The following is a guest contribution. Reuters is not responsible for the content and the views expressed are the authors’ alone. Father Joseph Fessio, S.J. is founder and editor of San Francisco-based Ignatius Press, the North American publisher of “Light of the World.”
By Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J.
Did the Pope “justify” condom use in some circumstances?
No. And there was absolutely no change in Church teaching either. Not only because an interview by the Pope does not constitute Church teaching, but because nothing that he said differs from previous Church teaching. (Photo: Pope Benedict with his new book, 23 November 2010/Osservatore Romano)
Then why all the headlines saying that he “approves” or “permits” or “justifies” condom use in certain cases?
That’s a good question. So good that the interviewer himself asked virtually the same question during the interview.
The Pope made a statement in the interview, which statement has now been widely quoted in the worldwide media. Immediately, the interviewer, Peter Seewald, posed this question: “Are you saying, then, that the Catholic Church is actually not opposed in principle to the use of condoms?”