I’m not a moral theologian, and every time I try and play one on the internet, I regret it. On the other hand, it would be kind of weird not to acknowledge the brouhaha about the Pope’s comments that L’Osservatore Romano leaked, apparently following its mission to act as the poorly-informed, half-senile uncle who blurts out crazy stuff and makes things so awkward around the holidays. Sorry about Uncle Romano — he . . . he doesn’t really represent our family. Just give him some more pie, and maybe he’ll be quiet.
Nothing that the Pope said changes anything in Catholic teaching — both because (a) his remarks aren’t Catholic teaching; and (b) anyway, he didn’t say anything contrary to Church teaching. Basically what he said was that the use of condoms might signal that people are starting to move toward a more humane view of their sexual partners, because at least they are thinking about not spreading disease. The Church is in favor of people beginning to move toward more moral behavior. This is not news.
For a lucid explanation about what the Pope really said, please read Jimmy Akin’s short piece in the Register. Akin also has a link to the full text of the Pope’s remarks and to Janet Smith’s guide to the uproar so far.
Even if you don’t like the guy, I don’t see how you can’t admire him. He was ready to retire, and instead he got a life sentence to a job that any sane person would dread. So he dove in head first and got to work, and hasn’t come up for air since. May God bless and keep and strengthen him. This is what true courage and fortitude looks like.
Final question: what the heck is wrong with L’Osservatore Romano? Were they were looking to boost circulation, or what? My husband works for a newspaper, so I asked him what they do when their numbers are down. He said, “Fire reporters.” Not a bad idea.