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Contraception, Africa and the Church

Recently there has been much controversy in the media about the Pope’s recent interview publication and his comments with regards to contraception. Many media reports portray this as a revision of the Church’s position on the matter, as can be seen here, here and here. Clearly, this is not the case. When Pope Benedict XVI visited Africa, this was a major issue for the secular press and he was severely criticized on the matter. Well, CNA has an excellent interview with Fr. Fesio, the translator of the book in English for Ignatius Press, who had some direct correspondence to clarify the issue. See the interview here. Below some excerpts:

But didn’t the Pope say that sex with a condom to prevent infection is a lesser evil? Well, the Pope didn’t say that, at least in his book. Fr. Lombardi said it. But the Pope could have said it, because in one sense it’s true. (I’ll explain why this is only “in one sense” in a moment.) Unfortunately, however, for those whose profession is reporting news, there is nothing new in this at all.

What may be new is the fact the many educated people no longer understand the ethics of the “lesser evil.” It’s not difficult to understand, though. The crucial distinction is: one may tolerate a lesser evil; one may never morally do something which is a lesser evil.

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