British priests on the condom question

British priests on the condom question

In a survey of British priests, most say condoms are morally acceptable. Well, then, most British priests are wrong, since indeed the morality of something is not determined by a poll but by God’s law.

In a survey of clergy conducted by The Sunday Telegraph, 65 per cent of those questioned said that they thought it morally defensible to use condoms in order to curb the spread of HIV. A further 43 per cent said that it was time for the Catholic Church to “rethink” its stance on contraception.

Of course, it was an anonymous poll and we know nothing of the methodology used nor the questions asked, so the results must be taken with a grain of salt.

It’s not like this is news either. Back just before Humanae Vitae was released everyone, including most priests, believed that the Church’s teaching on contraception was going to change. Even a theological commission pulled together by the Pope had recommended it. So when Paul VI released his encyclical it was a massive surprise. Meanwhile, the quotations from the surveyed priests can be taken at face value.

There was some good news for the Catholic Church, however. Asked to rate Pope Benedict’s first year in office on a scale of one to 10, the vast majority of clergy questioned gave a glowing response with an average score of 8.9.

“We are such creeps,” said one clergyman before giving the Pope a nine. “We’re all thinking of our careers.”

Ah yes, such courage and bravery. They are the spiritual heirs of St.  John Fisher and St. Thomas More. When asked to comment in an anonymous ranking of the Pope’s work, the priest demurs and gives a nine to avoid bringing down retribution from the Church. Since when has public disagreement with the Pope hurt a priest’s career? (Never mind the quality of a priest who thinks of his vocation as a career.) In this case, I’ll agree with Father on the first part of his comment.

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