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January 2011

A "SAFER MORALITY"?

THE EDITOR

"I would say, if a (male) prostitute uses a condom, that can be a first act towards a moralisation, a first bit of responsibility in redeveloping an awareness that not everything is permitted and one cannot do whatever one wants. But it is not the true way to deal with the evil. That must really lie in the humanisation of sexuality."(1) - POPE BENEDICT XVI

1. "The Pope hasn't created a new doctrine. But he has clarified something that's always been clear in the moral theology — that the Church is working in the defense of life."

2. "It's a big deal. If the Pope says that condoms are licit under certain circumstances, it opens up the debate as to what those circumstances are."

Broadly speaking, these two comments represent the principle reactions to the Holy Father's now legendary 'condom critique' in Light of the World, his book-length interview with Peter Seewald.

The first - typifying the neo-conservative response - is from a spokesman for the Sant'Egidio Community. A Catholic charity that provides antiretroviral medication to 100,000 HIV-positive patients in Africa, Sant'Egidio has never distributed condoms but provides counselling that includes information about their use. According to this line of thinking, since the Pope "hasn't created a new doctrine" the media storm is nothing to be alarmed about. In fact, the spokesman went on, the papal comments will "create a climate that is more relaxed for those engaged in the fight against the epidemic. It will be easier ... to help encourage responsible and effective behaviour to really fight AIDS." No big deal then.

Unsurprisingly, the Liberal Catholics In Name Only [CINOs], though equally grateful, beg to differ. Encapsulated in the second quote — from the editor of the Southern Cross, the house organ of the South African episcopate — CINOs view Benedict's exposition as a very "big deal."

Beyond these basic positions of 'big deal' vs 'no big deal', some neo-cons are of one mind with most traditionalists, who instantly understood that while indeed nothing has changed doctrinally (the Pope having merely expressed a personal view) everything has changed practically.

"A significant and positive step forward"

It is true that both the media (including L'Osservatore Romano which set the fireball rolling) and the Italian edition of the original German interview put key words and phrases into the Pope's mouth which he never uttered. As my introductory translation indicates, Benedict did not speak of "individual cases" or the "justification" or "morality" of condomic sex. Yet press reports had him saying: "It may be justified in individual cases, as when a (male) prostitute uses a condom, where this is a first step towards morality." While this is slovenly and appalling, such routine distortions of papal comments hardly matter, since the death-dealers and CINOs unfailingly hear what they want to hear. Always looking to shore up their degrading Liberal ideology at the expense of Magisterial teaching on sexual morality, mistranslations and misrepresentations of papal comments are of no account. As Benedict knows full well, the media, not the Catechism, is their point of reference. Hence his deliberate and imprudent provocation would inevitably hand them more than enough spurious rope to hang us all.

And so it did. On cue, our Liberal enemies within and without the Church trampled over context and nuance in their rush to laud the "change" they wanted to hear. Predictably, the most corrupt and dissolute Orders led the cheering hordes within. "We’re in a new world," said Fr Jon Fuller, a Jesuit and doctor at the Center for H.I.V./AIDS Care and Research at Boston Medical Center. He insisted that the Pope is "implicitly" saying "that you cannot anymore raise the objection that any use of the condom is an intrinsic evil." In the Philippines, a Columban missionary gushed: "We welcome the pope's change of opinion because it is meant to save life and to protect people. We see here an enlightened pope putting his concern over human life as a priority first."

A 72-year-old Philippino housewife wearing rosaries around her neck spouted similar pearls of naturalistic wisdom (doubtless acquired from Columbans and Jesuits). "The pope has become more practical; he knows what's happening to the world," she said knowingly. "There are contagious diseases and very high population growth that need to be controlled."

Notably absent from these and other Social Gospel commentaries was any mention of the supernatural life of souls and spiritual maladies endangering their salvation. (Indeed the Pope himself failed to mention "sin" or "mortal sin" during his condomic reflection, a telling point we will revisit.)

Elsewhere, the United Nations could hardly contain its delight. Its leading condom/abortion/sterilisation agency "welcomed the Pope's comments but cautioned they were only a first step toward making the use of condoms acceptable among Catholics. 'This is a significant and positive step forward taken by the Vatican today,' the executive director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibe, said in a statement released Sunday. 'This move recognizes that responsible sexual behaviour and the use of condoms have important roles in HIV prevention' [AP 21/11]."

A UNAIDS spokesman in Geneva added: "We are welcoming this as an opening up of discussion." I'll bet. Just like their CINO soulmates. Salivating over the Pandora's Box of endless dissident possibilities which have now opened up, the editor of the Southern Cross flagged the disputatious minefield we have entered. "The Pope just gave us one example [a male prostitute]. But there must be other examples as well," he drooled.

"I don't see any change"

Exactly. And that is why "yes but, no but," the clueless mantra of Vicky Pollard, Little Britain's satirical archetype of the moronic condom culture, is set to be the tenor of future discussion: worldlings and CINOs forever referencing Light of the World as theological year zero for prophylactics, while Catholics struggle to hold an increasingly fuzzy line with "yes but, no but" retorts.

Benedict's published words had no sooner lit the fuse than the fire-fighting and damage limitation began. American philosopher Janet Smith, a 'no big deal' apologist, immediately dismissed it all as a tempest in a teapot. Summing up her defence of the orthodoxy of the Pope's statement, she writes:

Is Pope Benedict indicating that heterosexuals who have HIV could reduce the wrongness of their acts by using condoms? No. In his second answer he says that the Church does not find condoms to be a "real or moral solution." That means the Church does not find condoms either to be moral or an effective way of fighting the transmission of HIV. As the Holy Father indicates in his fuller answer, the most effective portion of programs designed to reduce the transmission of HIV are calls to abstinence and fidelity.

The Holy Father, again, is saying that the intention to reduce the transmission of any infection is a "first step" in a movement towards a more human way of living sexuality. That more human way would be to do nothing that threatens to harm one’s sexual partner, who should be one’s beloved spouse. For an individual with HIV to have sexual intercourse with or without a condom is to risk transmitting a lethal disease.

In the same vein, Cardinal Raymond Burke, the prefect of the Apostolic Signatura (the High Court of the Church), stated in an interview with the National Catholic Register:

I don’t see any change in the Church’s teaching. What [Pope Benedict] is commenting on — in fact, he makes the statement very clearly that the Church does not regard the use of condoms as a real or a moral solution — but what he’s talking about in the point he makes about the male prostitute is about a certain conversion process taking place in an individual’s life. He’s simply making the comment that if a person who is given to prostitution at least considers using a condom to prevent giving the disease to another person — even though the effectiveness of this is very questionable — this could be a sign of someone who is having a certain moral awakening. But in no way does it mean that prostitution is morally acceptable, nor does it mean that the use of condoms is morally acceptable. The point the Pope is making is about a certain growth in freedom, an overcoming of an enslavement to a sexual activity that is morally repugnant [unacceptable] so that this concern to use a condom in order not to infect a sexual partner could at least be a sign of some moral awakening in the individual, which one hopes would lead the individual to understand that his activity is a trivialization of human sexuality and needs to be changed … The text itself makes it very clear that he says the Church does not regard it as a real or moral solution. And when he says that it could be a first step in a movement toward a different, more human way of living sexuality, that doesn’t mean in any sense that he’s saying the use of condoms is a good thing.

A concluding analogy by Professor Smith appeared to deliver an early coup de grâce to atheistic Liberals and CINOs seeking to hijack the papal comments for subversive ends:

If someone was going to rob a bank and was determined to use a gun, it would better for that person to use a gun that had no bullets in it. It would reduce the likelihood of fatal injuries. But it is not the task of the Church to instruct potential bank robbers how to rob banks more safely and certainly not the task of the Church to support programs of providing potential bank robbers with guns that could not use bullets. Nonetheless, the intent of a bank robber to rob a bank in a way that is safer for the employees and customers of the bank may indicate an element of moral responsibility that could be a step towards eventual understanding of the immorality of bank robbing.

Notable orthodox clerics found Smith's defence "quite sound and reasonable." Yet while I understand the first and last parts of her analogy, surely the middle part brings it undone. True, it is not the role of the Church to instruct potential bank robbers to rob banks more safely or to support initiatives established for that purpose. But to the ears of hundreds of millions of CINOs (and perception is everything) the Holy Father has done precisely that: instructing actual and potential sinners how they might sin safely. In the process, he has handed the condom manufacturers and distributors a sales bonanza by complementing their "safer sex" deception with his de-facto proclamation of a "safer morality." As one of many dismayed CO readers opined: "The 'safer' you make it [mortal sin], the more it will be seen as attractive, and the more it will be practiced." And the more it's practiced, the more condoms they hustle, QED.

A respondent to Janet Smith's papal defence commented likewise, that "the mere discussion of condom use opens the floodgates for its apparent widespread approval, regardless of any limited use as noted by the Holy Father's theoretical discussion with a journalist. Second, Dr. Smith's banal analogy of a bank robber using an empty weapon in the act of robbing a bank has no moral basis. The intent is to commit a grave sin to steal a large amount of money. The mere act of committing the crime may cause a customer or employee to have a heart attack or stroke. A guard in the performance of his duties discharges his weapon and injures or kills an innocent bystander. Numerous sins committed through one's use of an 'empty weapon.' By the way, the law is clear in most [U.S.] states. Use of a firearm, empty or loaded, is the same."

Another browser also pointed out to Dr. Smith: "With respect, your empty gun analogy is poor, as the user failure rate of condoms is not zero, but rather high (at least 10%). So it would be more like using a gun with only one bullet in; like russian roulette."

"Safe sex Russian Roulette"

It was precisely for this reason — playing Russian Roulette with people's lives — and following requests from readers over the past year for the hard facts (to assist information campaigns, letters to the press, etc.), that I had long decided to return this very month to the subject of murderous condom use and the associated propaganda and cover-up by government and corporate interests, as recorded by Cardinal Trujillo in 2003. Reprinted herein, all 87 footnotes have been included to give readers full confidence in spreading the vital information provided in his scientific compendium. A superb study, it emphasises that "There is no such thing as a 100% protection from HIV/AIDS or other STD's through condom use today" (despite ongoing widespread belief that condoms provide total protection). Among much else, it also includes invaluable, self-incriminating statements from the death-dealers themselves.

In one damning admission, for example, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) states that "the risk of contracting AIDS during so-called 'protected sex' approaches 100 percent as the number of episodes of sexual intercourse increases." Cardinal Trujillo goes on to explain:

What has to be considered therefore is not only the risk of each single condom use, but also of its continued use, a risk which dramatically increases in the long run. This means that the safe sex Russian Roulette becomes even more serious with repeated condom use.

If four leaking condoms are allowed in every batch of 1,000, there could be hundreds of thousands or even millions of leaking condoms circulating all over the world, either sold or distributed for free, and most probably contributing to the spread of HIV/AIDS and STD's. Does the public know this? Does the public know that the risks increase the more often and the more promiscuously one is exposed, considering the cumulative risk factor, as explained earlier?

The Medical Institute (Texas) explains the results of inconsistent condom use in the most simple terms: "What if I use them most of the time? You're at risk. In fact, the CDC [American Centers for Disease Control] says, 'Used inconsistently (less than 100 percent of the time), condoms offer little more protection than when they are not used at all'."

(Against those hard facts, consider this statement in All That I Am, Archbishop Nichols' Birmingham sex-ed programme: "Condoms properly used are 98% effective." For corrupting Catholic children and peddling such dangerous deceptions, he was promoted to Westminster.)

As pathetic and offensive as it is to have to deal with such a sordid subject, the Cardinal's comprehensive paper is not only a matter of life and death, it is more important than ever in the aftermath of the Holy Father's explosive statement — to counter the renewed push for condom-Russian Roulette it has already triggered among the population cullers, secular media, CINO episcopates and their CINO aid agencies, CINO press, et. al.

On the one hand, His Eminence emphatically reaffirms that the Church not only holds the spiritual/moral high ground but also the practical/technical upper hand. On the other, prelates like Vincent Nichols and self-appointed lay spokesmen such as England's "CINO Voices" (aka "Catholic Voices") melt before the inevitable Condom Question, as if the Catholic case were dubious or negligible; displaying no conviction or courage and even less understanding of Church teaching and the scientific evidence.

How Cardinal Trujillo shames these lame creatures! His fearless study, for which he was roundly condemned by the billion dollar condom lobby, is a prime example of the truly Catholic, front-foot approach required. It is also the ready-made reply to neocons who bristle at criticism of the Holy Father's response to Seewald.

Not that Benedict doesn't know any better. In March 2009 he ignited a positive Trujillo-like firestorm of controversy when, on a trip to Africa, he told journalists that the distribution of condoms increased the problem of AIDS. He need only have held that line. Alas, he changed tack, handing the enemy a grenade to lob at his own hard-pressed orthodox troops in the field.

"Risk reduction is not even an option"

In particular, one feels for the Philippino bishops. For decades they have faithfully held the line despite relentless pressure from population cullers like Kissinger. Thanks to their righteous stand against promiscuity and condoms, countless Philippinos have been spared the agony of HIV/AIDS; tens of thousands of lives saved.

Cardinal Trujillo's statistical comparison with Thailand shows that its 100% condom-use policy had produced around 750,000 HIV/AIDS cases by 2003, as against only 1,935 cases in the Philippines despite its much bigger population. The WHO had estimated that during the period 1991-1999, the enlightened Thai policy would restrict cases of HIV/AIDS to only 60-80,000, and that the Philippine's would experience between 80-90,000 cases. In fact, by 1999 there were 755,000 cases in Thailand (65,000 deaths) and a mere 1,005 in the Philippines (225 deaths).

Suddenly, such positive Catholic news has been swamped by coverage of a local Church under siege from Philippino politicians using Benedict's statement to push their condom-promoting reproductive health (RH) bill currently before the parliament. "Roman Catholic Church leaders call on Malacañang [the Presidential Palace/administration] to stop 'opportunistic misuse' of Pope Benedict XVI’s statement on condom use," ran one CBCPNews report, as the Bishops fought to control the adverse papal effect. The report continued:

Malacañang yesterday said Benedict XVI’s statement could "absolutely" boost support for the RH bill which seeks to control the country’s population by promoting the use of contraceptives.

Presidential Communications Development Secretary Ricky Carandang said the Palace is hoping that the local Catholic hierarchy would follow the Vatican because "they cannot be more popish than the pope. That’s a good step. I think our own clergy should be informed by the views of the Vatican because they’ve always referred to the Vatican when they stated their position, now that the Vatican’s position is such then I think that should result in a corresponding flexibility on the part of our Church." House Minority Leader Edcel Lagman, author of the RH bill, said the papal statement has promptly weakened the Church opposition to the controversial RH measure.

Supporters of the measure also took a cue from the Pope’s statement saying this should prompt the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines to finally concede on their anti-RH stance.

In the time-consuming process of defending the orthodoxy of the pontiff who landed them in this needless and dangerously distracting mess, the stout Philippinos are not backing off one inch. Fr. Joel Jason, a seminary professor of Fundamental Moral Theology, Sexuality and Integrity and Bioethics, and head of Manila's Archdiocesan Commission on Family and Life, said the pope remains firm on the Church’s injunctions against contraceptives. "We tend to take things out of context… before they [the pro-RH crowd] make a conclusion," he added, "they should first get the whole context of what the Holy Father really said." But although it was not intended as a criticism, Fr Jason's final comment could also be seen as a papal rebuke. After insisting that AIDS must be fought through moral fidelity and sexual abstinence (as proven in the Philippines), he said:

Risk reduction is not even an option. Let’s not take the minimal option but the maximum option. Let’s not take condom as a solution, Through fidelity and abstinence, there’s no way you can get AIDS if you practice these….

How much time, effort, distress, confusion, faith and sin would have been saved had Benedict answered his interviewer with such unyielding simplicity, and left it at that.

"It is going to create such a mess"

Instead, the Holy Father has muddied the waters. As Cardinal Trujillo warns: "Given that AIDS is a serious threat... avoiding all ambiguities and confusion, is certainly called for not only for the benefit of the public in general, but also in order to help the sincere and countless efforts to prevent the pandemic of AIDS and the other sexually transmitted diseases." For whatever reason, Benedict has sadly introduced such "ambiguity and confusion" which cannot help but make those "sincere and countless efforts" more difficult than they already are.

Papal defenders now find themselves engaged in a futile war of interpretations with Liberals who are revelling in the confusion and utterly disinterested in their orthodox parsing of papal words. Clouding the issue further, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi immediately broadened the debate to include women, announcing:

I personally asked the pope if there was a serious, important problem in the choice of the masculine [prostitute] over the feminine. He told me no. The problem is this ... It’s the first step of taking responsibility, of taking into consideration the risk of the life of another with whom you have a relationship. This is if you’re a man, a woman, or a transsexual. We’re at the same point. The point is it’s a first step of taking responsibility, of avoiding passing a grave risk onto another.

To all hapless neo-con squarers of this widening circle we can only say: "Good luck with that!", and wish them well. Meantime, a note from a distinguished reader expressed the deeper fears of many:

The subtleties and equivocal nuances [in the Pope's statement] seem so subversive of doctrine and morals. Is this not a sliding form of Consequentialism within a larger framework of moral utilitarianism? As a friend of mine said to me this morning, writing from abroad, Pope Benedict seems more interested in 'Health Outcomes' than in 'Sin Outcomes.' What good does it do a man to be saved from AIDS, but to lose his soul? I learned in Just War Ethics that "Thou shall not do evil that good might come from it." Or, do we now have what [dissident ex-priest] Gregory Baum would call "a Discontinuous Development of Doctrine"?

Voicing similar concerns, John Vennari, editor of Catholic Family News, has suggested keeping three points in mind as "this calamity" develops:

1. The lesser of two evils is a Protestant concept, not Catholic. It has no place in the history of Catholic moral teaching. We cannot choose the lesser of two evils because the lesser evil is still evil, and evil can never be the direct object of our will.

2. Romans 3:8 condemns the principle that a person may do evil that good may come from it. St. Paul teaches that those who do so, their "damnation is just." It is forbidden to do evil to achieve good.

3. The use of these immoral devices is nothing new, so it seems odd anyone would suggest a new morality to go with them. Randy Engel, a veteran journalist who has written extensively about the dangers of modern sex-education and today’s homosexual agenda, noted, "Keep in mind that various forms of sheaths or prophylactics have been used by female and male prostitutes for centuries for two primary purposes: (1) to prevent infection including deadly diseases transmitted by sexual activity; (2) to prevent pregnancy, especially out-of-wedlock pregnancies that would endanger inheritance rights and weaken marriage alliances. Yet no saint or Church Father or Pope has suggested that their use for any reason was licit."

"Nor," concluded Vennari, "did any saint or Church Father or Pope place any significance to the possibility that use of such a device by a person engaged in heinous acts may be some sort of first step toward moral responsibility."

But it is not just cranky trads who are giving a thumbs down. Dr. John Haas, the president of the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia, who serves on the governing council of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life, is typical of pro-life leaders reeling from the shock of Benedict's comments. "This is really shaking things up big time," he told reporters. He said he had expected an earthquake after perusing an embargoed copy of Light of the World: "I told the publisher, 'Don’t publish this; it’s going to create such a mess'."

When Fr Lombardi issued his above "clarification" about women and the Holy Father's wider intention, Dr. Haas extended his criticism accordingly. "I don’t think it’s a clarification," he responded, "it’s a muddying of the waters. My opinion is that the pope purposely chose a male prostitute to avoid that particular debate." Asked for his view if Benedict is in fact opening that debate (which at the time of writing seems to be the case), he replied: "I think the pope’s wrong."

Even clergy busy defending the orthodoxy of Benedict's statement were forced to admit the "mess" it had created. Lamented one (to an email group): "I agree that it would have been better if the Pope had kept his mouth shut abut this whole issue!"

"The pope smiled"

So why didn't he? Why be so deliberately provocative when you know that billions struggling with temptation or looking for any excuse to misbehave will blithely overlook the fact that you are not condoning buggery or contraception, and when your own media spokesman has specifically warned of an explosive outcome?

Where to start?! Perhaps with an Irish reader, always well informed and balanced in his assessments, who suggests that despite traditionalist flag-waving over Summorum Pontificum, other dicey and inaccurate responses to Seewald indicate that the Pope "isn't really at the races on the trad issue. He means well, but doesn't know the issue." He continues:

This is confirmed by my contacts in Rome - the Pope lives in an ivory tower remote even from the Curia and Mgr [Georg] Gänswein [the Pope's personal secretary] controls all that come and go. This makes Gänswein very powerful. I wonder how much of Gänswein is in this book, and others. ... The factually incorrect bit about Bishop Williamson doesn't matter a damn; but the bit about condoms matters a great deal and will do a lot of damage, no matter how attempts are made to reassert the magisterium.

Whatever Mgr Gänswein's influence and regardless of surprising (self-professed) gaps in the Holy Father's knowledge of the traditionalist scene, the media sensed the broader papal intent. "Although he is not changing church doctrine," observed the Associated Press, "Benedict’s comments on condoms seem in some ways to be a profound provocation." The report continued:

Benedict’s papacy has suffered from frequent communications missteps. But this time, it appeared that the pope was sending an intentional message. Father Lombardi said he had asked Benedict if he had recognized the risk in publishing a book of interviews in a complex media landscape where his words might be "misunderstood."

"The pope smiled," Father Lombardi said.

What a revealing comment. Furthermore, in an article titled "Benedict XVI is not naive," Italian Vaticanista Andrés Beltramo wrote that Lombardi's concern was met with the "knowing smile of a Pope who knew what he was doing"; he knew that his words could be misinterpreted and that he was going to talk about condoms anyway. (2)

I wonder if he is smiling now? Despite the turmoil he has caused, I strongly suspect that he is. Why? Because it is all part of the clever clogs Hegelian dialectic which Benedict, like his predecessor, embodies: thesis (orthodoxy) + antithesis (Liberalism) = synthesis [cf. "The Making of John Paul III", Nov. 2003].

How often we have expressed our reservations about this unpredictable pontiff: the orthodox/traditional Bavarian Benedict of liturgical reform vis-à-vis the academic Liberal Benedict once listed as doctrinally 'suspect' by the Holy Office. These contradictions personify the Hegelian friction between opposites that allegedly sparks a creative tension essential to dynamic development. The informing "spirit" of Joseph Ratzinger's beloved Vatican II, Pope Benedict now passes off this friction-spark-development process as "the hermeneutic of continuity" — opaque jargon for what seems more like "the discontinuous development of doctrine."

This compromising process is favoured by Liberals to rationalise their DIY moral theology and normalise their sexual deviance. Thus, one such group unwittingly describes its mega-dissident mission in precise Hegelian terms: "Past Catholic morality has been tainted with negative views on sexuality [thesis]. On this site we present a balanced view, supported by modern Catholic theology [antithesis]. We try to preserve a healthy balance, avoiding past and present extremes [pseudo-Catholic synthesis]."

Similarly, the mainstream process is not about discordant heresies. Rather, traditional teachings and practises, theological "subtleties and equivocal nuances," ambiguous nods (Gaudium et Spes) and pastoral winks (tacit acceptance of homosexual Masses) - all of these are lumped together and presented as harmonious, seamless aggiornamento. Communion in the hand and altar girls one day; Summorum Pontificum the next. Luther condemned; Luther praised. Rosmini censured; Rosmini rehabilitated. Yesterday Mortalium Animos and Humanae Vitae; today Assisi and condom concessions. Nod nod, nudge nudge, wink wink ad nauseam.

Even with the best papal will in the world (which goes without saying), the end result of this insidious and decidedly inorganic process is a dilution of Catholic faith and morals in order to reach a peaceful accommodation with post-1789 "modernity."

Despite a smiling Pope who vigorously denounces relativism, this world-weary detente is everywhere apparent in Rome. Vatican Congregations and Pontifical Universities, Colleges, Councils and Commissions are riddled with purveyors of heterodoxy, heresy and political correctness (like the furtive Vatican support for the godless global-warming scam, as revealed in the cables released by WikiLeaks). Meanwhile, the curia's effete wrist-slapping response to homosexual scandals abroad surely reflects the wicked fruit of the "gay" clerical sub-culture which took Roman root during Paul VI's tenure and is now, as elsewhere, erupting in Italian headlines.

This ecclesial secularisation is not only exemplified by the gratuitous concession (Hegelian "development") on condoms, it is manifest in the whole farcical affair.

"Too much worldly wisdom"

Firstly, in using celebrity-style interviews to air controversial pontifical views. As a CO correspondent put it:

I know John Paul II kicked the book business off with Crossing the Threshold of Hope. But I am afraid there is a line between Karol Wojtyla/JP2 and Joseph Ratzinger/B16. After election, the personality of the former in each case is irrelevant but I think JP2 manifested it a bit too much and B16 has taken it overboard.

On the other hand, Andrés Beltramo considers that the great value of the Light of the World is its humanity and candour. We need not worry about any damage to the papal magisterium, he insists, because Pope Benedict has in fact strengthened the Church, by affirming that Popes have opinions outside of the magisterial office and that these can be wrong.

Well, it's a point of view! Yet one telling feature of these supposedly "candid" and "humane" reflections, ignored by commentators like Beltramo, is the often less than candid papal treatment of Catholic morality, for fear of offending secular ears; a prime example being Benedict's failure to mention "mortal sin" or "repentance." Especially striking in light of his "New Evangelisation" initiative, this omission prompted Canadian writer and author Randy Engel to recall that

a pope’s primary mission as the Vicar of Christ, is not to dispense 'safe-sex' advice to male prostitutes and their sodomite customers, but to call these unfortunate souls to repent and reform their lives as Saint Damian did more than a 1000 years ago "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear" (Lk 8:8).

It is a worrying pattern. During a Wednesday General Audience reflection on St Peter Damian last September, the Pope completely ignored Damian's epochal 11th century stand against the sodomites: a glaring omission that astounded everyone, including Benedict stalwarts like Robert Moynihan, editor of Inside the Vatican, who was shocked and baffled.

Condemned by all faithful Catholics, this corrosive trend is only cheered by condom-equivocating, sodomite-appeasing CINOs like Archbishop Vincent Nichols [see CO, November 2010]. Speaking to Zenit last November just after the storm broke, he was doubtless buoyed and feeling vindicated by the papal embrace of the 'real world' he has long accommodated. He found admirable shades of Blessed Newman in the Holy Father "taking care not to offend people" while trying to "find modes of expression that appeal to his listeners or readers." He emphasised "the importance of [Newman-like] moderation of the language and the view," and the episcopate's "determination to pursue this pathway of dialogue so elegantly highlighted for us by Pope Benedict."

On the contrary, of course, the eloquent Newman often upset erring Protestants with very direct calls for conversion to the one true Church - the sort of evangelical appeal the Archbishop avoids like the plague. Aware that Catholic truth most certainly does not "appeal" to the great unwashed, the sad truth is that His Grace determined long ago "to take care not to offend people" - and to shift the blame to Blessed John Henry!

Like most of his brother bishops and priests, Archbishop Nichols desperately needs to wake up and smell the Catholic coffee! That is, to hear and act upon the following rebuke from a revered Spanish mystic and Doctor of the Church. It was highlighted in a robust critique of the condom affair by philosopher Anthony McCarthy.(3)For several years an upstanding member of the English episcopate's Bioethics Centre, McCarthy said it all in asking readers to "Contrast the Pope’s words on condoms with this advice to preachers from St Theresa of Avila":

Even preachers have the habit of so framing their sermons as to displease nobody. Their intentions are good and their activities splendid, but they do not persuade very many to amend their lives. Why? Is it that there are so few who are led by sermons to abstain from public sin? Do you know what I think? It is because preachers have too much worldly wisdom. They do not fling all restraint aside and burn with the great fire of God, as the Apostles did: and so their flames do not throw out much heat. I do not say that their fire could be as great as the Apostles, but I wish they had more than they have.

"Subjection of the Church"

Secondly, speaking to the same worldly acquiescence was the fact that L'Osservatore Romano editor Giovanni Maria Vian kicked off the whole controversy so as not to be beaten to the punch by secular papers. In the process of playing according to their rules, he duly ignited what Beltramo described as "a molotov cocktail of planetary magnitude, the worst Vatican communications gaffe for a long time." Hardly surprising, since Vian, who liaises regularly with the Pope, has made the zeitgeist his own. Lauding Obama and Blair and enthusing about pop culture, he has rapidly reduced the once venerable Vatican newspaper to a disreputable laughing stock. Yet the Vian-syndrome is not only scandalous, it is representative and endemic. Stuart Chessman of The Society of St Hugh of Cluny (Connecticut) posted this insightful comment:

We follow the analysis of the late Prof. Thomas Molnar in viewing Vatican II and its aftermath as, in essence, a process of the subjection of the Church to the modernity and its rulers. Earlier ages had seen similar if less extreme examples: the "Babylonian Captivity" of the Avignon papacy under the French monarchy: the establishment of Henry VIIl as head of the Church in England; the triumph over the papacy by the Bourbon monarchs, the German prince bishops and Emperor Joseph II around 1780. But the lords of modernity are not an aristocracy or a monarch but "civil society": the press, the corporations, the law firms, the universities, the pressure groups etc. Molnar viewed, for example, the participation of Pope John Paul II in an earlier book of interviews with an Italian journalist as the epitome of Church conformity to the expectations of civil society.

It is amazing that none of the commentators find inappropriate that Pope Benedict not only gives an interview to a journalist but uses it as the vehicle for potentially revolutionary theological and moral comments. Moreover, nobody, other than one or two perceptive commentators, stops to consider that such remarks technically are only the Pope’s private opinions; the overwhelming majority (including the Vatican and L’Osservatore Romano) treat them as immediately establishing new law. Moreover, judging by the excerpts published so far, it is the press, speaking through the interviewer Seewald, who sets the agenda and frames the discussion. A clearer example of the abject submission of the Conciliar Church to "civil society" could not be imagined.

Furthermore, if the Vatican thought that the Seewald book would be a step in reestablishing peace with the powers of "civil society," early indications are that they are sorely mistaken. With one bastion having fallen, the forces of modernity simply turn to the next objective. And our concern is that this next step may be a renewed direct attack upon Traditionalism and its supporters. An article that appeared in the leading German newspaper may give a hint of what is to come.

"The Traditional Catholic cult"

In the article referenced by Mr Chessman, entitled Eine goldig verzierte Moral ["A gilded Morality"], ex-Traditionalist German homosexuals and fellow-travellers are infuriated by the fact that "A Traditionalism, elegantly perfumed by aesthetes like Martin Mosebach, has ... become socially acceptable." Consequently, they are now targeting and traducing traditionalists and all they stand for; arguing that "homosexual sublimation" is the "root and source of the Traditional Catholic cult" which explains the "homophobia" in such circles. They insist that this culture of "discretion and repression" can no longer be maintained in the aftermath of Pope Benedict's comments. Moreover, they declare that the loosening of the restrictions on condoms is only the first step in liberating sexuality from a traditional "Catholic fantasy world." (4)

In the end, as ever, Tradition gets it in the neck. "Reactionary" adherents of the Old Religion must be crushed in a pincer movement involving Hegelian Modernisers on one flank, and Sexual Deviants on the other. In this sticky situation our best (and only) defence is to attack! Above all, we must never allow the homosexuals and their sympathisers to distract attention from the inseparable nexus between condoms and homosexual depravity; especially the molestation and rape of pre and post-pubescent children by a large subset of the "gay" community. For they are masters of manipulating events like the present furore to their own advantage, if we let them.

It was the "gay" lobby that first turned Gay-Related Immune Deficiency Syndrome [GRIDS] into AIDS, in order to make an overwhelmingly homosexual disease the disease of everyman. A monumental media-fuelled scam,(5)even the propagandising United Nations finally confessed to chasing and funding "gay" shadows. "You will not do much about AIDS in London by spending funds in schools," admitted the WHO's top HIV expert in June 2008, just months after the UN admitted vastly overstating the threat of AIDS. Yet even as I write, despite sodomites constituting more than a third of the 6,700 HIV-positive cases in France last year (and prostitutes, drug addicts and African migrants making up the rest), authorities want the entire populace screened for HIV! [Le Figaro, 1/12/10]

Once AIDS replaced GRIDS, the infernally brilliant "safe sex" strategy established the global "condom culture" that introduced sodomy into schoolrooms via AIDS "education."

The "gay" achilles heel, however, is the naked truth about their cruel and bestial world. Only their faustian pact with the entertainment-media conspires to hide their true face - what they do and what they're really about - from the public. It is left to us, therefore, to counter this perennial deception and flush them out into the light, so all can behold the shocking truth behind the Big Lies about homosexual "normalcy"; the benign facade they are successfully presenting to society and especially to our children (soon from the age of five, according to a British government project which in January 2009 set itself a goal of "creating primary classrooms where queer sexualities are affirmed and celebrated.")

To this end, we are reprinting alongside Cardinal Trujillo's candid analysis an equally frank and insightful piece on the "gay" scene. Both these essays contain graphic sexual descriptions. Yet not only are they necessary additions to our armoury, they are also potentially life-saving articles deserving wide distribution. In this way, we play by our own Catholic rules, exposing the "gay" condom culture for what it is: a bacchanalian contrivance, at once deadly and lucrative.

Better still, by refusing to enter the Liberal "safer sex" minefield of confusion and compromise, we avoid complicity in the physical and spiritual wreckage our admittance would trigger. A sobering thought, especially in light of Benedict's perplexing and perilous strategem. Indeed, it raises one final, uncomfortable query.

"Now the message has come: they can do safe sex"

Early on in his interview, Peter Seewald suggested that the leader of such a massive institution must have great power. Acutely aware of the abject state of the global flock he inherited, the Pope demurred, pointing out that "Among those 1.2 billion Catholics are many who inwardly are not there." He doubtless had in mind the likes of Father Peter Makome, a CINO cleric from Zimbabwe who was delighted to learn of the Pope's latex ruminations. "I’ve got brothers and sisters and friends who are suffering from HIV because they were not practicing safe sex," he said. "Now the message has come out that they can go ahead and do safe sex. It’s much better for everyone."

And so the sixty-four thousand dollar question: Who will be held more accountable at Judgement for those on the receiving end of that "message"; for souls enticed into 'safer sex' by a 'safer morality'? Who will answer for all the consequent sin and misery — Father Makome? Or Pope Benedict?

 

FOOTNOTES

(1) My translation from the original German (based on pre-publication extracts from Light of the World).

(2) As reported by Fr Tim Finigan on "The Hermeneutic of Continuity" blog.

(3) http://www.scribd.com/doc/44402644/Pope-Condoms-McCarthy

(4) Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 22/11/10. [See also "The Remarkable Mosebach," CO, Oct. 2010.]

(5) See "The BBC & Big Media Betrayal," CO, Feb. 2008, pp. 46-48.

 

 

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