Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Letter To The Editor

Printed in The Eagle today:
There is a clear disconnect between what the pope and the Vatican are saying about condoms and what the media are reporting. I don't expect the media to completely agree with the pope's stance, nor do I expect the media to understand theological nuance, but I do expect the media to refrain from sensationalized headlines that are inaccurate.

So, if you don't mind, I would like to clear up the inaccurate reporting The Eagle (via the AP) has had in the past few days:

* The pope has not said condoms are the "lesser of two evils" in regards to disease. This is a very rarely used moral principle that does not apply in this case.

* There is no "seismic shift" in the Church's teaching on the matter.

* The Church cannot change this teaching, even if it wanted to, because the Church is a caretaker of the teaching, not master of it.

What the Pope truly said -- and I have taken the time to read what he really said in addition to almost every other book by Benedict XVI -- was that a person who uses condoms in order to prevent the spread of disease has a "glimmer" of moral conduct -- not that the act is moral. They are at least attempting to do something good.

Of course the real headline wouldn't have gotten readers to buy the paper, because it would be a pretty boring sight to most: "Pope affirms church's stance on condom use."


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