil of HIV, noting the church's position that abstinence and marital fidelity is the only sure way.