MY column this week will analyze Pope Benedict XVI’s new book titled: “Light of the World; The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times” released on Nov. 23, 2010 regarding his statement on the use of condoms.

Catechism of the Catholic Church

The guidelines of moral behavior are found on page 623 of the Catechism.

Offenses against chastity states that lust is a disordered desire for an inordinate employment of sexual pleasure.

Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purpose.

On the subject of prostitution, the Catechism condemns prostitution as injury to the dignity of the person who engages in it, reducing the person to an instrument of sexual pleasure.

The one who pays sins gravely against himself: he violates the chastity to which his Baptism pledged him and defiles his body, the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Prostitution is a social scourge.

It usually involves women, but also men, children and adolescents.

The latter two cases involve the added sin of scandal.

While it is always gravely sinful to engage in prostitution the imputability of the offense can be attenuated by destitution, blackmail or social pressure.

The Pope’s book on the moral implication of condom use

To us, the Catholic faithful, who are not learned in the theology of our faith, it would appear that the Pope has veered in the concept of the above-quoted teaching on morals in his new book.

Does this mean that condom use could sometimes be moral?

The Pope maintains that the use of condoms for birth control is a sin, but added that there may be justified individual cases when a male prostitute use a condom as a shield against the spread of AIDS.

The Pope said that the use of condoms may be a sign of moral responsibility in some specific situations when the intention is to reduce the risks of AIDS.

According to the Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, the Pope was not reforming or changing the Church’s teaching on sexual responsibility.

The editorial captioned “Pope’s Pastoral Wisdom” of the Nov. 27, 2010 issue of The Tablet justified the Pope’s action by invoking St. Thomas Aquina, the most reverend of theologians of the Catholic Church, that the use of condoms is not a condonation of immoral be but a recognition that there are degrees of moral evil and, in which case, the lesser of the two evils is less morally reprehensible.

The editorial concluded that Salvation comes to those who seek a Savior — which is what Advent, after all promises to us sinners.

Meantime, a news report from Reuters published in the Nov. 24, 2010 issue of the New York Post confirmed Pope Benedict’s acknowledgement that the use of condoms is sometimes morally justifiable to stop AIDS is valid not only for gay male prostitutes but for heterosexuals and transsexuals too, according to the Vatican.

The clarification was the latest step in what is seen as a significant shift in Catholic Church policy.

The Pope made it clear that he was not changing the Catholic ban on contraception, but said some use of condoms could be justified.

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