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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:47 pm 
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http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/21/world ... 1pope.html

On one hand, I'm glad to see the Vatican crack, however slightly, in its assessment that condoms are never appropriate in sexual intimacy. However, I find this revision almost more troubling than the original policy:

Unless Africa has many male prostitutes that cater to women, the Pope is referring to homosexual, non-procreative activity. The resulting implication that condoms are not acceptable within a heterosexual procreative context, even in AIDS-plagued areas, is quite damning, particularly with respect to what it says about the Pope's regard for the value of female, already-existing life. Even if the Pope wished to speak only about prostitutes, the qualifier "male" is egregious, because it suggests that it is somehow more morally okay for male prostitutes to protect against AIDS transmission than female prostitutes (presumably because the latter could potentially conceive a child who would be at elevated risk of HIV him/herself.) I understand that the Pope did not speak about women one way or the other - but I see it as a tremendous, troubling omission.

I find the Pope's views on the topics of sexual behavior, women, and homosexuality to be so extraordinary and objectionable that if they came from anyone of less import, I would simply ignore them as not meriting rejoinder. But when someone who has sway over hundreds of millions of of people (i.e., some subset of the people who identify themselves as Catholic) continues to oppose responsible, "safe sex" practices for most people, it is deeply troubling.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 6:49 pm 
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I agree wholeheartedly. My own feeling is, however, that if you going to depend on what the pope has to say about how you live your life, you deserve what you get. Watching this bit of news on TV last night made me think, yet again, that I was seeing "news" from some other universe, one I don't want to live in.

Having said that, I think it is possible that he meant a man using a female prostitute could also use a condom to prevent disease transmission.

That's what it used to say on the box, you know: for prevention of disease.Back in the dark ages, when I was young.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:16 pm 
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I'm also guessing that the principle behind limiting the statement to male prostitutes, is that the Church considers it morally wrong to ever use a condom for heterosexual sex because you're interfering in the potential creation of life, which is an act of God, and hence more important than considerations about people's health. Since gay sex doesn't involve the potential creation of life, there is no moral objection to using condoms to protect the health of those people.

But I'm not sure the statement is all that relevant, since the Church presumably frowns on the use of prostitutes, and frowns on gay sex, as much as it frowns on the use of condoms in sanctioned relationships. What's the point of saying, 'it's ok if you use a condom while you're doing this other thing you shouldn't be doing.' In other words, if someone is disregarding the Church's rules already in doing a wrong thing, are they going to not use a condom while doing it, because the Church says that's wrong? I see no real point to the Pope's statement.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 5:20 pm 
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The German press is cautiously optimistic. They say that this might be a start to a change. The Pope cannot suddenly make a U-turn and he seems to have rendered the other Catholic dignitaries quite speechless.

Today the spokesman of the Vatikan, Lombardi, has tried to clarify some of the statements in the interview. He said that the Pope had refered to male, female and transsexual prostitutes and that the confusion about only male prostitutes originated from translation problems in the different languages. According to Lombardi the point is that individuals must be aware of their responsibility for those people they get into relationships with. The use of condoms is supposed to be the first step to acknowledge this relationship.
http://de.reuters.com/article/worldNews ... I320101123

However, what we heard and read in the media, was only an excerpt. The book will come out tomorrow and then we'll know more. It will doubtlessly become a bestseller.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 5:39 pm 
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Thanks, Lhaewin. I'm glad to know the Pope wasn't referring only to male prostitutes. So he would seem to be advocating the use of condoms by people who know they have a chance of exposing someone else to an STD, or being exposed to one. That certainly seems to be a step in the right direction.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:21 pm 
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I agree with Cerin's assessment. Thanks for the information, Lhaewin. I found the designation of "male prostitutes" only to be appalling and am relieved to know that it may have been a translation error.

_________________
I won't just survive
Oh, you will see me thrive
Can't write my story
I'm beyond the archetype
I won't just conform
No matter how you shake my core
'Cause my roots, they run deep, oh

When, when the fire's at my feet again
And the vultures all start circling
They're whispering, "You're out of time,"
But still I rise
This is no mistake, no accident
When you think the final nail is in, think again
Don't be surprised, I will still rise


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 5:41 pm 
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I've always found it strange that the RC church are happy with using maths and biology to avoid pregnancy, but don't like the idea of physics or chemistry.

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