Friday, November 26, 2010

Insight Scoop | The Ignatius Press Blog: One of the most thoughtful and rigorous pieces of analysis written so far... - condoms always utterly evil- no good ever

Note by Marc Aupiais

While reading through one of my daily news aggregates (e-mail me with request if you want access to some of our specialist custom made sources) I came across the publishers of the pope's new book once again desperately opposing the portrayal secular media has given their book. This argument the quote says that condom use is always in ever circumstance only intrinsically evil and a grave mortal sin. Theologically speaking I agree- I personally have concluded from dogma that it is far more moral though illicit to have extra-marital sex without a condom than with one. Because use of a condom is blasphemy against the holy spirit given that sex is the best representation of the Holy Trinity on earth: hence marriage as a sacrament. Further, statistics have shown that condom use and education generally increases both abortions and HIV infections in a community (while testing with promise of ARV's decreases infection, as with promotion of fidelity and combating of homosexuality and polygamy- both the major spread machines of HIV. New research has found a pill which if taken perfectly could do away with infection altogether according to researchers after initial tests using HIV danger group- homosexual men):

"One of the most thoughtful and rigorous pieces of analysis written so far...Posted: 25 Nov 2010 09:51 AM PST

... about the Holy Father's remarks about condoms and the resulting conversation/furor, is a post on the "end of the modern world, etc." blog, written by

Dr. Steven A. Long, professor of theology at Ave Maria University. Here is an excerpt:

[Original had blockquote covering the rest]
This is often portrayed as though the Pope is saying that the disordered sexual act of sodomy is morally bad, but condom use, as something incipiently responsible and moral, is nonetheless good. That is precisely what the Pope is not saying. That is why he says the Church does not regard it as a moral solution. He well realizes that condom use introduces no new species in a homosexual act, because no contraception takes place. Rather, the condom use is wholly predicated upon, and willed as a function of, the intention of sodomy, and condom used participates the species of the sodomitic act. Hence the condom use is morally evil, and indeed gravely evil. Janet Smith, who has written penetratingly about this, notes that all that condom use does is make an already gravely evil act slightly less evil, but that the Church is not in the business of directing people to perform grave evils in a slightly better way.

But what, then, of the papal language? Can a gravely evil act really be such that "there can be nonetheless, in the intention of reducing the risk of infection, a first step in a movement towards a different way, a more human way, of living sexuality"? Certainly in the epistemic order, a person who is morally coarse and living sinfully, may in beginning to reflect on the consequences of his action for others and beginning to take responsibility for these, move in such a way that were it to continue he would eventually enter into genuinely moral considerations. If this is what the Pope means, then it is surely defensible, although the language even so seems somewhat rhetorically over-freighted: simply doing an evil act in a way that prevents infection does not necessarily suggest anything other than that the homosexual prostitute does not wish his customer to die, which frankly could be from venal or vicious motives; and if it is from a better motive, the act is still similar to a strangler who gives all his victims the opportunity to make a good act of contrition, and whom he calms and kills in as gentle a fashion as possible: all of which hardly seems to count as "a first step in a movement towards a different way, a more human way" of living. The Church is not in the business of endorsing grave evils when they are "lesser"--because grave moral evil may never rightly be done by anyone. The rhetoric of "first step" towards "a more human" sexuality makes the epistemic motion seem more proximate to the good of a more human sexuality than in fact it is. The "first step" is, in the epistemic order, toward a moral awareness generally speaking, which must be developed and enriched far more in order to constitute any specific movement in the practical moral order toward a "more human" sexuality.

Nonetheless one must give due credit to the "can" of the Pope's formulation--something that expresses raw possibility. And it is true that those who do move from moral evil to moral good, must epistemically at some point begin to be aware of their responsibility, and such a beginning might be found in someone who before had cavalierly exposed others to infection whilst sodomizing, who then tries to minimize the occasion for giving infection. But "first step"? Normally the first step toward a purpose partakes of the genus of that purpose. If the end is genuinely moral, then the use of the condom is not a "first step" any more than the gentler strangler is taking a first step toward a moral way of living and honoring the good of life. The "first step" of the Pope's example must be understood as nakedly epistemic, not in the least moral, but with the possibility that it could lead at some point to the genuinely moral. All the efforts to speak of the instance to which the pope refers as an exceptional case or circumstance for which the Holy Father has distilled the right moral theological understanding seems thus utterly wrong, because the Pope is not saying that condom use is morally good.
Given the refined nature of these reflections, one may also think that the Holy Father perhaps placed too great a weight upon a fragile medium which cannot sustain it--but from the best of motives, the desire to manifest the true nature of the papal service to the world, and openly to engage common questions and inquiries. Further, his words appear far better than Lombardi's explanation of them, which tries to render the entire matter a function of moral theology, whereas part of the Holy Father's treatment is simply and purely epistemic, something that the media probably will never be able to grasp"
Read more
http://insightscoop.typepad.com/2004/2010/11/one-of-the-most-thoughtful-and-rigorous-pieces-of-analysis-written-so-far.html

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