Monday, November 22, 2010

Media Blows It, re: Pope on Condoms

In its effort to create news and liberalize the Catholic Church simultaneously, the mainstream media has misled the world concerning the Pope's words about condom usage.

-- From "Pope’s Comments on Condoms Sow Confusion" by Rachel Donadio, New York Times 11/22/10

In a papacy troubled by communications missteps, Pope Benedict XVI’s unprecedented new book of interviews with a German journalist sought to clarify matters by going straight to the source.

But ever since the Vatican’s official newspaper published highlights on Saturday, the book has created the opposite effect: widespread confusion, most notably over the pope’s comments that in select cases, such as those involving male prostitutes, condom use might be a step toward acting responsibly to reduce “the risk of infection.”

AIDS activists are calling the pope’s comments a breakthrough, while members of the church hierarchy and some Catholic commentators say the comments have been misconstrued. The Vatican itself has furiously played down Benedict’s words, or rather contextualized them, noting that the pope was not changing church doctrine banning contraception, or justifying condom use — even though the Vatican newspaper clearly used the phrase “justified in some cases.”

As is often the case with the Vatican, the clarification yielded more ambiguity. Was Benedict, in his book of interviews with the German journalist, Peter Seewald, opening up a conversation on condom use — albeit in specific cases to prevent AIDS between male sex partners — or wasn’t he? And how is the world supposed to consider remarks by the pope that are not official church teaching?

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Analysis: What the Pope really said about condoms" by Alan Holdren, Rome Correspondent, Catholic News Agency 11/22/10

Pope Benedict XVI’s comments on condoms in a new book-interview have whipped the media into a frenzy.

Many reports interpreted the words as a dramatic shift from Church teaching, but experts say that nothing has changed.

On the afternoon of Nov. 20, the Vatican's semi-official newspaper L'Osservatore Romano . . . jumping the scheduled world release [of the book], chose to publish only two paragraphs of what is a more extensive response from the Pope to the question of whether the use of condoms could be justified to confront the problem of AIDS transmission.

This fragmented presentation did not give a full view of the Pope's words. But it said enough to lead some international media sources to conjecture that the pontiff had made a "U-turn" on Catholic teaching against contraception.

The actual text of the Pope’s remarks extends over two full pages.

To read the Pope's comments in context, CLICK HERE.