Pope’s condom comments latest chapter in sensitive church discussion

YAOUNDE, Cameroon (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI’s declaration that distribution of condoms only increases the problem of AIDS is the latest and one of the strongest statements in a simmering debate inside the church.

The pope was speaking to journalists aboard his flight to Cameroon March 17, and he was asked whether the church’s approach to AIDS prevention — which focuses primarily on sexual responsibility and rejects condom campaigns — was unrealistic and ineffective.

The pope framed his answer in terms of the church’s service to those with AIDS and its efforts to promote what he called a “humanization of sexuality” that includes the elements of fidelity and self-sacrifice.

(full story)

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3 Responses to Pope’s condom comments latest chapter in sensitive church discussion

  1. bill bannon says:

    Very good report. I’ve learned to expect a half story from some blogs that leave out the very existence of voices that realize that married use of condoms where HIV is present is a possible avenue. In one case in Africa during the 90’s couples were told that they could use condoms during the infertile times which would mean the procreative was not separated from the unitive if one holds that theory to be in the universal ordinary magisterium and obviously some do not.

  2. JD says:

    The Church is completely wrong on this case. There is no way a large percentage of the population will be able to use abstinence as a safeguard for AIDS. The Church refuses to believe that although we are humans, we are animals first. Our hormones and and many parts of our brains act the same as in other mammals…dogs, cats, etc. The urges to eat, have sex, and the fight/flight response have been honed for millions of years to allow us to survive and thrive. The Church, however, expects us to try and be Jesus-like, and dismiss the powerful hormones running through our body. 2/3rds of the world is obese, if we can’t control our eating, how are we going to remain abstinent, when sex is much more pleasurable????
    Denying yourself sexual intercourse with another person, or denying masturbation, is not healthy. If you want proof, lets look at all the priests who molest little boys. If they were not denying themselves normal sexual pleasure, maybe they would not go crazy and molest children. The Church should allow priests to have normal sexual experiences, get married, have kids, and show us how to form a lasting relationship and family.
    Sex also provides us with many physical and mental health benefits:

    Sex may reduce pain: The chemical oxytocin is released from the brain during orgasm, and this in turn seems to release endorphins into the body. Endorphins are the body’s natural painkillers.

    •Sex may decrease the incidence of prostate cancer: A study published in the British Journal of Urology in 2003 found that men in their 20s could reduce their chances of prostate cancer by ejaculating more than five times a week.

    • Sex may prevent illnesses such as colds and flus: A 1999 study at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania found that people who have sex one or two times a week had higher levels of immunoglobulin A, the immune cell protein that protects against viral illnesses.

    •Sex seems to prolong life: A 1997 study from the British Medical Journal followed 1,000 men over 10 years and found that men who had a higher frequency of orgasm had half the death rate of those with fewer orgasms.

    • Sex burns calories: perhaps 200 calories.

    •Sex gives muscles a workout: Muscles in the pelvic floor (the ones that help bladder control) are strengthened during sex. Muscles in the back, thighs, glutes, abs and arms can get a workout.

  3. Jim Lackey says:

    That, dear readers, has to be one of the most preposterous comments we’ve ever allowed to remain on this blog, solely because we’re trying not to be censorial. The writer does meet the two main criteria for posting a comment on a blog — he’s “on topic,” and he doesn’t slander an individual or organization. But in no way do we feel that his comments provide readers any enlightenment on this topic. Even leaving aside the faith issues raised in the comments — as Christians we’re certainly called to be more than just animals — the writer here seems to be stuck in a mentality that most people grow out of.

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