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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Comments

Bender

In my view, the discussion of these issues should take place in professional journals and at professional conferences

Does she really mean what I think she means?

You know, it has been leaving these kinds of things to the "professionals" and "experts" and elites that has gotten us to this state of totally screwed up moral confusion.

And, indeed, it was people like these two who totally missed the point and led almost the whole world down the wrong path with their emphasis on whether the Pope meant male prostitutes or female prostitutes or non-prostitutes. That is, it was the "experts" who totally screwed up that discussion.

In point of fact, God did NOT make morality as hard as these folks want to make it. God made it and our ability to comprehend it so simple that a child can understand it. If only expert moral theologians can figure this stuff out (and hence avoid sinning), then heaven is going to be an awfully empty place.

Carl E. Olson

And, indeed, it was people like these two who totally missed the point and led almost the whole world down the wrong path with their emphasis on whether the Pope meant male prostitutes or female prostitutes or non-prostitutes. That is, it was the "experts" who totally screwed up that discussion.

A very unfair statement, to put it mildly. I understand the frustration with how the Pope's remarks have been misused and abused; but much of that was due to the media and the nature of our sound bite culture. But having a knee-jerk reaction over the fact that certain debates are nuanced and require careful distinctions is not the answer. After all, if God really made everything so simple, why were (to take just one example) the Christological debates at Chalcedon and Ephesus so complicated and difficult?

Bender

I said MORALITY, not theology. Morality -- it's not just for experts and elites.

And it was in fact because they focused on this, "oh, he meant only male prostitutes" silliness that allowed the story to get a second impetus from the media when the Vatican reported that the Pope did not mean only them.

But, instead we get this elite "how many angels can dance on a pin" absurdity, making the easy hard, going out of their way to make things more confusing, that now those who do, in fact, oppose Church teaching can and have used these "experts" remarks to justify their own dissent.

Carl E. Olson

I can read, Bender. It's called moral theology.

Lauri Friesen

I have to disagree, Carl, that Fr. Rhonheimer offers anything of substance to this debate. In particular, I nearly choked on his fallacious reasoning that a man who uses a condom while engaged in an act of fornication is moral because it shows he is thinking about his female partner. He offers no evidence of this and many of us know that the male human in such a situation is truly interested in protecting himself from an undesired pregnancy and demands that may be made on him, for the rest of his life, by a woman for whom he cares little or nothing at all.

It is beyond silly to argue that contraception in fornication does not compound both sins. There is no evidence anywhere at all that anybody has lived a morally fruitful promiscuous life. This is no more substantive a debate than the one over whether the pope was talking about male or female prostitutes.

Nancy

Thesis: Condoms alone will resolve the problem of AIDS. (secular argument)

Antithesis: Condoms alone will not resolve the question itself. (Pope Benedict restating secular argument)

Synthesis: Love, Responsibility and Compassion is what is needed to solve the problem of AIDS, not condoms. (Pope Benedict)

John

As far as I see, it is insane to try and count sins. If you're fornicating, then it is a sin, and it doesn't matter about the other details. Who cares if condoms are a bigger sin in such a scenario? Such people in this scenario don't care about the church's teaching anyway, so such analysis is stupid. Seriously, the church's teaching is for people in the church who desire to follow it. It is not for those outside of it.

Mack

John, even though non-Catholics may not care about Church teaching, by engaging in sinful acts they are harming themselves even if they don't realize it.

It's not a question of counting sins, as if this were some kind of arithmetic exercise. No, it's a question of human acts and their morality. It is worse to perform an act that is more sinful than another.

For example, it is worse to kill one's mother than a complete stranger.
It is worse to steal from a poor widow with no means to live on than from a rich man (both are sins).
It is worse to commit the sin of rape than of simple fornication, because of the violence done to the victim.

These are not matters of moral casuistry, but matters of real concern.

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