Sunday, November 21, 2010

Jimmy Akin Comforts the Flock...

"Okay, first of all, this is an interview book. The pope is being interviewed. He is not engaging his official teaching capacity. This book is not an encyclical, an apostolic constitution, a papal bull, or anything of the kind. It is not published by the Church. It is an interview conducted by a German-language journalist. Consequently, the book does not represent an act of the Church’s Magisterium and does not have the capacity to “change the Vatican’s official stance” on anything. It does not carry dogmatic or canonical force. The book (which is fascinating and unprecedented, though that’s a subject for another post) constitutes the Pope’s personal opinions on the questions he is asked by interviewer Peter Seewald. And, as Pope Benedict himself notes in the book:

It goes without saying that the Pope can have private opinions that are wrong.

I don’t point this out to suggest that what Pope Benedict says regarding condoms is wrong (we’ll get to that in a moment) but to point out the status of private papal opinions. They are just that: private opinions. Not official Church teaching. So let’s get that straight." [source]

Addendum

Of course, Jimmy Akin is fallible, even possibly with these posted comments. Jimmy is serving as the interpreter of infallibility here.

It's also interesting to watch Roman Catholics get a taste of what it's like to defend quotes either without a context, or taken out of context. Fun, isn't it?

18 comments:

zipper778 said...

So, if the pope is confused about official RCC positions, no wonder Roman Catholicism is in a mess. Even their leader can't get the rules right.

john said...

Yeah, right, ok. Can we say "limbo". For years, when I was in Catechism class we were taught that "limbo", the place where unbaptised babies go when they die was a dogma, now its a "theological opinion" of Popes and Catholic theologians and not a "dogma"of the Catholic Church.

This is yet another proof that Romes dogma of Papal and Church infallibility is both untrue and essentially useless. What the Popes and Church have taught in the past (and present) when shown to be false can be so micromanaged and explained away as to make their dogma of Papal and Church infallibility useless and shown to be a false man made dogma.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"Jimmy Akin Comforts the Flock..."

In reading the comment thread, many Catholics were indeed comforted.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"AIDS has quietly caused the deaths of hundreds of Roman Catholic priests in the United States although other causes may be listed on some of their death certificates, the Kansas City Star reported today. The newspaper said its examination of death certificates and interviews with experts indicates several hundred priests have died of AIDS-related illnesses since the mid-1980s. The death rate of priests from AIDS is at least four times that of the general population, the newspaper said. Kansas City Bishop Raymond Boland says the AIDS deaths show that priests are human."

Read the rest at The Gay Priest Problem.

Perhaps some of the Catholic priests who died from AIDS might not have died if both they and their partners had worn condoms. As a secondary moral obligation, that is.

EA said...

In spending time and effort explaining how the popes' opinion is not official teaching, Akin is protecting the teaching authority of the Magesterium from the Pope.

The average Catholic in this scenario is either forced to use their "Private Judgment" to parse the pope's words against encyclicals, apostolic constitutions, papal bulls, and the Bible, or take Jimmy Akins' word for it. Presumably Akins' Private Judgment is more trustworthy than the average Catholics'.

Tell me again how this is an advantage and bulwark against the "chaos" of Protestantism.

zipper778 said...

Perhaps some of the Catholic priests who died from AIDS might not have died if both they and their partners had worn condoms. As a secondary moral obligation, that is.

Not them TUAD, I think you misunderstood what the pope said. Only if you're an African male prostitute, then it's okay.

Andrew said...

What disturbed me was the pope's statement that the use of condoms by males prostitutes could be "the first step towards moralization". As if the job of the church is to see that the world is "moralized". I think that shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that Benny doesn't know the gospel.

Constantine said...

Hi EA,

Let's not forget that a Catholic's decision to "take Jimmy Akins' word for it" is still exercising their own personal judgment.

This is more fun that when Avery Dulles wrote that "atheists could be saved."

Peace.

zipper778 said...

My guess is that the pope is going to deny making this statement and then amazingly the journalist will that this was all a big misunderstanding and that the pope never actually said this.

steve said...

Also notice all of the conflicting comments in his combox. If you didn't know better, you'd think the papacy was a blueprint for anarchy.

steve said...

Who speaks for Rome? From the combox of Akin's blog:

Posted by Bender on Saturday, Nov 20, 2010 9:53 PM (EDT):
Well, if this book is just his “personal opinions,” then why bother buying the book?? Why bother reading it??
Why bother noting that what he actually said is very important and correct? After all, even though he was right, it is just his “opinion.” No need for the pro-condom people to actually listen to him or his reasoning here.
Talk about doing a great disservice—the whole first part of this post does exactly that.

Posted by CourageMan on Saturday, Nov 20, 2010 10:07 PM (EDT):
I can say that I have been told by two different priests—neither of the dissident sort and one a former St. Blogs member—that the use of a condom in a homosexual act us not a separate sin, over and above the sin of the homosexual act itself (it’s relevant and telling that Pope Benedict specified a male prostitute). Neither went so far as to say “use a condom if you have sex because that’s safer,” though the one who was my personal confessor clearly said to me in the negative that “not using a condom is stupid and not an act of obedience or fidelity or anything else.”
So yeah ... a male prostitute is not committing a sin in the per-se act of condom use and it can reflect sound health concerns, which are not nothing.

Posted by Joanne S. on Sunday, Nov 21, 2010 10:59 AM (EDT):
Homosexual sex is sterile. Therefore, using a condom where openness to life is already impossible violates no moral law. This is not comparable to condom use in heterosexual acts where openness to life would otherwise be possible. As usual, the media is deliberately stupid in its spin on this.

aztexan said...

Andrew said: What disturbed me was the pope's statement that the use of condoms by males prostitutes could be "the first step towards moralization".

Andrew, you clearly don't understand the wondrous grace conferred during the most pious sacrament of Sacred Sodomy. I, Fr. Tex, explain it here.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...
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steelikat said...

Obviously using a condom in the unmentionable acts mentioned is not an instance of artificial contraception so it is not per se a sin. The essence of the sin is rather in the unmentionable acts the condom is being used in conjunction with..

It is very disturbing to me (for similar and also for different reasons than for Andrew) to use the word "moralization" in regards to any of that (unmentionable) stuff.

EA said...
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Sam said...
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Sam said...

"Of course, Jimmy Akin is fallible, even possibly with these posted comments. Jimmy is serving as the interpreter of infallibility here." - James Swan

I'm a little surprised (well, maybe not) that BeggarsAll is still using this line of reasoning to discredit infallibility within the Catholic Church. It is the illogic that a person must be infallible in order to put faith in the infallibility of another. Of course, this illogic makes the Bible completely unreliable since all readers are themselves infallible and thus unable to infallibly determine an infallible teaching in the Bible.

This illogic basically makes the idea that God is infallible a useless concept, for we are too stupid, fallible, and not sentient enough to have confidence that we have understood Him anyway---so how are we supposed to know what to believe???!!!!

Therefore----God infallible? HA! The Holy Spirit speaking through the writers of Scripture infallible? Poppycock!! The Spirit speaking through the Church infallible? Pure chicanery!!!

In actuality, Jimmy Akin's article was spot-on. The media misrepresented the Pope's comments which were in no way an endorsement of condom use, but rather the idea that a lesser evil---which is still sinful---is a lesser evil.

Andrew said...

Sam, I think you misunderstand. The argument from many RC apologists goes something like "how do you know who's interpretation of scripture is correct when all you have is the fallible opinions of other men or your own private judgment?" One of our counter-arguments is that Roman Catholics, granting the infallibility of the church for argument's sake, is in the same boat. You must sort through fallible opinions regarding the interpretation of church teaching and ultimately rely on your private judgment to arrive at certainty. Therefore, the appeal to the need for an infallible interpreter is fallacious. For perhaps an even more potent demonstration of the vacuity of Roman pretenses, read the next post on this blog. With all due respect, Sam, the emperor has no clothes.