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Why The Pope Is Right About Condoms & The World Is Wrong

Updated on March 17, 2009

A quick glance at some of my theological Hubs will verify that although I was born a Catholic, as an adult I am emphatically not a practicing Christian of any conceivable form. Therefore, I am certainly not going to play the role of apologist for the Vatican, let alone Pope Benedict XVI who I consider little more than a hyperthyroid Curia bureaucrat and not even a faint shadow of his predecessor, the profoundly awe-inspiring John Paul II: the man who, for all intents and purposes, single handedly brought down the Berlin Wall.

However, I find myself firmly standing in the corner of this Pope when it comes to his recent comments in Africa with regards to HIV - AIDS, a viewpoint which has earned him a global headline pillory worthy of The Great Inquisition.

Benedict XVI stated that HIV - AIDS in Africa is "a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems". In earlier addresses to various African bishops who had travelled to Rome for a papal audience Benedict XVI stated "the traditional teaching of the church has proven to be the only failsafe way to prevent the spread of HIV - AIDS... It is of great concern that the fabric of African life, its very source of hope and stability, is threatened by divorce, abortion, prostitution, human trafficking and a contraception mentality."

Although most of my readers will vehemently object to this statement, I have to firmly place myself in the Pope's corner on this policy. As I have stated in my Why Condoms Are Responsible For Spreading STDs Hubs:

The use of condoms make the sexual partners feel that they are protected: Without as much as a thought as to the transmission probabilities of the rest of their sexual play. All this without the slightest realization that the use of the condom in actual fact makes virtually no difference to becoming infected.

Benedict XVI takes my commentary one step further indicating that it is the "traditional teaching of the church" which is central to the saving of countless millions of African lives, and I have to wholeheartedly agree with that statement as well.


It's simple. The vast majority of the population on Earth today is under the age of 30. They were born and raised in an era where sexuality is a sport, a hedonistic pleasure seeking activity along the lines of extreme sports or recreational drugs where the goal is to reach the "highest high," with absolutely no regard to the fundamental biological reason for sexuality, and that is procreation.

These billions of young people fail to realize that humanity has thrived in the structure of the nuclear family for dozens of millennia and it is only in the last quarter century or so that the bonds of this building block of society have been annihilated. This 21st century technological Sodom & Gomorrah we inhabit is not a sustainable human civilization by any means. It is the blink of an eon old eye where prior to an Apocalypse which may be social, military, financial, ecological or even theological (and to be truly feared, may be all of the above) humanity decided to have a blow out party to end all parties. Eat, drink, (fornicate), and be merry, for tomorrow you WILL die.

Although The Artist Formerly Known As And Now Known Again As Prince may have missed the mark by a decade or so, you can't argue with the essence of his argument:

Two Thousand Zero Zero, Party Over, Oops, Out Of Time.
Tonight We're Gonna Party, Like It's Nineteen Ninety Nine.

Therefore, I will now make a statement which will be welcomed by almost all my readers with the same unabashed, unanimous and enthusiastic agreement of submitting to intestinal surgery sans anaesthetic:

Sexual Intercourse Of Any Form Outside Of Stable, Lifelong Marriage Is The Single Greatest Threat To Continued Human Civilization.

The "contraception mentality" of our absurd age has created a completely false, erroneous, and overwhelmingly destructive global situation where the nihilistic, destructive media generates overwhelming peer pressure to see sexuality as an end in itself, denuding it of its spiritual bliss, and stripping it of any profound meaning and committment whatsoever.

In Andrew Dice Clay's famous words:

"My idea of a perfect date: AAAaaaauuuughhhhhh.... Now get out."

That is why Benedict XVI is trying to explain to a world that doesn't want to listen that the "traditional values" are the only way to prevent the utter decay of humanity. The only problem with that argument is that Pandora's Box has been opened and it will be well nigh impossible to seal it up again. I cannot foresee a world where virgins marry only virgins, thereby eliminating HIV - AIDS in a single generation. No, we will continue to pour untold billions of dollars into the "magic pill" which we expect to cure the retrovirus so that we can merrily continue to hump anything or anyone who drops their underpants in our presence.

Will humanity listen to Benedict XVI? Ha! Make me laugh. You'd get better odds on Lindsay Lohan becoming a nun. However, that does not detract from the fundamental absurdity of our lifestyles and the absolute certainty that we will not conquer HIV - AIDS, or achieve stability, security, and sustainability for our civilization... at least in our lifetimes.


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    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      9 years ago from Toronto

      eovery: Thanks! I appreciate it. I believe that whether a particular person will adhere to the statement that "sex outside of marriage is sin" is contingent on their religious belief in sin and what qualifies as sin. I believe that the definition has to be expanded outside the realm of theological morality into an absolute humanistic morality. Sex outside of marriage is destructive to the fabric of society. I fervently believe that as members of that society, we are committing as much a crime against ourselves and our peers via extramarital sex as we would if we were to engage in more conventionally defined criminal acts against our communities. It is an inescapable conclusion that the availability of contraceptive measures has sparked this torrent of free sexuality, and thus contraception is the root cause of the fundamental decay we have witnessed in our age. Note that I am most assuredly not advocating the elimination of all forms of contraception even within marriage. That reductio ad absurdum culminates in Monty Python's The Meaning Of Life, specifically the skit entitled "The Third World". Wikipedia states it "depicts a Roman Catholic couple (Palin and Jones as husband and wife), who can no longer afford to feed their 63 children, a number that has arisen because their religion forbids birth control. They are forced to sell their many offspring for medical experiments. The skit culminates in the musical number "Every Sperm is Sacred"." My viewpoint is that contraception has to be accompanied by responsibility and profound consideration by both members of the couple for a lifelong commitment, not just to slip on a Trojan to do some honey in the back seat of the car you just juiced up at the bar for the purpose. To paraphrase Chris Rea, that is most certainly The Road To Hell.

      Christa Dovel: In a way we are privileged as we are witnessing the fall of the greatest empire since Rome, the end of the Pax Americana. Much like Rome, the Barbarians are at the gates, and we are decaying so rapidly that few of us even seem to care. Not a day goes by that I do not shed a tear for the greatness that was America and for the woeful future which regrettably awaits its citizens.

      Misha: A very interesting Hub incorporating a variety of theories. As a man who has had the privilege of "enjoying the company" of dozens of wonderful ladies in my lifetime (always for relationships lasting a minimum of months... never one night stands), I have found it a double edged sword. Although my own personal ethics forbade me to ever "cheat" on any of them, it was obvious that I was "testing out the merchandise before buying." In many of those cases, that might have been a good idea as some of the ladies and I would have been a very unsuccessful match in a marriage. In other cases, the match could have worked well. The fundamental problem I have found in this approach is that in only three cases was I ever with a lady where we "grew" to appreciate each other, even though we might have started from opposite sides. Therefore, if a partner gives up on a match too early, before you get the chance to provoke that development of mutual affection, you will never know if it's there. The proponents of arranged marriages pride themselves on the conviction that "you'll grow to love each other," and in many cases, I find it hard to disagree. Having said all that, I still, deep down inside, wish that I had spent my entire life with one woman, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish... yeah... it's not lost on me that it's the traditional wedding vow. :(

    • Misha profile image


      9 years ago from DC Area

      We definitely can agree to disagree to some extent - and I have no plans of parting with the most recent lovely lady I married to for about 10 years :) Yet the number of divorces and affairs tells me that we are bending our nature here, and here is some mention of scientific research in this direction. Give it a read, it's not long - and it's not mine :)

    • Christa Dovel profile image

      Christa Dovel 

      9 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America

      Hal, I could not agree with you more. The breakdown of the family is what brought the Roman Empire to the end of it's magnificent reign.

    • eovery profile image


      9 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

      Great Hub,

      I think people are confusing the issue here.  I believe the Pope is saying that condoms are an excuse to sin.  The people should not be have the sexual relations that require condoms.  I.e. in most cases condoms are use in non-marital sex.  

      Sex outside of marriage is sin, and handing out the condoms is saying it is okay to sin.

      So when we think of the sin part of it, the condoms are insignificant in the discussion.  Christ did not tell the prostitute that was brought before him to be stone, to go use condoms, he said "go and sin no more."

      Thanks again for you efforts. And I could not have said what you said to Misha any better. I have been married for over 20 years to a sweet-heart lady, who I plan to live the rest of my life with. We have so much invested into each other that there is no way I can leave it. So I need to make sure I do the best to make the relationship last. There are people who are actually sustain from sex until marriage. And who try to be totally faithful to the one and only. However, there are times when it is better to separate and divorce, but it should be the exception and not the majority. But it takes work to do this.

      Keep on Hubbing!

    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      9 years ago from Toronto

      Proud Mom: Glad to learn that I have your support in this very critical issue. I most certainly don't want to offend anyone, but it is inevitable that different people will take this Hub in different ways, and some (if not most) will strongly disagree. Regardless, I won't waver from my conviction on this matter as it is one of the principles I hold most dearly.

      tonymac04: I too respect your opinion and will defend your right to express it.

      goldentoad: There is nothing short of a media deprogramming to every human being on earth that is going to reverse the effects of the spillage of Pandora's Box and it's not likely to happen anytime soon if ever. I appreciate your kudos.

      Misha: The unexamined life is not worth living, and the unstirred pot is not worth tasting. I trust your respect for my Hubs would be diminished if I rolled over and placidly accepted the status quo on all these issues I regularly tackle. I too have been a life long monogamist although with a bevy of lovely ladies. I was completely monogamous with absolutely no exceptions with each and every one of them. One lasted more than twenty wonderful years. However, if I had to do it all over again with my old head screwed onto my youthful body, I would have only picked one lady and stuck with her until death did us part, as I have come to learn that of all the myriad permutations which a life can take, by far the most fulfilling and satisfying one is to be with only one partner for life.

    • Misha profile image


      9 years ago from DC Area

      LOL Hal, stirring the pot yet again :)

      I definitely see merit in your postion, yet traditional christian values are not the answer IMO. They completely fail to account for the fact that a human being is not wired for life-long monogamy.

      With that correction - namely changing partners every few years, and not having affairs between the changes - I am with you :)

    • goldentoad profile image


      9 years ago from Free and running....

      I agree with Tony, Condoms help, but don't solve the problem. Good read though.

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      I'm not offended at all, just in profound disagreement with on almost everything in your Hub - and I welcome your ability to say it and the fact that you have a forum to voice your opinion, just as I haved. It is in the contestation of ideas that civilisation grows and we learn. So more power to your writing arm, Hal.

      Living in Africa I have a somewhzat different take on the condoms issue, even though I am also a Catholic, though of a somewhat "freelance" kind!

      Condoms have played and will continue to play an important role in the prevention of the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa. Condoms, of course, are not the full answer to the pandemic, but are an important part of a wholisitc anti-HIV strategy, and to deny the role they play is to put one's head in the sand and ignore what is really happening out there.

      So yes, condoms are not the full answer, not the only answer, and no-one that I know of would say they were, but let's not throw the baby out with the bath water.

      Love and peace


    • Proud Mom profile image

      Proud Mom 

      9 years ago from USA

      No, Hal. I'm a little more enthusiastic about this than a intestinal surgery minus anesthegia. You're right. Can't throw a bucket of water at a wildfire. You have to convince them that it's their behavior, not their form of contraception that is the problem.

      "Contraception Mentality" that pretty much sums it up!

      Great hub, no matter who you offend!


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