Post # 1
I’m sure I’m opening a big can of worms here, but here goes:
The pope has recently made statements approving of using condoms to prevent the spread of disease. Basically, he said that sexuality should be used and expressed in loving, responsible ways, and in some cases, condom use could fit. The case he specifically mentioned was gay male prostitutes. Here’s a thread discussing the decision:
This got me thinking. According to the pope, it’s ok to use condoms to prevent disease, and not to use them to prevent pregnancy. I learned in Catholic school that the two purposes of sex are the remedy of concupiscence (sexual desire) and having children. As long as the couple is still open to life, would it be ok to use condoms to enhance the other purpose of sex?
Here’s my example. A man has a problem with premature ejaculation. Both he and his wife are able to enjoy sex more when he uses a condom to help him last longer. Usually, he uses it for 15 minutes, then takes it off and climaxes inside his wife. Is this use of a condom ok according to the pope? They’re not using it to prevent pregnancy, but to enhance their sexual pleasure (which the Church does not say is a bad thing, within marriage).
I know this is the beginning of a slippery slope argument. I’m sure that was one of the reasons the Church had a blanket ban on condoms for so long. But I just thought it was an interesting train of thought and I wanted to hear what the bees thought of it!
Post # 3
He could always invest in desensitizing lube! Win-win
Post # 4
Or cut the tip off the condom.
I have no idea. I think that a lot of celibate men probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about how to enhance sexual pleasure and haven’t come up with answer either. 🙂
Post # 5
@marjojo: Well, I’m not anyone of authority within the Catholic church, but I was raised Catholic and did go to Catholic school for 14 years and had straight A’s in my Religion and Theology courses the whole time. 😛 Here’s my take. The church is against condom use because it believes that sex should only be between married couples, and married couples having sexual intercourse should only do so if they are willing to bring forth new life if pregnancy occurs. Anything that obstructs this possibility is a misuse of sexual intercourse. If a condom is not being used to prevent pregnancy, and indeed CAN’T in your described situation, since it’s being removed before ejaculation, and you are a married couple, then what you’re describing is essentially like using a condom like a sex toy. Sex toys are acceptable for Catholic married couples when used in a loving sexual relationship and aren’t replacing intercourse (ie, a man isn’t ejaculating from sex toy stimulation instead of intercourse with his wife). I don’t think this is a slippery slope at all. The Church isn’t against condoms inherently. It’s against their use for preventing pregnancy. The couple you described would not be using it to prevent pregnancy. Of course, you might want to ask your favorite (thoughtful!) priest. Present all the information to him. I can’t see where he would find any objection to your usage if he were intelligent and reasonable.
Post # 6
They could prick the condom and it still could lead to procreation. As long as within marriage the relations ends with traditional vaginal intercourse where sperm can possible get to an egg, then it’s okay. If a person accidentally and unintentionally orgasms before then and making it difficult to continue, then it’s not a mortal sin. The couple should probably work on self-control or change things the next time they have relations.
Post # 7
@marjojo: In your scenario, the husband’s use of a condom would not be against Church teachings. The requirement to keep the couple open to life is that the husband finishes in the wife. Using a condom during the middle of the act is fine.
It’s like the Church’s teachings on fellatio: despite popular belief, fellatio is perfectly fine, as long as it’s used as a precursor to the husband finishing in the wife. If the husband finishes during the fellatio, that’s not fine (technically, it’s really only a problem if the fellatio is conducted with the goal of the husband finishing during the fellatio – if it’s an accident, than that’s not a sin as you have to willingly sin).
Or, as others have said, if you intentionally altered the condom to make it ineffective as a birth control measure (such as putting a hole in the tip), then that’s fine as well.
As far as the pope’s comments, I should point out that he wasn’t speaking for the Church but only for his personal beliefs. Also, he didn’t say that the use of a condom was “approved”, just that condoms are a lesser of two evils in a case where disease could be passed.
For example, if a man is going to rape a woman, it’s slightly better if he uses a condom (to prevent disease and traumatizing pregnancy). However, that doesn’t make the rape OK.
Post # 8
Ya, it’s VERY important to note that the popes comments were to a journalist during an interview (which was turned into a book) and are his own beliefs. He also states before that the Pope can have wrong thoughts. He wasn’t speaking for the church, he wasn’t changing church teaching, and NOTHING in any country anywhere in the world has changed in regards to Catholics and condoms.
So basically, your statement of “The pope has recently made statements approving of using condoms to prevent the spread of disease” is false.
What he did also say, was that at that even in the use to prevent the spread of HIV, condoms are agreed upon by secular AND religious groups to not be the “best” option. That the best way is through abstinence and we must return the beauty to sex as God intended…. However, in his personal non-authoritative views, if a gay man was to use a condom it would be a baby step in the right moral direction because he cared enough to try and prevent the spread of disease. So even still, he didn’t approve, but just said that essentially when an individual is so far removed from the moral order, that a baby step is that, a small step in returning to grace.
As for the use of “sexual aids” in a marriage, the church has never been against anything that can assist the couple in pleasure or achieving procreation… naturally. That every act is open to life and that life is LOVED into the world through the one flesh union… So Viagra – OK. IVF – not OK; Condom rigged to not prevent transmission of life… probably OK (I’ve never heard that one before! lol)
Essentially, at the core, the “rules” that seem strict are actually for our own good and it benefits us more to educate ourselves and seek and pray to understand why God set things up the way he did, than finding loopholes around them.
Post # 9
@KLP2010: In later comments, the Pope said that he was not only referring to gay prostitutes but that it would be permissible for women to use to stop the spread of AIDS to a partner.
I have trouble with seeing prostitutes or gay prostitutes as “so far removed from the moral order.” A sin requires grievous matter, sufficient reflection, and full consent of will. If someone is forced into prostitution from poverty, is that really a full consent of will? I also don’t see condom use as just a baby step, but rather a very important piece in stopping an epidemic which is one of the leading causes of mortality. It’s a big deal, not just a baby step. But just as the Pope has his own opinions, I have mine.
Post # 10
@jedeve: I think where the “baby step” stuff comes in is that, if people were really convicted in their hearts about stopping the epidemic, the prostitute/client would stop having high-risk anonymous sex. It’s true that most people in that situation are forced into it by economics, and in that case, culpability is probably nil (for the prostitute) but it’s still the case that condoms are only an intermediary step to really solving the problem. So even though the prostitute isn’t committing as much of a sin, the Pope can’t come out and say OK you’re all the way there morally. I guess it all comes down to degrees and semantics.