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A footnote to the impasse: --

Aren't we all philologues and semantics, and our favorite playground is polemics?  I said, you said, he said, they said.  The point here is not what the Pope said or didn't say.  It's what has been deciphered and reported both by the public media and the official Vatican source that is causing the conundrum.  The whole point is, it's been said and done.  No matter how much anybody put words into play, the pall hangs in the air, and like a tooth extraction, the pain is there to remain for a time. 

Lex suprema salus animarum est.  This is the principle for the existence of the Church of Christ:  The supreme law is the salvation of souls.  Wth this in mind, no church authority, the pope principally, can deviate from this purpose and must guard themselves that they do not compromise this mandate of Christ.  The purity of the faith must always be kept.  When a church authority starts to put himself in the world, he is bound to screw what the Church intends.  This is why the popes of the tradition were "aloof" to the wiles of the outside world and never gave themselves to "interviews" of the urbane and the temporal.

What's occured here, regardless of the opinions pro and con, is that the message is clear:  the Church has veered from her perennial teaching that sexuality outside of marriage is forbidden, and that the sexual act is sacred and to be performed as God designed it.

Quote:He did not use the phrase "lesser evil" and he is not recommending or permitting people to choose the lesser evil.  He did not identify condoms as a lesser evil nor did he recommend nor permit people to use condoms under any circumstances.  He is saying that the common emphasis on condoms as a solution to AIDS is ineffective and immoral.  He is saying that the only good thing about condoms in that situation is that it might, in some cases, be a first step in moral development.

As the debacle now amounts to "scandal" (aren't we scandalized by the error made by the Church, which for all reasons, sets the Church back to the dark ages?), damage control requires salvaging what was an unintended oversight and blunder, and repair the "misconstrued" comments of what the pope said.  So in this case, the use of the "lesser evil" concept seemed the only redeemable solution (what else is there?). 

Quote:It is a very basic concept in moral theology that good intentions never change the immorality of an intrinsically evil act.  Adult Catholics really ought to know this. If Catholics knew their faith as they ought, the Pope mentioning a possible element of good intention in condom use would not have sent mixed messages. That so many people have been confused by this is a sign of how bad Catholic catechesis has become.
 

Good intentions preclude leading to do evil.  Can there ever be a good intention in the use of a condom?  How and why?  Condom is a devise that is the antithesis of the sanctitude of the sexual act which Catholics (and others not Catholic) are required to practice.  It is in this situation in which we differ in how we understand and interpret what the pope said.  Bad catholic catechesis yes.

Quote:I suppose it is possible that he made an error in judgment, but it is also possible that he is addressing the problem of dumbed down Catholicism by putting something a bit more "meaty" out there.

"Meaty"?  Catholic doctrine should never be made frivolous.  We should always be guarded lest we fall into error.  Especially of one in whom is entrusted the salvation of souls.  The pope should have mentioned serious sin and the cause and effect which is damnation, not address what the world thinks.  Humanity is already on its way to spiritual ruin.  Do we have to stoke the fires and hasten its progress?