You’ve all by now heard that the Pope says condoms are okay. Well…except for use as birth control. But if you’re a prostitute it’s okay to use condoms to prevent spreading sexually transmitted infections. Not that prostitution is okay, no, no, no – that’s still a sin. But it’s not as big of a sin as prostituting AND spreading disease.
This evening on NPR I heard the most precious analogy detailing the Pope’s true intentions of his recent comments. I believe that the analogy comes from Father Joseph Fessio, S.J. who wrote an article for Reuters on the topic:
Muggers are using steel pipes to attack people and the injuries are severe. Some muggers use padded pipes to reduce the injuries, while still disabling the victim enough for the mugging. The Pope says that the intention of reducing injury (in the act of mugging) could be a first step toward greater moral responsibility. [snip] Of course, one may morally use padded pipes in some circumstances, e.g., as insulated pipes so that hot water flowing through them doesn’t cool as fast. And one may use condoms morally in some cases, e.g. as water balloons.
The Father is using an analogy involving padded pipes to describe condom use?
And dude also just said that using condoms as water balloons is moral??? Quick, spread the word to Christian frat houses across the land!
But in all seriousness, the Catholic church is still telling women and families how to plan their lives, and as Greta Christina recently discussed at Skepticon 3, espousing the idea that God cares about who you have sex with and how. I think that Father Fessio captures the big picture perfectly:
In sum, the Pope did not “justify” condom use in any circumstances. And Church teaching remains the same as it has always been—both before and after the Pope’s statements.