Saturday, November 27, 2010

Popes can be confusing. Not that I am rarely confused by the proclamations of significant people.  Anyone has the capability of confusing me.  But I do not remember ever being as confused by a pope as I am now because of a statement of the Pope’s in an interview, made public this past week. There have been six Popes in my lifetime so far, and only two of them never confused me.  One died within a month of his election; the other has been beatified.
The headlines reported that Pope Benedict said it is ok for male prostitutes to use condoms.  Later, a clarification stated that his statement was meant to cover all prostitutes; the use of a condom to thwart procreation is not moral, but the use to thwart infection where there is no possibility of reproduction is ok.
He said what?  Does this mean that prostitution is more moral than a married couple’s use of contraceptives?  Is this a change in Church teaching?  The statement received very wide dissemination and caused a lot of befuddlement.  The World Health Organization’s boss “welcomed a statement by Pope Benedict XVI that condoms can help prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.” –Associated Press
Isn’t this the same Pope who said in Africa that condoms are NOT the solution to the AIDS pandemic?  Does he not lead the same Church whose teaching has been that contraception is intrinsically evil, meaning that any sexual behavior that is not open to conception is immoral?  Did not Benedict’s predecessor, John Paul II, write a book called “Theology of the Body,”  among the tenants of which is that condom use is a sin because it closes the door to the possibility of creation?
And now that same Church is saying that sexual acts that close the door to procreation are only immoral when practiced by a married couple, but ok when practiced in the course of prostitution?  That is what the news stories seem to suggest.  Thus, my confusion.  I’ll reveal how I resolve that confusion next week. Meanwhile, give me your thoughts or confusions about this here!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pope's Surprising statement

In moral theology, as I'm sure Benedict knows full well,  once a door has been opened the least bit, it can never again be shut.  Any comments or discussion about his statement on condoms?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Stump the Priest: Links

Stump the Priest: Links: "As soon as I learn how, I will make some links to sites uncommon to the world at large. Maybe. The parish and more"

This is NOT from the Onion!!,0,3944129.story

Friday, November 19, 2010

Homeless Ethics

 This is important to know:


As soon as I learn how, I will make some links to sites uncommon to the world at large.  Maybe.

The parish and more

Thursday, November 18, 2010

What am I getting into?

As a recently new pastor, I have to write a column each week in the parish bulletin.  I asked a staff member about putting those columns on our website (, and he suggested a blog linked to the website.  So, here I am.  the title of the blog comes from a fun activity played at other places I've ministered over the year.  It isn't a form of Trivial Pursuit but, rather, a place to explore and dialogue about matters of faith, religion, spirituality, etc.  You ask, I respond, you respond, he she it responds, etc.  I'll also post my columns from the parish bulletin.  The parish is The Downtown Chapel Roman Catholic Parish in the heart of downtown Portland, OR.  I started here July 29, 2010.  Let's have fun!