Monday, November 22, 2010

Bill Donohue on the Condom Controversy

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the pope's recent remarks on condoms:

Pope Benedict XVI acknowledges that condoms may make sense in preventing the transmission of disease, and he immediately sets off a firestorm. But he never said condoms are an acceptable means of birth control, nor did he say that they are the answer to HIV/AIDS. Indeed, he said he opposed the widespread use of condoms because that "implies the banalization of sexuality." He also criticized the "fixation" on condoms as a means of combating AIDS.

While what the Holy Father said is newsworthy, it was not revolutionary. Even with regards to the birth control pill, theCatholic Church has allowed for exceptions. In his 1968 encyclical, Humanae VitaePope Paul VI said, "the Church does not consider at all illicit the use of those therapeutic means necessary to cure bodily diseases, even if a foreseeable impediment to procreation should result there fromprovided such impediment is not directly intended for any motive whatsoever." Moreover, the Church accepts the use of hormonal contraception to treat endometriosis.

We have been asked by the media what the Catholic League's position is on this issue. This misunderstands our role: we don't have a position on any Church teachingwe simply accept their wisdom and defend the right of the Church to have its voice heard with respect in the public square. We therefore stand proudly behind the pope's comments on condoms. (emphasis mine; I love the way he states this; its not his or any layman or clergy's role to have a 'position' on the pope's statements on morality. We are to obey and defend the wisdom of Peter). 

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Anonymous said...

You and Bill are quite wrong on many levels when articulating the viewpoint or elaborating on this idiocy.

To say (or reprint)
"we simply accept their wisdom and defend the right of the Church to have its voice heard with respect in the public square. We therefore stand proudly behind the pope's comments on condoms... We are to obey and defend the wisdom of Peter). " is like saying "My mother, drunk or sober" (apologies to Chesterton, here).

A good Catholic has no obligation to "accept" this or any other nonsensical statement that this otherwise good Pope makes.

This comment by the Holy Father was not the "voice of the Church". It has no more meaning than a private theologian voicing a private opinion in a very public way which will confuse many (Indeed, I am already dealing with the confusion here in the workplace from this thing this morning").

It is high time that "good conservative catholics" face the fact a pope is not impeccable!

A pope can make a mistake in prudential judgement. To try and make this look like anything other than that is delusional. To an outsider it even looks comical.

I conclude with the saints that
there is no virtue in this "pay, pray, obey" mentality that every utterance of a pontiff is a sacred oracle. That kind of thinking is not even Catholic. It is the other side of the same ugly coin that liberals use when they take the equal but opposite approach... and it is just as harmful to the minds and souls of faithful.

Ave Maria!

Bob Fox, Long Island, NY

Anonymous said...

Just a couple of things, dear Leticia.

1) Church doctrine doesn't change. The Pope can't change the Church's doctrine on the instrinsic evil of every contraceptive act, regardless of intention or circumstance, anymore than he can change the doctrine of the Church regarding the real presence, heaven or hell, or anything else for that matter.

2) Any clarification of the doctrine of the Church is going to come on so serious a matter is going to come through the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, not through an interview with a journalist.

3) The Pope was speaking publicly, but as a private theologian and not as the Pope. Even Fr. Lombardi clarified that this was a colloquial act and not a magisterial act and has no binding value.

4) Remember, even in the Pope's first book on Jesus of Nazareth, he said that it was his own personal opinion and anyone could feel free to correct it.

5) It is not even clear whether he was talking about the subjective morality of the person committing the act, or the objective morality of the act itself.

6) Fr. Lombardi said nothing has been reformed or changed, so I'm not sure why Bill Donohue is now saying it doesn't matter whether sodomites use condoms. That is Bill Donohue's opinion; this specific detail has never been addressed by the Church's magisterium.