Same old, same old
by: John Tyrrell
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In this week's new feature, On this day in UCTAA history, one of the articles I chose to highlight was Reflections on Ethics 15: "For the prevention of disease only" which dealt with the Catholic Church's position on the use of condoms to prevent the transmission of disease. At that time, the Church was firmly and absolutely opposed.
Both Pope Benedict and Pope Francis since them have publicly mused on the possibility of changing the policy specifically to prevent disease transmission. Mused, being the operative word - neither have taken the opportunity to actually change Church teachings. They both did diddly-squat and maintained the Church's staunch opposition to condoms, including continued lobbying of African governments to prohibit the legalization of condoms.
In his recent Apostolic Exhortation (Amoris Laetitia) - 256 pages to pretty well say nothing changes, except that priests can be a little more liberal if they so choose in letting sinners have communion - Pope Francis once again showed his willful blindness on the issue of condoms.
He addressed the issue of sex education for youth by condemning the practice of teaching teenagers about safe sex. According the celibate old man, the term safe sex "convey[s] a negative attitude towards the natural procreative finality of sexuality, as if an eventual child were an enemy to be protected against."
See that - for Francis, sex is about nothing other than producing a child. And safe sex is, to his narrow mind, solely concerned with preventing conception. Simply, Francis does not give a damn about the possibility of disease transmission nor does he want people to know that practicing safe sex is reasonably effective in limiting exposure to STDs.
As I wrote 13 years ago on this date:
But, to the church it is theologically preferable that the innocent suffer and die, than that someone who is already committing a sin in the Church's eyes should use protection against sexually transmitted disease.
When theological reasoning leads to evil, then the theology is wrong. It's time the pope had a chat with his god on this issue.
For the Catholic Church, (like my own writing on the issue) it is just more of the same old, same old.
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