Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

Hey Mom -- go for the lesser evil!

By Diogenes ( articles ) | May 01, 2006

Why so much interest in Cardinal Martini's interest in African public health authorities' interest in getting the Catholic Church's approval for condoms?

Because, on the gut level, everybody involved understands it's not about growing closer to God; it's about granting permission.

If you put a condom over the male reproductive organ it thereby ceases to be a reproductive organ.

There are a whole lot of words, none of which Phil Lawler will let me use, for what that organ does become. And there are a whole lot of people -- people with no particular concern for public health, or Africa, or the family -- for whom it is imperative that the Church should capitulate and allow a Catholic, as a conscientious choice, to act so as to turn a reproductive organ into a ... into a non-reproductive organ. Once that permission were given, they realize, Church teaching on the unity and integrity of the marital act would pop like a soap bubble.

But the ostensible issue is asymmetrically-infected married couples in Africa. Why is this particular permission so important? Take a second to look at this photo of Frances Kissling's Condoms4Life brigade at last summer's World Youth Day. The none-too-subtle Sapphic predominance indicates the group comprises those persons least affected by the condoms they approve. Yet they understand that the Church's is the prime authoritative voice that continues to condemn their own choice to "disintegrate" sexual love, and they grasp the condom's pivotal role in the politics of sexual anarchy. Kissling herself -- shrewdly, in terms of her purposes -- has showered praise on Martini's openness, as has The Tablet, as has the LA Times (which, in an excess of enthusiasm, made Martini the "runner-up in the last papal election"), as has that part of the gay media to which the Rainbow Sash Movement links.

It's about permission. And if you wanted the permission those folks want, you'd be cheering Cardinal Martini too.

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