Dialogue: Is Pope Francis Pro-Contraception?

Dialogue: Is Pope Francis Pro-Contraception? January 2, 2014
Pope Francis (16 March 2013) [Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0 license]




This short exchange occurred on my personal Facebook page on 2 January 2014. Dave Scott is a Protestant. His words will be in blue.

* * * * *

What’s the new Pope’s take on using contraceptives?

Being Catholic (duh!) he would obviously be against it . . . Do you think popes can reverse Catholic views that certain sins are grave and mortal? That’s not possible in the Catholic system.

So what’s the fuss about? [link to BBC news piece] [2nd news link]

What’s to misunderstand? Can’t people read English? The pope said:

The teaching of the Church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the Church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.

What is so unclear about “clear”?

So, no “fuss” at all then? He wasn’t really saying anything?

Sure, there’s fuss among folks who can’t read, or I should say, can’t comprehend grammar or the meaning of what they read: who don’t know what “clear” means, or who see what they want so badly to see rather than what is really there. That ain’t our problem, is it?

So what was the Pope really saying then?

For the second time:

The teaching of the Church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the Church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.

I don’t talk about ’em all the time. I talk about lots of stuff. So does the papa.

Okay, I got it even before posting the article – are you saying he was saying nothing new at all?

No; the new thing would be somewhat less emphasis on these issues in proclaiming the Catholic message. Less emphasis does not equal “thus, those things are less wrong than they used to be.”

“Is the “fuss” just journalistic froth?”

Yes, and wishful thinking, and what I said above. Everyone wants Catholics to give up moral teachings that we will never give up, because they think we act like Anglicans or Protestants, who actually do those things.

Hmm, interesting point.

I like the new Pope, partly because he confesses to being a sinner … I hope it’s a new humility which we can all learn from.

Lots of people like this pope. Just make sure you understand him correctly. I have offered a humble little aid to make it easier to do that [“Pope Francis Defended”].

I’m genuinely confused … Does Francis overturn Benedict? (again, assuming that the reportage is true).

Condom use for anal homosexual sex is not contraception in the first place because conception isn’t possible. So this is a red herring. The Church says sodomy is wrong. It can say that use of a condom in such cases is more healthy than not doing so. Ho hum. That’s simple common sense. It doesn’t sanction either sodomy or homosexual acts in general in so doing. It doesn’t say they’re not sinful. If folks would think logically and objectively, I dare say that these questions would not arise at all.

In any event, it has nothing to do with the Church’s teaching on contraception, which stands intact, in harmony with the Bible and the early Church, and indeed all Christians whatsoever until 1930, when the Anglicans (bless their hearts) first permitted it in “hard cases only”.

Diabolical logic is always the same, isn’t it? Those familiar with the legal history of childkilling will recognize that rationalization, which soon (always!) becomes a loophole big enough for a Mack truck to drive through.

Maybe I missed it, was Benedict’s ‘advice’ only for instances of condom use for anal homosexual sex, or did it apply to heterosexual sex and the risk of AIDS that way?


“Pope Benedict and Condoms: What He Did and Did Not Say” (Scott P. Richert)

“Vatican statement on Benedict XVI and condoms” (John L. Allen Jr.)

“Benedict XVI, Condoms, and the Light of the World”  (Interview with Janet Smith; Zenit)

“Condom Zombies Hijack Pope Benedict!” (Jimmy Akin; National Catholic Register)


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