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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  • Posted by: - May. 06, 2006 1:30 PM ET USA

    Multiple stories on birth control issues! Artificial means such as hearing aids or glasses enhance the function of the involved organ. Condoms and other BC methods do the opposite- block it. Bulemia! of a different sort! There are no new arguments to present on this issue. Put it to rest. We are not called to follow Hugh Hefner.

  • Posted by: - May. 04, 2006 9:02 AM ET USA

    Web Doctor. A "medication" which does not prevent conception but does prevent implantation does not "promote life". Women with endometriosis who are "on the pill" do have periods just as any other women "on the pill" have periods. There are, (dare I say viable?),alternatives to birth control pills to manage disease. A pro life physician adhering to the Catholic Moral and Ethical Directives does not prescribe birth control pills. Period.

  • Posted by: Web Doctor - May. 04, 2006 1:03 AM ET USA

    I did not claim that the pill was a cure for endometriosis. It stops a woman from having her period -- during which the disease spreads. It can be used effectively post surgery to help ensure that the patient may get pregnant in the future by preserving repro. function. Even though it is not a "cure", it can pass the litmus test established in Humanae Vitae because neither the end nor the means of the action is to prevent procreation per se, but to legitimately treat a disease and promote life.

  • Posted by: - May. 02, 2006 7:26 PM ET USA

    You will find few doctors who admit to the uselessness of the pill with relation to curing ills. However, I have frequently read about this in answers given by Judy Brown in the Pro-life Q & A section on EWTN. And it's not from her - she quotes, I believe, Dr. Hilgers of the St. Paul VI Institute. Anyway - think about it. The designed purpose of the pill was contraceptive. It is only because it artificially alters the menstrual cycle that it is used to "cure" - and it doesn't!

  • Posted by: Sir William - May. 02, 2006 11:36 AM ET USA

    I wonder if women would willingly take the pill for any reason if they knew it caused weight gain. Makes conditions ripe for breast & cervical cancer. Caused deep vein thrombosis. Would their husbands be so eager for it if they knew it can and does diminish libido permanently? There are in truth few real *medical* reasons to use it that another medication without such devistating side effects can't help. Dr Hilgers has some remarkable research that goes ignored in favor use of the death pil

  • Posted by: - May. 02, 2006 8:45 AM ET USA

    We already have a response from the Vatican affirming de fide doctrine. Wrong is always wrong despite all the hand-ringing and platitudes to the contrary. Sexual license caused AIDs and will only succeed in sustaining it.

  • Posted by: Sterling - May. 01, 2006 11:35 PM ET USA

    We do need a statement from the Vatican though, about the right of women to refuse sexual relations from promiscuous, AIDS-infected husbands who would kill their wives by having sex with them. (Now, someone is going to respond to this statement by opining that a truly holy wife would willingly take on such a death sentence. As St. Snoopy would say: "A-aaa-arrgh!)

  • Posted by: Quadratus - May. 01, 2006 7:06 PM ET USA

    The divorce of sex and reproduction brought on by the pill caused the sexual, moral, spiritual revolution that started in the sixties. It brought with it sex as a recreational activity and liberated men to use women as objects. AIDS is caused by unrestrained sexual activity outside marriage. The divorce brought by sexual libertinage caused an explosion of abortion and sexually transmitted diseases. Libertine behavior has consequences. Death is one of them.

  • Posted by: - May. 01, 2006 4:03 PM ET USA

    Serviam - your blanket and emphatic statement is either true or false. Would you care to back up what you say with a little more detail? References? Any reason anyone should accept what you have written would be appreciated.

  • Posted by: - May. 01, 2006 2:13 PM ET USA

    In addition to the comments made by Serviam about B.C. pills I would add the following: Since the birth control pill has an abortifacient action one could only make a case for use in masking symptoms of disease if the patient were not sexually active. Even in such a situation purchasing birth control pills constitutes cooperation in another's sin. The AIDS virus is much smaller than a sperm. Condoms are not 100% effective in preventing pregnancy. They won't prevent AIDS either.

  • Posted by: - May. 01, 2006 12:28 PM ET USA

    Actually, Web Doctor, the pill does nothing whatever to cure anything affecting a woman's reproductive organs. All it does is mask symptoms. There is absolutely no reason for any woman to use the pill! Foolish and lazy doctors continue to fool their patients.

  • Posted by: Web Doctor - May. 01, 2006 10:18 AM ET USA

    An important point that has been missed by many: First, the Martini issue relates to women who are in danger of becoming infected, not those who are already sick. In this case, abstinence is called for. It is a different case when a woman who is already sick must use "the pill" as a legitimate means of halting the progression of the disease (such as endometriosis). This is acceptible; it is compatible with Church teaching, and I expect any forcoming statements to include this distinction.

  • Posted by: - May. 01, 2006 9:03 AM ET USA

    Eagle, you need to read Casti Connubii. It is quite clear from the language of that encyclical that the Church's teaching on contraception is de fide and consequently infallible. See especially paragraph 3 and paragraphs 56-57, which are unfortunately too long to quote here. This encyclical was written in response to the Anglican's Lambeth Conference in 1930 which declared that contraception was ok for married couples. Here's a link: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xi_enc_31121930_casti-connubii_en.html

  • Posted by: Eagle - May. 01, 2006 6:52 AM ET USA

    There is a need to return to basics here. Humanae Vitae, though authoritative, is not de fide divina et catholica. The prohibition of abortion, however, is. Sexual intercourse being limited to marriage is. So the issue is properly posed as follows: When the life of the mother is threatened, may chemical (the pill) or mechanical (condoms) contraception be utilized by the married couple? I suspect that the vast majority of the Faithful would answer in the affirmative.