Condom Remarks Offer Teachable Moment

The public debate on church teaching about condoms triggered by Pope Benedict XVI’s comments in a new book provides an ideal opportunity for parish priests to clarify that teaching for the faithful from the pulpit, said the president of Caritas Internationalis. Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, said that many Catholics do not know what the church teaches in this regard. “This could be a good opportunity for us in the parishes to clarify and to teach.” Cardinal Rodríguez dismissed claims that the pope had changed the church’s teaching on the use of condoms. “It has been the doctrine of the church all the time that when there are emergency cases the principle of double effect” applies. The book, Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times, is based on interviews Pope Benedict granted the German journalist Peter Seewald. In the book, the pope said that the use of condoms—for instance, to prevent the spread of H.I.V.—“can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility.”

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago speaks Nov. 13 during the fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)
Cardinal Bernardin’s consistent ethic of life could be helpful as the church grapples with issues like migration, health care and even taxes, some bishops say.
Michael J. O’LoughlinNovember 17, 2017
Giant machines dig for brown coal at the open-cast mining Garzweiler in front of a power plant near the city of Grevenbroich in western Germany in April 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)
“What we need to do is just continue to live out the challenge of ‘Laudato Si’,’ which is to examine our relationship with the earth, with God and with each other to see how we can become better stewards of this gift of the earth.”
Kevin ClarkeNovember 17, 2017
Hipsters love the authentic, the craft and the obscure—which is exactly why Catholicism, in its practices and its aesthetic, is perfectly suited for them.
Zac DavisNovember 17, 2017
In response to a query from America, Steve Bannon said, “The daily examen has become a tool for me to lead a better, more fulfilled life.”
James T. KeaneNovember 17, 2017