Let’s cut to the chase. The Pope says that maybe it’s OK to use condoms. If you’re trying to avoid getting AIDs. And you’re a gay prostitute.
There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants. But it is not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection. That can really lie only in a humanization of sexuality.
Of course, I like that last part. Sex is not a bad thing, but to be irresponsible with it is to flirt with disaster. I know that people think it’s uncultured for me to say that people should be cautious and reserved with their sexuality, but as long as diseases like AIDs are out to get us I will continue to give that advice.
But, back to the subject at hand, I find the Pope’s statement interesting. And odd. According to his theology (and not mine), every sperm is precious, but that doesn’t mean a condom is a bad thing if it’s not preventing sperm from fertilizing an egg. It’s interesting that he is wise enough to make this distinction.
But this is a very strange thing to say. The Catholic church is embroiled in sex scandals and Pope Benedict, himself, if often seen (probably unfairly) as a representation of this movement of pedophilia in the church. It sounds like he is saying that gay male prostitution is OK when he makes a statement like this, and that might not be an image he wants to be associated with.
(Note: I realize that homosexuals are not necessarily pedophiles. Before any of you accuse me of sexual bigotry, understand that I am saying that a religious man who is supposed to be chaste does not appear to be very holy when he aligns himself with the justification of any kind of prostitution. This seemingly weakens any effort on his part to say that he is serious about the church’s stance on sexuality.)
Since the church (obviously) doesn’t approve of homosexual prostitution, I find it odd for the Pope to comment on the practices therein. Then again, if it stops the transmission of AIDs, how can we recommend anything else? I have to admit, this is an issue I’ve never thought about.
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