24 November 2010
The reporting in the press about the Church's teaching about condoms is not news. There is nothing new. The Church can only teach what is good. In the case of human sexuality, the good is the virtue of chastity. That is what the Church teaches. If someone is determined to do evil, the Church counsels making choices to mitigate the evil. This is the idea behind the expression: "the lesser of two evils." The Church can never teach that it is good for an unmarried persons to use a condom because it is never good for unmarried persons to have sexual relations. The Church cannot teach that infidelity or contraception within marriage is ever good, and so the Church can never say that the use of condoms in marriage is ever good. If, however, someone is determined to do evil -- to be unchaste -- the Church has always counseled the individual to mitigate the evil he is doing. The Church seems to be saying that use of a condom might be such a mitigation. But the Church cannot propose the use of condoms as a way to slow the spread of AIDS. The way that the Church teaches for that is the same for everyone, all the time: the virtue of chastity.