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Dr. Janet Smith: Condoms and Pope's Book, 'The Light of the World' Comments

'In the case of homosexual sexual activity, a condom does not act as a contraceptive; it is not possible for homosexuals to contracept since their sexual activity has no procreative power that can be thwarted. But the Holy Father is not making a point about whether the use of a condom is contraceptive or even whether it reduces the evil of a homosexual sexual act; again, he is speaking about the psychological state of some who might use condoms. ... Continue Reading

1 - 10 of 15 Comments

  1. Sam
    4 years ago

    @ rafaelmarie November 23rd, 2010 4:16 pm: That is in fact not the point. We are not at all speaking here of the contraceptive use of the condom, rather the disease-prophylaxis use. Benedict is merely stating that the good intention behind using a condom in those situations (to prevent disease) is the first step towards realizing that he/she is sinning, leading towards a cessation of sin. They have already committed a mortal sin, one more isn't going to harm them all that much.
    As Beth stated above, it is important to recognize that he is not changing whether certain acts are sinful; sinful acts remain sinful, even condom use. However, the desire to use a condom to prevent suffering on the part of either participant is a good first step. It was important for Benedict to state this; hopefully this will lead to a reduction in HIV cases in Africa and elsewhere.

  2. Beth
    4 years ago

    "The latest news is that the ruling applies to female prostitutes as well. I think the bullets are back in the gun. This destroys all moral. How can something like this be affirmed?"

    But this isn't a "ruling". It was an interview with an author, not an ex cathedra proclamation by the pope. And like Dr. Smith said in the article, you have the objective nature of sin (which never changes), then you have the psychological state of the sinner (which does change). I really don't think the pope's comments were intended to define what is "permissible" from a moral standpoint.

  3. Pam
    4 years ago

    It is no surprise that the "first responder" - media would put their usual "bias" on Pope Benedict's words. The sad thing is many, if not most people have embraced a contraceptive attitude toward human sexuallity, so the mind is readily moved in a coarsened direction of understanding (or lack thereof) of what the Pope was saying. Dr.Janet's article is excellent! Thank you! I hope this (and other clarifying articles I've seen--e.g.,Cardinal Raymond Bourke) reaches lots of other people who may be disheartened if they think the Pope is relaxing Church teaching--in a matter of "faith and morals"--in an "interview"--that, from "that" perspective, doesn't really carry any weight as Church teaching.

  4. John Grimes
    4 years ago

    Why there is controversy about Benedict's remarks mystifies me. I can only conclude that public education has finally triumphed in this country, and that no one is capable of reading and understanding anything, even the simplest argument, any longer. The pope was crystal clear in his exchange with Seewald and only someone deaf, dumb, blind, and perverse could misunderstand what he said there. It is little wonder that the nauseous trash spewed forth daily on American TV has such vast audiences. The idiots would watch paint dry and be content, so enfeebled are their minds.

  5. rafaelmarie
    4 years ago


  6. Graeme
    4 years ago

    Reply to John November 23rd, 2010 11:35 am

    I imagine that female prostitutes would have abortions or use morning-after pills if they ever conceived, so using a condom would be the first step in the right direction of moral sense. In any case, just because a female prostitute can physically conceive a child, their "love-making" is just as sterile as a male prostitute's.

  7. philipedmund
    4 years ago

    When a person uses the extreme example, the exception, to attempt to justify a position, it usually comes across entirely wrong. He should have just stuck to the general shouldnt be having sex if you're not married, and contraception within marriage demonstrates a lack of trust between the partners.

  8. John
    4 years ago

    The latest news is that the ruling applies to female prostitutes as well. I think the bullets are back in the gun. This destroys all moral.
    How can something like this be affirmed?

  9. Timothy Kumah
    4 years ago

    Good teaching coming from the papacy. I think with an article like this to make clear what the condom saga is all about with regard to the pope's statement alot of people will be able to understand better. Though the pope meant well for humanity, others give different interpretation to such statement just to atract attention to their view against the church. If clear and distinct explanation continues to flourish like this the problem of wrong interpretation will not surface anylonger.

  10. John
    4 years ago


    The Holy Father only seems vague to someone who thinks that the Church can change Her teachings on faith and morals. When you realize that the Pope can't just change the Churches mind and say that condoms are okay to use, then it is easy to see what he is really saying. Take what he says in the context of the Church that has not changed it's teachings for 2000 years and the vagueness drops away. God bless,


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