Netizens carried away by blog post on Pope Benedict XVI’s opinion on condoms; Blogger most likely misinterpreted statement made by Pope in 2010

Just today, September 10, a blog post entitled, "Pope Benedict Finally Drops Catholic Ban On Condoms, Weakens CBCP Stand Whom Against The RH Bill," published on the Ideas Galore blog seems to have stirred up excitement among netizens.

Just today, September 10, 2012, a blog post entitled, "Pope Benedict Finally Drops Catholic Ban On Condoms, Weakens CBCP Stand Whom Against The RH Bill," published on the Ideas Galore blog seems to have stirred up excitement among netizens. (Note: The title is really ungrammatical. We have not made altered it.) However, the blog may have misinterpreted the statement by Pope Benedict XVI, which was tackled in articles written by Jonathan Wynne-Jones for The Telegraph and John Hopper for The Guardian way back in November 2010.

 

In Wyne-Jones’ November 2010 article, the Pope had allegedly said "it was acceptable to use a prophylactic when the sole intention was to ’reduce the risk of infection’ from AIDS." The Pope had said this in reference to the situation in Africa. In Hopper’s November 22, 2010 article, he pointed out: "The statement, and the pope’s interview reported in a book to be published this week suggested that, notwithstanding the interpretation of remarks he made last year on his visit to Africa, Benedict accepted that condoms reduced the risk of infection from AIDS."

 

Hopper’s article also noted the following points (all the words in the numbered segment are quoted from Hopper):

 

1. "But, as the Vatican noted in a longer, Italian version of its statement, the pope’s remarks were made in a "colloquial and not magisterial" form. In other words, they represented his private opinions rather than official teaching."

 

2. "Writing for the Catholic World Report website, US academic Janet Smith, argued: ’The Holy Father is simply observing that for some homosexual prostitutes the use of a condom may indicate an awakening of a moral sense.’"

 

3. "Spanish theologist Juan José Tamayo agreed. ’I don’t detect any change in the words of the pope,’ he told the Cadena SER radio network. ’They ratify traditional doctrine, opposed to the use of condoms, and even confirm the irresponsible remarks he made in Africa about AIDS.’"

 

Meanwhile, it’s worth noting that the blog post on the Ideas Galore blog has no direct links to its sources. We also used one of the segments in the post ("He stressed that abstinence was the best policy in fighting the disease but in some circumstances it was better for a condom to be used if it protected human life.") for our Google search. It turns out that that the segment was also used in other blog posts that were posted in August 2012. Among those blog posts is written by a blogger identified as Wesley J. Smith in an August 9, 2012 post on his blog, Secondhand Smoke. The segment that we got from Ideas Galore matches the one in Secondhand Smoke word-for-word. The Secondhand Smoke post provides a link to the November 20, 2010 article by Jonathan Wyne-Jones.

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The Ideas Galore blog has this bio note for its supposed author: "Arnold Cafe, a.k.a. as (sic) Affleap is the author of this site and an active internet marketer who loves to write anything informative (sic). His website: http://www.affleap.com is one of his online undertaking (sic)."

 

Bottom line No. 1: The people who are spreading the Ideas Galore blog post link and taking what it says as Gospel should think twice. Bottom line No. 2: The Church still opposes the use of condoms.

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