Never let the perfect interfere with the good, the old saying goes. That seems to be the new approach taken by the Catholic Church as the Pope has dropped his adamant opposition to condoms in the fight against AIDS. From the Telegraph story:
After decades of fierce opposition to the use of all contraception, the Pontiff has ended the Church’s absolute ban on the use of condoms. He said it was acceptable to use a prophylactic when the sole intention was to “reduce the risk of infection” from Aids. While he restated the Catholic Church’s staunch objections to contraception because it believes that it interferes with the creation of life, he argued that using a condom to preserve life and avoid death could be a responsible act – even outside marriage.
Asked whether “the Catholic Church is not fundamentally against the use of condoms,” he replied: “It of course does not see it as a real and moral solution. In certain cases, where the intention is to reduce the risk of infection, it can nevertheless be a first step on the way to another, more humane sexuality.” He stressed that abstinence was the best policy in fighting the disease but in some circumstances it was better for a condom to be used if it protected human life. “There may be justified individual cases, for example when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be … a first bit of responsibility, to redevelop the understanding that not everything is permitted and that one may not do everything one wishes. “But it is not the proper way to deal with the horror of HIV infection.”
Indeed. Anyone who is HIV positive should not risk another’s life by having sex. Period.
Still, priorities are priorities. By okaying condoms to prevent disease, the Pope seems to be blessing the ABC approach–which I think works best in the world as it is, rather than as it should be. Abstinence; Be Faithful; Condoms. Good for Benedict!
Update: This story was posted today on a news compiling site. But it is from Nov. 2010. Still, I think it is worth noting. Sorry for any inconvenience or confusion thereby caused.