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Catholic scholars explain Pope's statement on condoms

December 17, 2010

In a thorough, balanced, and understandable analysis of the moral arguments surrounding the Pope's statement on condom use, written for Our Sunday Visitor, theologian Janet Smith agrees with Father Martin Rhonhemer that the Holy Father did not endorse the idea of accepting a "lesser evil." But she disputes the Rhonheimer argument that the Pope has opened a new debate on the morality of condom use, and cautions that his claim could be exploited by proponents of an agenda that is clearly at odds with the Pope's intentions. In making her argument, Smith sheds new light on several of the arguments about the Pope's statements and his intentions.

George Weigel adds his analysis in First Things. He explains that the Pope, in Light of the World, poses an interesting theoretical question about the use of condoms by someone whose behavior is undoubtedly immoral:

Might one find here a glimmer of moral insight, on the part of a habitual sinner, from which deeper moral insights into the evil in which he was engaged might emerge in time?


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