So, let's see if I've got this right.
It can be licit to use the male prophylactic when engaged in immoral activity; but it remains illicit to use it when engaged in moral activity.
That really clears things up, doesn't it? We have always been at war with Eurasia! We have never been at war with Eastasia! Got that?
His Holiness Pope Benedict's XVI's ruminations on the doings of rent boys might have generated from a holy life of prayer and study, but they give little comfort to some Catholic family men who wish to be orthodox while also supporting families within economies designed to ensure that workers receive wages less than those upon which it's possible to support a family by one's sole efforts.
Having been sexually aware for nearly 30 years now, and having been told by my Church for all of that time that the old rubber sock is an intrinsic evil and an absolute no-no at all times and under all circumstances, it is to say the least disappointing to find out today that there may be exceptions to the rule, exceptions for which you - inevitably - don't qualify. You're a man who sells sex to other men? That's all right, you get a pass. You try hard to follow the rules, to the extent of putting obstacles in the path of your marriage and disrupting the peace of your home? To the back of the bus with you. And shut up while you're about it.
This is, in my opinion, a not unreasonable assessment of the changes to Catholic doctrine which seem to have been announced today, albeit in a rather irregular and ad hoc way. Oh, the CLOACA (Corps of Legally Orthodox Approved Catholic Apologists) has been out in force, with the sainted Father John Zuhlsdorf taking a break from posting pictures of his dinners and his bird table to get the herd back on to the reservation. Such is the natural reaction of the lesser spotted Catholic ultra when confronted with anything that deviates from their own rather backward philosophies of throne and altar.
Casual readers of this post might just get the impression that I'm more than a little angry about this - and they'd be right, on a number of different levels. We can forget all the 'mays' and 'mights' contained in the Pope's interview. That's just lawyerly shit, verbal cement you use to keep your sentences together when you're trying to keep your intellectual integrity while also trying to fly whatever kite takes your fancy. It is astonishing that such ass-covering language is used when the group under discussion is noted for its disinclination to follow suit.
I'll tell you who I'm angry for. I'm angry for all of those people who have felt compelled to lead unnatural, less than fully human lives in states of denial, in what the late Servant of God Fulton Sheen described as 'brother and sister marriages', becoming sexually inactive long before they probably had to, because they felt they had to do so in order to remain orthodox, and because nobody told them any differently.
I'm angry because this presents an open goal to the atheists and secularists I have spent my own time opposing. That's been my choice, but it's irritating when the institution you defend on your own account seems to cut the legs from under you.
But most of all, I'm angry for those orthodox, God fearing, God loving, Catholic married men who have lived all their lives with the stench of sin in their nostrils as they've made love to their wives. Some of these men might read today's reports and think that if it's good enough for the rent boys, it's good enough for them.
While one wouldn't necessarily agree with them, it would be very hard to blame them if they did.