Pope Benedict and Condoms – A Breakthrough?

The BBC reports: In the case of a male prostitute, says Benedict, using a condom to reduce the risk of HIV infection “can be a first step in the direction of moralisation, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants”. Contraception can be “a first step in a movement toward a different way, a more human way, of living sexuality,” the pope says. With the help of Google I came across this gem:Shamrock Says:November 22nd, 2010 at 11:59 am “It’s important to point out that Ratzinger specified condom use by male homosexual prostitutes – since the condom would not be involved in preventing procreation. If the case was a female prostitute riddled with STD’s then the condom use would be sinful and wrong. Similarly, the church still holds that if a man riddled with STD’s is forcing himself on his wife then she must submit and never use a condom.” end of quote.

It seems to me that “Shamrock” has understood Ratzinger’s thinking correctly. Better for a homosexual prostitute to insist on condom use than a woman, for the woman might interfere with God implanting a soul into the product of her mating. Of course from his perspective homosexual sex is inherently sinful, and prostitution itself is sinful, but those two sins are not as bad as stopping God from implanting a soul.

I found it sad but understandable to read of all those NGO leaders who heralded the Pope’s remark as a great breakthrough to be applauded after his earlier comments  in 2009 that the rising tide of HIV in Africa could be made worse, not better, by the distribution of condoms. They may however turn out to be mistaken in hoping it heralds a major shift in his thinking and teaching.  I do not think it does.  In fact it just seems to me it underlines how flawed and catastrophic his thinking is about sexuality, both hetro and same sex, procreation, abortion, the soul and birth control.  The Roman Catholic Church will I think have to await a new leader before real change can realistically be expected.