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Pope gives thumbs up for condoms.... somewhat.

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BoogieMonster
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« on: August 14, 2012, 11:32:07 AM »

...

Turns out the church now believes that it is acceptable to use condoms only if is to reduce the risk of spreading HIV/AIDS. In fact, according to the Pope it could be a responsible choice to use contraception as long as it is intended to preserve life and avoid possible death. If used in this manner, using a condom could even be acceptable when having sex outside of marriage.
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Hermes
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« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2012, 12:19:07 PM »

It is an indictment against human intellect that this is even newsworthy.  If the newsreport is correct, it appears to be rather absurd that the use of condomes outside of marriage would be acceptable, but not the sex.  What are the lovers supposed to do with the condomes - blow them up?  Why did it take the pope this long to recognize the immense harm caused by the Catholic stance on this issue?  What claim to moral authority does he have left, not to mention infallibility?  The Vatican just can't help painting itself into corners, but that is to be expected as the roots of its dogma are rotten.
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The Vulcan
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« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2012, 12:28:06 PM »

Watched the news channels last night? Apparrantly the pope's butler is under house arrest for stealing letters by the poephol, I also heard somehting of a public hearing according to Vatican law or something, must say this pope is more & more in the news features these days...
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« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2012, 12:51:20 PM »

Why did it take the pope this long to recognize the immense harm caused by the Catholic stance on this issue?
Precisely because the RC doctrine of papal infallibility on matters of scriptural interpretation binds his hands, which supposed infallibility is itself predicated on the assumption of apostolic succession.  The embarrassing upshot of this constraint is that no pope can ever reverse, negate, contradict or supersede any previous pope’s dogma that satisfies the requirements for having been promulgated under papal infallibility (which involves, among other things, “adequate” exegetical substantiation).  The best a pope with his bishops and cardinals can do is to add to such dogma, as they have done in the present case.

Basically, it’s their own history and traditions that restrict their options.

'Luthon64
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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2012, 14:51:55 PM »

Churches that obsequiously spout their hopeless little concessions, amendments and re-interpretations when the real world comes a-knocking too hard for comfort, will cause their own undoing. They are becoming like fish flopping around on dry land. Let them bring it on, again and again.

Rigil
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brianvds
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« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2012, 15:54:54 PM »

Why did it take the pope this long to recognize the immense harm caused by the Catholic stance on this issue?
Precisely because the RC doctrine of papal infallibility on matters of scriptural interpretation binds his hands, which supposed infallibility is itself predicated on the assumption of apostolic succession.  The embarrassing upshot of this constraint is that no pope can ever reverse, negate, contradict or supersede any previous pope’s dogma that satisfies the requirements for having been promulgated under papal infallibility (which involves, among other things, “adequate” exegetical substantiation).  The best a pope with his bishops and cardinals can do is to add to such dogma, as they have done in the present case.

Basically, it’s their own history and traditions that restrict their options.

'Luthon64


They are rather unimaginative. Had I been pope, and felt that it was time to repeal a law made by some previous pope, I would have simply used the handy excuse that while the law was indeed precisely right at the time when it was made, times and circumstances have now changed, requiring a change of law. Secular law books are after all replete with outdated laws that made perfect sense when they were made, but that can no longer be meaningfully applied in today's world. Thus it is perfectly possible for a completely infallible 15th century pope to have made a law in the 15th century that was precisely appropriate for 15th century society, that would nevertheless not work in today's world and would therefore have to be repealed by an infallible modern pope.

It all just requires a bit of creative verbiage. Besides, who's going to dispute it? The pope's infallible, after all. :-)

Anyway, they're caught between a rock and a hard place. If they cling to their 15th century morality, the become ever more out of touch with the real world and haemorrhage members faster than they can replace them. If, on the other hand, they water down their dogma in an attempt to attract and keep younger members, their dogma eventually becomes so watered down as to be harmless. They either become isolated nutjobs helplessly shaking their fists at the sky, or they become Bishop Tutu, basically a perfectly decent and rational man with a few eccentric and essentially harmless superstitions.
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« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2012, 16:37:38 PM »

They are rather unimaginative.
Without a doubt.  They are also conservative to the point of mired stodginess.  It is their weapon of choice against the threats of progress.

Had I been pope, and felt that it was time to repeal a law made by some previous pope, I would have simply used the handy excuse that while the law was indeed precisely right at the time when it was made, times and circumstances have now changed, requiring a change of law.
But that’s just it:  By their own rules, that approach is forbidden.  Remember that Catholic doctrine includes the idea that a pope is the “Vicar of Christ”, i.e. the personification of Christ (and God and the Holy Spirit) on Earth, and that God’s Word and His Law are Eternal and Immutable.  In this view, one pope attempting to repeal an earlier pope’s edicts that are rooted in infallible scriptural interpretations is tantamount to the revisionist pope denying (or at least challenging) God’s perfection and eternity, which would constitute heresy.

Like I said, their own history and traditions restrict their options, and so they’re mulishly caught between the rock of reality and the hard place of their own devising.

It all just requires a bit of creative verbiage.
A good loophole is hard to find but you can bet your knitted socks that they won’t drop a stitch and are working hard and furious to sew it up, being well aware of globally declining active membership.  They’re probably feeling very needled over the whole ball of wool.

The pope's infallible, after all.
It’s a mistake to think that papal infallibility is all-encompassing.  The RCC asserts that the pope is infallible only on matters of scriptural interpretation (i.e. God’s Word) and Church doctrine (i.e. God’s Law) as derived from scriptural interpretation.  The RCC holds that the pope is as fallible as anyone else on all other matters.

They either become isolated nutjobs helplessly shaking their fists at the sky, or they become Bishop Tutu, basically a perfectly decent and rational man with a few eccentric and essentially harmless superstitions.
The current tendency appears to be towards the former.  They still hold sway over a sizeable portion of humanity.  But yes, I expect you’re right in that they will eventually fade into irrelevance of one kind or another because it seems to me unlikely that they have the necessary elbowroom to reinvent themselves in a sufficiently attractive form.  It’s just a question of how long it will take.

'Luthon64
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2012, 17:13:51 PM »

The RCC holds that the pope is as fallible as anyone else on all other matters.

Great, they're heaping special pleading upon special pleading. It's like frikkin inception.

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... I expect you’re right in that they will eventually fade into irrelevance of one kind or another because it seems to me unlikely that they have the necessary elbowroom to reinvent themselves in a sufficiently attractive form.  It’s just a question of how long it will take.

IMHO history shows that the "less insane" dudes split off and make their own factions. Church of England, Dutch reformation, etc. RCC seems totally unphased though, they've been going strong despite this happening for 100's of years.
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« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2012, 17:52:36 PM »

But that’s just it:  By their own rules, that approach is forbidden.  Remember that Catholic doctrine includes the idea that a pope is the “Vicar of Christ”, i.e. the personification of Christ (and God and the Holy Spirit) on Earth, and that God’s Word and His Law are Eternal and Immutable.  In this view, one pope attempting to repeal an earlier pope’s edicts that are rooted in infallible scriptural interpretations is tantamount to the revisionist pope denying (or at least challenging) God’s perfection and eternity, which would constitute heresy.

So what they're saying is that times do not in fact change. Well, they're demonstrably wrong. :-)

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The current tendency appears to be towards the former.  They still hold sway over a sizeable portion of humanity.  But yes, I expect you’re right in that they will eventually fade into irrelevance of one kind or another because it seems to me unlikely that they have the necessary elbowroom to reinvent themselves in a sufficiently attractive form.  It’s just a question of how long it will take.

The funny thing is that I'll actually kind of miss them, at least from an aesthetic point of view. I find their cathedrals and ceremonies and grand robes and stuff quite beautiful. It's a pity that they feel so compelled to weigh it down with inflexible dogma. On the other hand, perhaps the dogma is necessary to maintain the grand old tradition. Without it, they may soon turn into televangelists. Can you say hallelujah!

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« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2012, 18:19:28 PM »

Great, they're heaping special pleading upon special pleading. It's like frikkin inception.
It’s not a recent thing, as you seem to imply.  From the beginning, papal infallibility was restricted in the way I described, although various popes throughout history may have occasionally forgotten just how far their divinity stretched and taken in more than just a whiff of megalomania…

IMHO history shows that the "less insane" dudes split off and make their own factions. Church of England, Dutch reformation, etc.
Historically, those were fairly recent developments and they greatly disturbed the RCC when they happened.  Each was loudly denounced at the time and followed up with assorted excommunications, persecutions and threats for anyone contemplating anything similar.  (As a particular aside, I’m very hesitant to call the Reformation “less insane.”  Initially, it just had the questionable benefit of taking religious authority away from a bunch of cranky out-of-touch old men and putting it in the hands of common people.)

RCC seems totally unphased though, they've been going strong despite this happening for 100's of years.
I suspect their days are numbered this time round, at least in the RCC’s present guise.  The only thing in their favour is cultural inertia.  The cumulative rate and weight of all manner of societal, scientific and technological advances coupled with the RCC’s self-imposed lack of alacrity is beginning to render the RCC increasingly unimportant in people’s lives.  Their numbers are not only declining rapidly in relative as well as absolute terms, but also succession by young entrants into the Church is shrinking even more rapidly.  They inflate their numbers by counting lapsed members as their own, excluding only full-blown apostates.

'Luthon64
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2012, 09:47:11 AM »

Great, they're heaping special pleading upon special pleading. It's like frikkin inception.
It’s not a recent thing, as you seem to imply.

Initially I worded it as "Great, now they're heaping" but thought it would imply that I think this is a recent thing. So no, not at all.

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As a particular aside, I’m very hesitant to call the Reformation “less insane.”

Hence my air-quotes.  Wink
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