Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Pope Benedict and the Graham Greene Scenario

I had hoped to draw this analogy out in more detail: the soul, apparently lost in sin, and yet, the glimmer of hope for salvation ...

But, do you know, I think I'll give it a miss. Except to say one thing: that it will be an appalling thing if, as a result of the maelstrom of false interpretation, vulnerable wives who have so far managed to resist the overtures of their HIV-infected husbands, find themselves under pressure to give way, on the false claim that condoms are both "approved" and "safe".

I don't intend to repeat what is well known about the incomplete security of condoms. We're not talking simply about "accidents" here, or "taking a chance": we are talking about death, and about orphans. Yes, it would be an appalling thing.

Amidst all the confusion spread by the secular media and, as I am led to believe (Sorry, I can't bear to read them), by one or two Catholic commentators and spokesmen, there have been shining examples of robust defence and clarification. I can't approach their quality. You can find most of them as links from that ever-useful listing-site, British Catholic Blogs, but here is a selection:

A loyal but frank critique, from Fr Boyle of Caritas in Veritate:
Did the Pope say it's okay to use condoms?

Detailed background, from Fr Finigan of The Hermeneutic of Continuity:
Can we disagree?
Catholic Reactions
Divisions at the Vatican
"Do you think that's wise, Sir?"

A clear analysis and defence from Fr Hunwicke, the Anglo-Catholic (and, I hope and pray, Ordinariate-bound) priest whose blog is entitled Fr Hunwicke's Liturgical Notes.

And, to conclude the list, a short but very clear post from Ben Trovato, the Countercultural Father. I particularly liked this:
What he [the Pope] actually said was very specific: in the case of somebody who is in a very bad place, then the intention of minimising harm to others might be the start of a moral awakening.

Valiant as these and others have been, it is surely, to use the modern idiom, "down to" the Holy Father to sort this out personally, not only because the misunderstandings have sprung from his own words, but because he is the only person with the authority to do so. Do you remember the searing letter he wrote at the time of the Williamson controversy? Is this now the time for another such letter? If so, his words will somehow have to be heard above the din of the media storm.

My brain feels as if someone has been polishing it with sandpaper. I'm going to give it a rest for a few days. ITV3 is repeating episodes of Foyle's War all this week. A diet of bombs, murder and mayhem is just what I need to soothe my frazzled nerves.

1 comment:

Jackie Parkes MJ said...

I just go with the Holy Father...