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The Pope and Condoms: a note from the editor

Catholic World News - November 22, 2010

Thousands of secular media outlets-- and more than a few Catholic news services-- are leading their coverage today with headlines about Pope Benedict's statement on the use of condoms. CWN is not linking to those stories because, with rare exceptions, they are inaccurate.

Our news service exists to give Catholics (and others who are interested in the Church) an accurate guide to coverage of stories that affect the Church. Often we feel obligated to link to stories that contain some inaccuracies, because informed readers should be aware of what is being reported. But we never intentionally carry, or link to, stories that are entirely misleading. Most headline stories about the Pope's remarks fall into that category.

Pope Benedict did not alter, amend, or call into question the Church's teaching on contraceptive use.

Pope Benedict did not say that condom use is sometime morally acceptable.

Pope Benedict did not back away from his earlier statements, in which he had argued that condom distribution is an ineffective way to fight AIDS. On the contrary, he made his latest controversial remarks in the context of a conversation in which he was defending that argument.

Ordinarily CWN links to secular news stories because our readers can increase their understanding by perusing those stories. Today, a reader who wants an accurate understanding of what the Pope actually said would be better served by ignoring the secular media coverage.

For a more extended treatment, see my In-Depth Analysis of this controversy and of how it arose.

- Phil Lawler Editor, CWNews

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Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: msorensen71798 - Nov. 22, 2010 11:27 PM ET USA

    I knew the secular headlines were false or misleading, just by their implications. And, just as surely, I knew you'd give us the straight scoop. Thank you for all you do!

  • Posted by: impossible - Nov. 22, 2010 10:10 PM ET USA

    Phil, may God continue to bless you and your excellent work on behalf of the Church.

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