Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pope Benedict Gives Blessing on Condom Use for Prostitution

Today saw the debut of a book by Pope Benedict XVI entitled “ Light of The World”. It is a book that I will no doubt be reading soon, not because of my catholic upbringing, but for what I was told I would never see the Catholic Church sanction: condom use. In his book Pope Benedict stated that condom use may be appropriate in certain circumstances, such as male prostitution. Here is a snippet of what the pope said:
There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants. But it is not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection
Sorry, but with all due respect, there are probably millions of us, both straight and gay that would be dead right now if it were not for condoms. Regardless of what situation, whether it was someone on the DL, or just a straight person cheating, many more would be dead, were it not for a thin piece of latex.  So, what would be “the way to deal” with HIV? Hope and chance? Not by a long shot. If you have sex....use a condom. Unless you’re 100% sure of your sexual partner..married or not.  Condoms save lives, not conjectures.

Does the Pope's stance mean that it would ALSO be okay for female prostitutes to make use of condoms. After all, the advent of female condoms is something the church will also have to grapple with. Is it not just as important that females protect themselves and others just as well as men? Or will we have to wait for the Catholic Church and other religious organizations to realize this is no longer the same mans world of 1570? There is also one other point I'd like to make.The Catholic Church is still against contraception and therefor condoms used for contraception. Which begs to ask: Is the Pope's new awareness and condom compliance relegated to ONLY MALE GAY PROSTITUTES?  Although gay men have for centuries (and will no doubt continue to father children). Shush...it's a secret. The fact is that ANYONE can become infected and pass along HIV. It's time for the scapegoating of gay males in particular and the rest of the LGBT to end. If condoms can save a life, it shouldn't matter what type of sex the individual is having, only that a life may be saved. Wouldn't that be the Christian way of thinking?

Then comes another much harrowing question. Why is it that the Pope’s example spoke of “male prostitutes”? It has been widely speculated that many in the clergy have made “uses” of many prostitutes male and female. That however is just the tip of the iceberg. What about condom use for those that are not “prostitutes”?  The amount of divorces in this country is an indisputable and well documented fact. So is the rate of priests who commit pedophilia, as well as engage in adultery. This is not to say that all clergy (or most) are immoral, just as all gays and lesbians, or any member of the LGBT are immoral. Are there some? Yes. It’s called life and individuality. We may not like it, but it’s a fact of life.

Following is the case of  the now deceased Rev. Marciel Maciel, founder of Legionaries of Christ in 1941. It was founded in Mexico and became the wealthiest and fastest growing catholic orders. There was only one problem, Rev. Marciel was a pedophile. Although the order and the catholic church knew of this in 2000, no action was taken until 2006, when he was ordered to a life of penance and prayer. I’m sorry but I don’t think any amount of Hail Mary’s will make amends for what he did. Rev. Maciel died in 2008, after which the order of Legionaries of  Christ admitted that not only was the Rev a pedophile but had fathered children as well. The amount of children is not known. Perhaps the Catholic Church knows, I do not. I really don’t’ care about who his kids are though. It’s a matter for their mother. What I am concerned about is: Why doesn’t the Catholic Church come fully into the present? Obviously condom use  is a  more far reaching subject in this day and age than just its use by “male prostitutes”. The Rev. Marciel could have made good use of a few condoms.

 It seems that in the Pope’s eyes (and thereby the Catholic Church) what constitutes being immoral is open to interpretation, and always solved by prayer. Unless you’re a member of the LGBT community. Special circumstances for special people. The truth is that man makes up what religion is. Therein lies the problem. As my mom taught me when I was a child, “paper holds everything you write on it”. There are more than enough people willing to believe it. After all seeing is believing isn’t it?


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