Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The USCCB On Marriage And Family--zzzzzzzz

Our bishops seem to have cell phones that don't reach the laity, but work quite well reaching the Vatican. There is no touch tone for the Holy Spirit--especially when it comes to sex and adult spirituality.

Bishops aim for a pastoral way to say 'No'
09:21 AM By Erin Siegal, REUTERS

No. No. No.

The nation's Catholic bishops won't say it so baldly, of course. But they're close to it in the draft of "pastoral" letter leaked to Catholic media. (They didn't say NO. They called cohabitation, contraception, gay sex, and divorce intrinsic evils. That's maybe a little stronger than NO.)
In their upcoming meeting next month, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is set to address how they guide the faithful on critical points, on marriage ("Life and Love in the Divine Plan"), childbirth ("Life-giving Love in an Age of Technology") and end-of-life decisions (revising the bishops ethical directives to Catholic Health Care Services).

These are all areas where Catholics, statistically, have been behaving pretty much like non-Catholics. The Church wants to root their actions and choices in the life-sustaining sacraments but many believers want to make up their own moral minds instead.

Hence, there are gay Catholics, co-habiting Catholics, divorcing Catholics, Catholics using artificial contraception for avoid pregnancy or high tech assistance such as IVF to fight infertility, and there are Catholics writing their end of life medical directives to shut off artificial nutrition and hydration when they may never be conscious again.

Can the bishops reel them in?

The National Catholic Reporter, looking at a leaked draft of the pastoral letter on marriage says in an editorial that it's so heavy-handed and crudely done -- full of "sweeping denunciations" and lacking in "pastoral solicitude" that the bishops should "scrap the entire text ... and start fresh." (I honestly tried to read the whole thing, but it's not just heavy handed, it's mostly cut and paste from the writings of JPII and Benedict. It's ponderously repetitive and boring and at time insulting.)

Their story on the draft version of the letter (to be amended by bishops at the annual fall meeting in Baltimore) says it repeats that cohabitation and contraception are "intrinsically evil" challenges to "the very meaning and purposes of marriage." The proper nature of marriage is "ordered to the procreation and education of offspring." It is in offspring, write the bishops, that married love "finds its crowning glory."

Same-sex marriage, NCR quotes the draft:
... Redefines the nature of marriage and the family and, as a result, harms both the intrinsic dignity of every human person and the common good of society. (But hey, gays are worthy of our respect and deserve to be treated with dignity, even though the idea of celebrating gay love harms the intrinsic dignity of every human person and the common good of society.)

In the editorial, NCR notes:
... The draft does speak of the dignity of all people, including gays and lesbians, but it does not lead with this insight." Nor did it offer any creative counter approaches to offering health care or other crucial benefits to people who share a home with someone not their legal spouse -- whether it's a same-sex lover or elderly auntie.


I really did try to make it through the whole pastoral draft, but I admit, it was beyond my patience and tolerance level. In an effort to save readers some time, I'll paraphrase the entire draft.

Everything is intrinsically evil when it comes to sex, unless sex is discretely engaged in for the purposes of procreation in a sacramental marriage.
That about sums up the entire message. No need to read the fifty or so pages which expand this basic concept--unless you want to subject yourself to excessive verbiage on the intrinsic evils of not understanding this basic concept.

The pastoral begins in the garden with Adam and Eve where we are informed that Eve is made to be Adam's help meet and they are to be fruitful and multiply, and yes indeed they are made equally in God's image with COMPLIMENTARY roles. This leads directly to the first of numerous cut and paste statements from one or the other of our last two popes. Oh yea, and the often stated but completely erroneous idea that the Church has always recognized marriage as between one man and woman for ever and ever amen--except for when it hasn't, which was more or less it's first 1100 years, which for some reason isn't mentioned.

By the time I quit reading this pastoral it had more or less condemned 97% of American Catholics to hell if they don't mend their 'intrinsically evil' ways. Which leaves about 3% of American Catholics saved and pastorally directed. A reasonable person might wonder what a Church actually has to offer when it's leadership wipes out 97% of it's membership in one pastoral letter.

A reasonable person might wonder if this statistical fact might just indicate that said leadership is completely out of touch with the real lived experience of their flock. Or maybe this is just an attempt to rally the true believing base, ala Rush Limbaugh. Judging from the comments on the NCR itself, it is not rallying the 97% it condemns to potential hell.

I personally agree with the NCR editorial board that the USCCB should just let this one quietly die, exactly as they did their 'pastoral' letter on women. At least with the pastoral letter on women they actually consulted women. Some people feel the disconnect this consultation presented between the teaching on women and women's real experiences of the teaching is why that letter was dropped. Too much truth I guess.

This current pastoral letter most certainly didn't consult anyone but JPII and Benedict. In my book, that's kind of a definition of a cult when only one or two voices are consulted. This letter actually reads like most Opus Dei letters which constantly reference the thoughts of St. Escriva. I imagine a lot of members of Opus Dei are in that 3% and so they will be quite supportive of this letter. I wonder how many of them secretly wonder where God is when they sit at the kitchen table and try to balance the bills.

In this pastoral letter God is much more concerned with creating children than providing for them. In fact I don't believe this pastoral letter even deals with any of the 'providing for" aspects of creating the children we are to 'raise and educate' as our primary marital duty. Kind of like the abortion debate. There's nary a word about providing the post birth care those potential humans will require.

I guess we are to trust in the providence of a God who lately has seemed quite indifferent to providing post birth care. Or maybe He is trying to provide--health care reform comes to mind--but His erstwhile leaders are too busy accepting provision for themselves from the very folks who aren't interested in bringing God's providence to fruition for the rest of us. Just a thought.

In any event, save yourself some serious frustration. Don't attempt to read the whole thing. The NCR article and editorial has it about right. This letter is intended to be read by the Vatican for a pat on the back and career advancement. It's not a useful or meaningful communication for American laity.


  1. The USCCB on Marriage and Family is intrinsically evil, in my humble opinion. By evil, I mean, lacking in love, compassion and understanding. Colleen, I have no patience for this type of ignorance either about sex and relationships. I think you're right in saying that there is a desire to earn points from the Vatican hierarchy in this type of dribble and frothing at the mouth from the USCCB.

    It sounds more and more like the USCCB is clinging to very old and primitive forms of misunderstanding nature, relationships, as well a total lack of depth in terms of understanding that women are not just made to be baby machines to propagate the world with more Catholics and men are not just slaves to the whims of intellectual darkness conveyed by a bunch of old men who are living in their own fantasy land of unconsciousness.

    There is nothing adult about the USCCB's views of people of any kind who are in relationships that are committed and loving and sexual.

    There is nothing "pastoral" about this letter from the USCCB. Nothing pastoral about it at all. It's a futile attempt to control what others think and do. To follow their directives means to follow your way to a death of the spirit, the death of love, the death of real relationships.

  2. Colleen, thank you for pointing out that when they refer to "always", in practice they are referring to "during the 2nd millenium". As is so often the case, the first 1000 years, when church structures and methods were so different, are simply ignored.

    On the lack of consultation, I noted in a comment at Bilgrimage that I spent some time yesterday looking for some sensible material on contraception and the sensus fidelium - and came to the depressing conclusion that too many "Catholic" sites believe that the concept refers only to the sense of the faith-full, i.e. those who have already accepted the teaching, because it is the teaching, ipse facto Those who might disagree are disqualified from recognition as faithful, and so the SF is guaranteed. QED.

    But I actually like this. If they are so determined to alienate the 97% of US Catholic adults reported to have used "intrinsically evil" contraception, for how much longer will real people continue to take them seriously?

    By effectively declaring themselves irrelevant, they make it easier in the long run to create the new reformation we so desperately need.

  3. Colleen, I learned from a comment Terry made on my blog earlier today that you had written about this document today, too--a great piece.

    Like you, I couldn't really make it through the mind-numbing magical mystical tour of marriage by ostensibly celibate men who supposedly have no first-hand experience of the magical mystical events about which they're writing.

    If it weren't so sad--and so hurtful to so many people--it would be funny, especially the highly selective attempt to rehabilitate Adam and Eve as models of that male-female complementarity (and, it goes without saying, subordination of women to men) on whom the bishops and Vatican are coming to hinge every part of the creed.

  4. I sincerely hope the USCCB is actually paying attention to what is transpiring at the African Synod. Today it was reported that by 2050 over 4o% of Africans will be facing starvation at current population rates.

    My heart breaks when I think that the choice to have or not have children is effectively being quashed by this kind of moral reasoning. I take hope though in the statistic from the UN that the education level of women is what makes or breaks a modern society and puts the breaks on unfettered population growth.

    This is especially true in Africa where women not only have the kids they do most of the agricultural work which feeds their kids and communities. It's not surprising that the most sensible voices so far have been those of women.

  5. I really think only the people who don't question anything will take this at face value. Excellent comments all on this issue, what really amazes me about the USCCB is how they presume the rest of us will live, and it really undercuts any ability to understand how people really live.

  6. If our peacock hierarchy, I love that, cannot in their ignorance consult with all the people they will be condemning as intrinsically evil, then I think their pastoral letter should be marked: "Return to Sender."

    Then let those affected: divorced and remarried, gays and lesbians, cohabitating couples, those practicing contraception, women who have had to deal with the issue of abortion gather in interest groups and write their own pastoral letter or letters.

    The American bishops have no credibility on the issue of sexuality. The failure to look beyond their own narrow group and interests when addressing those who have had to contend in real life with the issue of sexuality, is an added affront.

    Years ago Dignity did this on the question of gay sex. It is time to say to the bishops: Enough!

  7. Could this letter by the Bishops be a camouflage attempting to hide real intrinsic evil? We have a group of men that live rather schizoid lives (lives alone without any closeness of a partner) telling others how to live their own lives of togetherness. I have climbed many academic gauntlets with 2 doctorates and teaching on the Medical school, Medical Resident and Ph.D. levels and I have found with all this that experience has always been my best teacher. It is not what is written in an article or a textbook or any book that is important, but what is important is how each one of us response to real life situations. That is when we grow and develop as human beings or fail to grow. So, when the Bishops write about sex and family, they are not doing it at all from experience. Why do they find it so important to write about “intrinsic evils” of a group that they have no experiential knowledge?

    The major experience the bishops have is apologetics for an institution that believes by using purely deductive reasoning from historical facts (they call it their faith), they can prescribe the ethical norms for society. It is also interesting that much of their historical facts are not at all as clear cut as they would pronounce them. So debated facts and current observations have nothing to do with what this group of narrow thinkers describes as ethical standards. Only what they say -because they say it and declare it an article of faith- is to be believed. What I have just described is nothing less than a totalitarian mind set and their actions are not at all truly ethical standards but only self apologetics with the object of self preservation of an institution that states it can not change what its views no matter the evidence recent or past. Scientific observation can not be true science if it does not agree with the faith of these men.

    When two people attempt to come together for a long time relationship, there will be starts and stoops just as through the marriage it will be so. Richard Sipe, a Benedictine Monk for 18 years who later married, had a son and practiced psychological counseling reports data that only about 50% of the Roman Catholic clergy is really celibate and that virtually 98% of these men commit what the bishops describe as the mortal sin of masturbation. These are the very men that are calling a lack of celibacy in engaged couples and gay sex as intrinsic evils. This is nothing more than a projection of their own evil on to others.

    When a priest has an affair with a woman and impregnates her, to remain a priest he need not protect his lover and baby, he need not see to the welfare of his new born, all he MUST do to remain a priest is to give up the woman. If only a couple in a failed marriage had it so easy. Ethically through our civil court system at least the children must be taken care of. How can these men, or Bishops, clearly and ethically speak about the intrinsic evil of divorce? They can not even openly and ethically solve their own problems of paternity.

    When an organization can not protect its own children from rape by its own clerical workers and when that same organization then protects the rapist and does nothing for the children that were rapped --- we are truly describing INTRINSIC EVIL. This organization can no longer speak in an ethical way and if we look at secular society over the last several hundred years we will see that most if not all the advances in ethical understanding have come from this group not the clergy. There is a lot of intrinsic evil in the leadership of an organization that will bless the latest war but will not fight for the medical protection of its own people. I wish the Bishops were simply irrelevant to society, they are not. They are pointing out with their accusations of others and their silence in their own misadventures where the real intrinsic evil actually exists.

    R. Dennis Porch, MD

  8. I just read through the USCCB's entire pdf document. It is noteworthy that the USCCB desires to elevate Marriage and get the message out as to what their view of it is via a selection of quotes from Genesis, Paul, JPII and BXVI. Yet, the USCCB is a group of men who are not allowed to get married. That in itself is mind boggling to me. How they can have any Truth as to what Marriage is like is beyond me. It is in that sense that I find their document not only unreasonable, but unbelievable and not credible witnesses.

    In paragraph 409 - While they continue to object to contraception and saying about it that "Openness to procreation in the marital act involves acknowledging that one is not the master of the sources of life." "Using the technology of contraception is an attempt at such mastery."

    Yet, the document says that Natural Family Planning is acceptable and that requires abstaining from conjugal relations. This entirely refutes their idea of "self-giving." They undermine "self-giving" by interjecting "self-sacrifice" and equate that with Christ's sacrifice on the cross. But, they say in paragraph 421 - "God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it." (1 Cor 10:13)

    The way out is provided by technology and forms of contraception that do not negate self-giving. As well, a man with sexual dysfunction problems may use technology such as Viagara in order for there to be self-giving in the marriage. So for one that uses Viagara it seems they are being "the master of the sources of life." Interesting how the USCCB did not bring that up.

  9. Yes butterfly, It is indeed interesting how they use their own factoids to attempt to deductively prove themselves correct. What we are seeing is a totalitarian mind frame that is not at all Christ-like." I think they are doing much damage to society and we should call it for what it is.

  10. Butterfly, I've written on the Viagra issue before. Apparetntly the thinking is that ED pills open a man up to pro creation, not close him to procreation.

    My question then is what is the problem with fertility drugs and IVF. If it's good for the gander why not the goose? The answer is the IVF is not natural intercourse, but in point of fact neither is ED assisted intercourse. Why a man could get a four hour erection, and that certainly isn't normal. LOL

  11. Colleen, I'm just reading yours & having a good laugh about the three hour unnatural consequence of taking Viagra. I remember you writing about Viagra & if I recall correctly, doesn't the Vatican own shares in Viagra?

    Dennis, the mind of the USCCB, as well the Vatican, is often a puzzlement & great concern for all with a conscience that is awake and alive with the spirit of Christ, due to the history of the 20th Century and the types of governments and leaders the Church has promoted or simply allowed to grow and flourish. It is no accident that Christian countries filled with Catholics & Protestants were in a world war twice with one another as the shepherding of Church leaders reflected more darkness than light. The Church really screwed up & I believe that the same type of forces, spiritual and political, existed prior to both WWI and WWII as exist now & which this blog has pointed out on many occasions. The big difference is that there are nuclear weapons now. Colleen recently pointed out that India and Pakistan have nukes pointed at one another and this is a threat to the entire health and well being of the entire planet; a true intrinsic evil. This is a serious threat while the USCCB is fiddling around and meddling into matters of which they truly have no business or understanding such as sex and marriage, birth control, and sexuality. For them to focus on these issues as intrinsic evils when the existence of all life is threatened is a reflection of the height of ignorance and blindness of their consciousness and disconnect to the human family.

    The USCCB is missing the boat in terms of truly having an overview of history, spirituality, a compassion for people and of really making a difference in the world that is a positive one. They cannot have a Christ-like overview if they rely on Canon Law and make Canon Law their Bible & the basis for all of their reasoning & decisions.

    The USCCB, really needs to take stock of the culpability and responsibility that they truly do have in the world for people of all faiths & religions. To whom much is given, much is expected. Their authority, rather than their wielding it as a weapon against perceived threats should be redirected at their own desires for their own salvation first. They truly need a formation of their consciousness into the light of Christ and need to quit this notion that they are credible leaders in the Church and the world. They are not credible. They are not credible because they are in denial about their own Church history.

    While they focus on externals and on the behaviors of others which they condemn, they deny looking in the mirror at themselves and the affect they have on others and they move themselves into a dangerous situation of spiritual entropy and lead others over the cliff to pathological disgrace and disorder in alliance with truly evil forces. This leads people in directions which cause hatred and condemnation towards others and divisions that truly do cause over time the backlash of wars.

    Are they so narcissistic that they are blind? I believe they are not just narcissistic & blind but are elitist and therefore not credibly Christ-like. Their views promote mayhem.

  12. toDear Butterfly,

    Your are telling it like it is. For this reason, I think perhaps when we as an institutional church look for intrinsic evil we should look inward. We have found the culprit. It is us as manifested by a leadership that takes so many people into confusion and misguided directions. dennis

  13. Butterfly, this last comment is one of the best things you have ever written.

    You are so correct, it's time for our bishops to look inward. Some of whom I believe are doing that very thing, but not enough--yet.

  14. Thank you Colleen. The truth is ever honest in the light of Christ. True humility requires honesty and does not play head games or politics, nor does it desire or seek to condemn anyone. Humility is not about condemnation.

    Taking that step from the shadows of unconsciousness and narcissism that is unhealthy for one personally and for all those affected and touched by its disorder requires an honest humility before the presence of the Lord and giver of Life, Love and Peace.

    I pray the Bishops and all of the hierarchy and priests in the Church come to the light of Jesus and ask Him for humility and the graces needed to truly love their neighbors.

    If they cannot bring themselves to this point they will not receive the Lord's overview and perspective that He desires to give them for their journey to an order of grace in the world that can only be described as heavenly.

  15. Your final comment regarding the bishops motivation is right on the mark. Anyone on the inside in the church knows that this letter is indeed "meant to be read by those in Rome" and not signing on to it will mean a closed door when it comes to "career advancement" for a bishop. oy vey. Maybe some of the older, more progressive bishops will moderate it. The ranks of these fine men are are dwindling every year as the Vatican replaces them with conservative ass-kissers. Some of them are genuine in their backwardness (meaning they are really, really out of touch with most Catholics); others are only concerned about advancement. Nowadays, the more normal, thoughtful bishops hardly ever speak up. They're tired, they've given up...
    A major point about this letter that should be kept in mind: these are basic Catholic teaching and aren't gonna change any time soon (as in all sex not for procreation between a sacramentally married couple is bad). But, that said, the statement that the bishops will likely publish this fall does not have to be made. They can just let it be. Pope Benedict doesn't mention divorce when he receives French President Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni. He's silent. This is one situation where making an unnecessary statement is extremely unhelpful.

  16. Matt, I agree with you and do not understand why this letter at this time. Maybe there is more going on with the USCCB than we know and signing on to this letter is exactly what you write--a litmus test for the bishops.

  17. colkoch, i think the reason the bishops' conference is doing this now is pressure from a handful of conservative bishops, such as bishop malone of portland, maine, his is vigorously fighting to repeal gay marriage in that state. that's conjecture on my part, but the movement on marriage equality this year is the only major landscape change in the secular world that could possibly have prompted this now. the letter, if approved as is, would allow malone to point to a document saying all his brother bishops are behind him, implying that if one isn't behind him one isn't a "good catholic."

  18. i wanted to answer the question higher up in this discussion regarding why the catholic church has a problem with fertility drugs.
    i studied to be a preist for five years, so i can tell you what we were told.
    the primary issue is that it is the belief of the church that life comes from god. god makes the new life and the parents "cooperate" with him. The church, therefore, contends that we should not do anything extra--chemical or mechanical--to ensure that we get pregnant. it's up to god to decide that.
    there is a little give on this from some catholic moral theologians--the more pastoral ones. they would say that we can sometimes intervene. the rationale is convoluted and you will probably think it's really nuts. but remember these are priests who are trying to help infertile couples when many right wingers in the church would give an outright no to reproductive techologies. so these guys would say that artificial insemination is permissible if 1) the husband's semen is used, and 2) the egg and sperm are joined inside the woman's body, preferbly with the husband using the insertion device (the turkey baster) for the semen. i know this sounds like its really pushing it, but believe me these are the liberal preists who are trying to take a stand and help infertile couples.
    so, what about drugs to get pregnant? the church's rationale here is, again, that it's chemical intervention in a decision that god should be making. by intervening, we are making ourselve like god. (this was the big sin of the people who built the tower of babel in the old testament--that they wanted to be "like" god; and it was the original sin of adam an eve too, who also wanted to be "like" god. that's the catholic biblical rationale. the better case can be made with the church's second rationale. when a woman takes fertility pills, she often drops multiple eggs, which are then fertilized (in her body via regular sex with her husband). the big problem with this is that oftentimes there will be multiple fetuses--even six or eight (think octomom). doctors advise reducing the number of fetuses to one or two to ensure the survival of the ones that are left to develop and ensure a full-term delivery. you probably see where i'm going with this: since the church believes life begins at conception, the reductions are considered taking human life. this is a huge problem for the church with fertility pills. the church has a similar issue with artificial insemination as more than one enbryo is generally planted to ensure that at least one "takes." often, three or four will take and, again, the doctor has to go in and selectively abort until the number is down to one or two. (the reason people and doctors opt for implanting more than one embryo is that the procedure is expensive and could easily fail. so if there's only one implated and it fails, that's money down the drain for a couple that may be struggling.)
    i hope this all helps people understand. i know it's convoluted, but the church is convoluted and the issues around reproductive technology are complex.
    the difficulty is that the church mixes a "just say no" attitude with the more rational arguments I explained later. when they do that, they loose credibility with regular people. I'm glad i have anominity in writing this. I would be crucified if I explained all this publically, as would any priest...

  19. Matt, thanks for the explanation. The multiple embryos is the best of all the reasons for saying NO to IVF and other fertilization techniques. Here's the but:

    It still doesn't explain why Viagra is a YES. Especially when the first rationale of "Playing God" is invoked.

    Octomom by the way, irritated me no end. Not as much as her fertility doctor though.:)

    I actually agree with the Church's reasoning in the second case, but still think if couples want children and want to pay for IVF, they should have that option if they restrict implantation to one or two embryos.

    The real trouble I have with Catholic sexual teaching is it's a sperm centered act based system. We might come up with something pastorally different if we used a different starting point--like relationships and love.

    Procreation should be about the child, not the sexual act. When I imagine a child centered theology of heterosexual marriage I come up with a very different moral slant for the theology of marital sexuality.

  20. colkoch, regarding the discrepancy you've mentioned between how the church views viagra and fertility pills for women.
    I'm not sure what you've read about how the church views viagra, but it may be the views of individual bishops or priests and not the more "decided" views of the church you're reading. in the seminary we were not briefed on viagra at all, though it was in common use. i think that was because it was not as immediate a concern of our instructors as it does not create the problems that female fertility treaments cause: i.e., someone getting pregnant with 6 or 8 fetuses and the doctor going in and selectively aborting most of them.
    ok, so on to the major question you had on why yes to viagra as it is a chemical intervention. viagra is pretty new as a fertility treatment and the church moves at a glacial pace. before the church comes to a consensus on such things, moral theologians (priests who study how catholic morality intersects with the real world) weigh in on those issues. this takes time. and until a good number have weighed in and a new development has been talked about a lot, the magisterium or the pope generally doesn't come down with a hard and fast directive. they may come down against viagra; they may let it slide (which is not uncommon--the church, for example talks a lot against gay sex but never really says much about oral sex between married heterosexual couples even though such an act is not for procreation and therefore not OK). so, these things aren't always black and white. the church often picks and chooses what it speaks out against. and that really goes bak to the major point coming out in all these posts--that it might be more helpful if the church bit its lip for the moment and did not publish the marriage letter this fall.

  21. colkoch, i went to the usccb's site to see what the say about viagra. they seem to be saying that viagra is ok "because it treats a medical condition" (erectile dysfunction), not because it is a chemical aid to procreation.
    this sort of argument has pecedence in the catholic church. heres an analogous situation: the church says a woman may have a hysterectomy if she has uterine cancer even if she's pregnant. the reason being is that the intent of the woman is to cure her cancer not to kill the infant.
    this is directly analogous to what the usccb says in regard to viagra: they can say the intent of someone using viagra is to treat a medical problem, not to aid in procreation.
    i know... it sounds convoluted, but this is how the church reckons things. and i remain glad that such "outs" do exist no matter how the reasoning is approved.

  22. Matt, thanks for the clarification on Viagra. I forgot about the medical treatment idea, which is inexcusable since I wrote on Viagra sometime last year.

    I don't think the Vatican will have any problems with Viagra since rumor has it they bought a Viagra plant in Italy. Or so the rumors in the Italian press indicate.

    Actually, I know of a number of women who take birth control for acne--also under the medical condition exception. Kind of convenient for them I guess. It seems to my way of thinking the church could make the same kind of medical exception rule for the use of condoms in AIDS marriages. It doesn't seem to me to be to big a stretch.

  23. that would be great, colleen. but it's not gonna happen as the condom does not treat the person's aids but, rather, prevents the his partner from getting it.
    the remedy has to treat the illness for the principle of double effect, as this rationale is called, to be justifiable in a specific incidence.
    but, back to the church biting it's lip again: the holy father really should have bit his lip in africa when he made those very regrettable and very incorrect comments about condoms. that was a major faux pas, caused a lot of damage and caused the church to loose a lot of credibility. oy, vey. it made me ill...

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