So what exactly did the pope say in his new book and what does the Catholic Church say about condom use? Father Thomas D. Williams is a Michigan-born Catholic priest, professor at Regina Apostolorum University in Rome, and author of Knowing Right from Wrong: A Christian Guide to Conscience, Greater Than You Think, and A Heart Like His, among other books. He took some questions about the current papal media frenzy about condoms.
Q. We’ve read in the New York Times that the pope is sowing confusion on condoms in the new book-length interview with him, Light of the World. What’s the pope thinking going around confusing people?
A: The fact is that people, including Catholics and even many priests, are already confused about the Church’s teaching on contraception and natural family planning. They know that the Church opposes contraception but they don’t know why. The pope’s remarks didn’t cause this confusion but they did bring it to the fore. All this attention on the possibility of using condoms to prevent the spread of AIDS in Africa actually provides us with a singular “teaching moment.” People are asking important questions: Why is the Church opposed to contraception? What about the use of condoms in homosexual relationships? How about condoms in the case of prostitutes? Unmarried couples? These issues are usually taboo, and now is a great time to discuss them.Read the whole piece here.