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

People and cheered Pope Francis everywhere he went on this last day of his visit.
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 21, 2018
A boy presents a hat to Pope Francis upon his arrival at the international airport in Trujillo, Peru, Jan. 20. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
“Just as the apostles faced the storm on the sea, you had to face the brunt of ‘El Niño costero.’”
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 20, 2018
Pope Francis greets the crowd before celebrating Mass at the Maquehue Airport near Temuco, Chile, Jan. 17. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
“Pope Francis’ statements...were a source of great pain for survivors of sexual abuse,” Cardinal O’Malley said in a statement released Jan. 20.
Michael J. O’LoughlinJanuary 20, 2018
 Pope Francis and Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski stand outside the presidential palace in Lima, Peru, Jan.19.(CNS photo//Mariana Bazo, Reuters)
“The degradation of the environment...cannot be separated from the moral degradation of our communities.”
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 20, 2018