Pope Francis to journalist’s condom question: the problem is much bigger

On a Nov. 30 in-flight press conference returning from his trip to Africa, Pope Francis said that efforts to push the Church to allow condom use to prevent HIV are too narrow and do not see the whole picture.


A journalist asked the Pope about HIV in Africa, saying, “We know that prevention is key. We know that condoms are not the only method of solving the epidemic, but it’s an important part of the answer. Is it not time for the Church to change its position on the matter? To allow the use of condoms to prevent more infections?”

“The question seems too small to me, it also seems like a partial question,” the Pope replied.

He continued in his response: “Yes, it’s one of the methods. The moral of the Church on this point is found here faced with a perplexity: the fifth or sixth commandment? Defend life, or that sexual relations are open to life? But this isn’t the problem.”

“The problem is bigger,” the Pope said. “This question makes me think of one they once asked Jesus: ‘Tell me, teacher, is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath? Is it obligatory to heal?’ This question, ‘Is doing this lawful,’…but malnutrition, the development of the person, slave labor, the lack of drinking water, these are the problems.”

“Let’s not talk about if one can use this type of patch or that for a small wound, the serious wound is social injustice, environmental injustice,” Pope Francis continued. “I don’t like to go down to reflections on such case studies when people die due to a lack of water, hunger, environment…when all are cured, when there aren’t these illnesses, tragedies, that man makes, whether for social injustice or to earn more money – I think of the trafficking of arms – when these problems are no longer there, I think we can ask the question ‘Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?’”

He concluded, “Because, if the trafficking of arms continues, wars are the biggest cause of mortality…I would say not to think about whether it’s lawful or not to heal on the Sabbath, I would say to humanity: “make justice,” and when all are cured, when there is no more injustice, we can talk about the Sabbath.”



  1. Poly Reply

    I was expecting a straightforward response… disappointedly got another rhetorics!!….hmmm life is larger than logic….. God save us

  2. Peter Aiello Reply

    Humanist solutions to the problem of sin are useless.

  3. Patrick Gannon Reply

    So giving someone a bandage to stop the bleeding is of no value? Let them bleed to death, while you focus on solving the big problems, such as the problems of arms dealing between countries that disagree with, and kill each other over which god to worship, while hoping the plight of the poor AIDS victim or the guy bleeding to death, will go unnoticed? That seems to be the sentiment here.
    This was a horrible answer by the Pope, but he did say at least one thing right, when he said, ” “Yes, it’s one of the methods….” It is the best method we have right now, but the Pope doesn’t care. Those people having homosexual sex are going to Hell anyway, as far as the Church is concerned. Saving their lives is of little value since they are going to burn forever anyway. From the Church’s perspective, it’s much better that, like those with AIDS, those unwanted kids should die a horrible death in order to keep the mother out of Hell for using contraception. But which Hell? The Church gave us four of them – Sheol, Gehenna, Hades and Tartarus were all translated to the pagan word “Hell” and none of them describe what we were told about Hell; not to mention that the bible says nothing about contraception (though Yahweh-Jesus does have his own recipe for abortion in Numbers 5).
    The Pope’s attitude to the AIDs problem is the same as the attitude to children born to mothers who can’t afford to take care of them, but are forced to do so or face eternal torment in Hell if they use contraception. Do you prevent kids dying of starvation and hunger if it results in the mother going to Hell for using contraception? Do you prevent AIDs and the deaths of humans, or do you let them die so that those using condoms (possibly) avoid Hell? It seems to me that if they are going to go to Hell for having homosexual sex anyway, why not let them use condoms so that they don’t pass along the disease to innocents? The Church doesn’t care about the innocents though. Suffering is a good thing, indeed the best thing. It’s what Yahweh-Jesus want of us. Just ask Mother Teresa.

    The Church’s manic obsession with sex has dug it deep into a corner, where its own doctrines and dogma supercede caring for mere human beings. The Church is the problem, not the solution. It helped to create the problem of widespread AIDs and child poverty, as a result of its manic obsession with all things having to do with sex, given that it is peopled by disordered, celibate virgins dressed up in robes, pretending to know things they don’t know, and insisting that we believe them or face a horrible fate. It’s time for medieval nonsense to stop.

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