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Monday, November 22, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 21 NOV 2010 (VIS) - Given below is the text of a note issued by Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. concerning certain remarks by the Pope on the use of condoms, which appear the new book "Light of the World".

  "At the end of chapter eleven of the book 'Light of the World' the Pope responds to two questions about the battle against AIDS and the use of condoms, questions that reconnect with the discussions that arose in the wake of certain statements the Pope made on this subject during the course of his 2009 trip to Africa.

  "The Pope again makes it clear that his intention was not to take up a position on the problem of condoms in general; his aim, rather was to reaffirm with force that the problem of AIDS cannot be solved simply by distributing condoms, because much more needs to be done: prevention, education, help, advice, accompaniment, both to prevent people from falling ill and to help them if they do.

  "The Pope observes that even in the non-ecclesial context an analogous awareness has developed, as is apparent in the so-called ABC theory (Abstinence - Be Faithful - Condom), in which the first two elements (abstinence and fidelity) are more decisive and fundamental in the battle against AIDS, while condoms take last place, as a way out when the other two are absent. It should thus be clear that condoms are not the solution to the problem.

  "The Pope then broadens his perspective and insists that focusing only on condoms is equivalent to trivialising sexuality, which thus loses its meaning as an expression of love between persons and becomes a 'drug'. This struggle against the trivialisation of sexuality is 'part of the great effort to ensure that sexuality is positively valued and is able to exercise a positive effect on man in his entirety'.

  "In the light of this broad and profound vision of human sexuality and the problems it currently faces, the Pope reaffirms that 'the Church does not of course consider condoms to be the authentic and moral solution' to the problem of AIDS.

  "In this the Pope does not reform or change Church teaching, but reaffirms it, placing it in the perspective of the value and dignity of human sexuality as an expression of love and responsibility.

  "At the same time the Pope considers an exceptional circumstance in which the exercise of sexuality represents a real threat to another person's life. In such a case, the Pope does not morally justify the disordered practice of sexuality but maintains that the use of a condom to reduce the danger of infection can be 'a first act of responsibility', 'a first step on the road toward a more human sexuality', rather than not using it and exposing the other person to a mortal risk.

  "In this, the reasoning of the Pope certainly cannot be defined as a revolutionary change.

  "Many moral theologians and authoritative ecclesiastical figures have supported and support similar positions; it is nevertheless true that we have not heard this with such clarity from the mouth of the Pope, even in an informal and non-magisterial form.

  "Thus Benedict XVI courageously makes an important contribution to help us clarify and more deeply understand a long-debated question. His is an original contribution, because, on the one hand, it remains faithful to moral principles and transparently refutes illusory paths such as that of 'faith in condoms'; on the other hand, however, it manifests a comprehensive and farsighted vision, attentive to recognising the small steps (though only initial and still confused) of an often spiritually- and culturally-impoverished humanity, toward a more human and responsible exercise of sexuality".
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  1. Thank you for sharing this clarification of what has only been unclear to the 'mainstream' media which seems to never get things right when it comes to the Catholic Church.

    "...'a first step on the road toward a more human sexuality'..."

    "First step" means exactly that; the initial step of a sequence of steps, NOT the one and only step! This should be obvious from the common usage of the metaphor "first step," as it almost alway implies subsequent steps.

  2. B16 you are Great!!!!... I love you and respect you and thank God for you daily... May you reign as Papa for all of us and for all the world for many fruitful years to come..
    I am your loyal fan and it is an honour and a great privilege to be alive at this time in History.. God bless you and keep you and encourage you...

  3. A german translation / eine deutsche Übersetzung:




  4. It is very sad that people can distort facts and lead thousands of people astray. am very sad that some media houses in Ghana reported the exact opposite of what the Pope said. thanks for the clarity

  5. I saw it right away, why couldn't the pundants see it?

  6. Once again the Vatican press office chimes in too late. The Pope himself should have prepared Vatican Public Relations for the distortions from secular media that should have been expected long before publishing. Clarifications should have been stated before Media got their hands on the text.

    Michael F Brennan
    St Petersburg Florida USA

  7. This is the beginning of the end. No amount of wiggling will escape the fact that the H/F has taught error. He has breached the natural and Divine law.
    The modern concept of 'moral gradualism', which he propounds, is seriously flawed. In short, 'sin is sin, but if you commit a lesser sin it's better' - closer to the good i.e., a prostitute using a condom for a client rather than not using any protection. What a travesty! Any honest and reasonable person can see that the basic premise is distorted.
    Be in no doubt, this is a breech of the natural law and the long term effect will go way beyond the morality of prophylactics.

  8. i think the Pope should not even have involved himself in commenting on such issues. i thought He wanted to tell those in "exceptional" and definitely difficult situations there is a god who dislikes what they do and therefore should turn back, repent and find life and dedicate themselves to Jesus and not Condom use as a solution instead of Christ the first step and allsteps through and not "human" solution as solution, what we need in evangelization people not condms

  9. Thank you for the clarification. As Catholics, ours is not an easy road. The secular media does not, from my perspesctive, clarify much these days. Partial statements, thoughts, expressions, taken out of context seems to be thier lot in life... (I am not sure how the Pope or the Vatican press office could possibly anticipate each and every mis-representation)

  10. In other words: If you are not responsible enough to keep the sixth commandment (by respecting the dignity of marriage) at least be responsible enough not to break the 5th commandment at the same time (by infecting someone with AIDS and disrespecting the dignity of that human person).

  11. No matter the spin put on this statement, or even the intent... this is a disaster in communications that will reinforce the errors in our culture not dispel them. The Holy Father has made a serious mistake that will be difficult if not impossible to correct.

  12. Please don't blame the Pope. He was trying to speak of awakening consciences in human beings. Frankly, I question allowing comments on websites like this--they can become very chaotic.


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