L’Osservatore Romano as origin of the maelstrom: Ed Peters opines

The respected, clear-thinking canonist Ed Peters of In the Light of the Law has offered a blistering assessment of the role of the Vatican’s daily L’Osservatore Romano in regard to the latest in a string of media screw-ups.

My emphases and comments.

The continuing mess at L’Osservatore Romano

Peter Seewald


While many able others are scrambling to respond to the eruption over the pope’s remarks on condom use by male prostitutes, I want to ask a few questions about the occasion of this public relations fiasco, namely, the decision by L’Osservatore Romano [Note these points] to publish [1] prematurely, [2] out of context, and [3] without commentary, [4] the single most controversial paragraph of the pope’s book, Light of the World, in, if nothing else, apparent violation of the agreement in place between its various publishers concerning a coordinated release of the work. [Elsewhere I mused about the possibility that the Holy See had an agreement with the publisher that they could strike passages deemed inopportune before going to press.  So… what happened?  No such agreement?  Didn’t choose to use it?  Just wanted to get out ahead of the story?]I frankly wonder whether, even now, L’Osservatore Romano yet realizes what a serious disservice it has committed by arrogating to itself the role of introducing the pope’s book, Light of the World, and by its making that introduction in such a palpably incompetent manner? [C’mon, Ed.  You’ve gotta learn to express yourself!]

[…]Instantly, of course, the world formed exactly the wrong understanding of that paragraph that anyone could have predicted. [Yes… you would have thought anyone could have predicted it.] Now, instead of being able to present the pope’s interview as a positive and even vigorous affirmation of unified truth, Catholic theologians and spokesmen must respond defensively against secular attacks and distortions, resorting (for the most part) [And this is important…] to a level of sophistication that befits a graduate seminar in moral theology, not a reader-friendly presentation of ideas. I mean, great scot, the book is not even published yet, and already the Vatican Press is Office is having to issue hasty corrections and unconvincing clarifications!

And it’s all because of L’OR.


Yes, again. L’OR’s panting after pop relevance (with pieces on, e.g., The Beatles and The Simpsons) is embarrassing enough. I’ve learned to ignore that. It’s mistreatment of Brazilian Abp. Cardoso Sobrihno should have been seen as the warning sign that it was. I said so at the time.

But, if this media fiasco is not enough to bring sweeping changes to L’OR, then, I don’t know what ever will.

Eeeed Peteeeeeer’s, Ladies and Gentlemen!  Give it up for Ed!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Supertradmum says:

    Do what the media moguls do when their readership slips. Fire everyone and start over again. The newspaper agency is too corrupt to be changed by anything but drastic measures. Such incompetence “in the world” would not and should not be tolerated.

  2. Seraphic Spouse says:

    Speaking as someone who sat in many seminars in moral theology, the confusion and anguish being voiced by the faithful in blog after blog is simply heartrending. Normally trusted Catholic journalists (with no apparent training in theology) keep putting their spin on things, leading to more confusion and upset. May I say that I am very grateful to Father Z’s pastoral guidance these past 48 hours?

  3. Lurker 59 says:

    An update to what I have been tracking.

    1.) The Italian of the l’Osservatore Romano reads

    Vi possono essere singoli casi giustificati, ad esempio quando una prostituta utilizza un profilattico,

    2.) The AP is using the OR text to create this translation which is the only translation I have seen in English reporting

    “There may be justified individual cases, for example when a male prostitute uses a condom

    3.) The official English text as published by Ignatius from an advance copy of the book http://piadesolenni.com/pope-oks-condoms

    “There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom,

    4.) I have run across some people who have stated that the German journalists are using the term “rechtfertigen” which means justified, which may be the l’OR text translated back into German.

    5.) The actual German text from the book reads as follows

    Ich würde sagen, wenn ein Prostituierter ein Kondom verwendet,

    taken from Sandro Magister’s via Lori Pieper

    We can now conclude that the text of the OR is flawed and has introduced a word that is foreign to the origional statement of B16.

    The following questions need to be answered:

    A.) Is the OR text actually the text from the Italian book?
    B.) What influenced the Ignatius transation to ad a basis during the translation process?

    The more that this gets pulled apart the more that it appears to me that there is malice here because the meaning between the l’OR and the German is completly different.

  4. boko fittleworth says:

    It’s not an “own goal” if they’re playing for the other team.

  5. Prof. Basto says:

    It seems that the new Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, under Archbishop “Rino”, is leading the Vatican presentation of the book. He will head the press conference scheduled to be held. Perhaps it was he who ordered the leaks as well, given that he has managed to manipulate L’OR in the past. Anyway, whoever decided to leak this ahead of the embargo and in that manner should be fired as a complete idiot.

  6. Shadow says:

    Am I the only one who happens to think that what l’OR did was deliberate? Especially in view of the German urtext of what the Pope said?

  7. Shadow: A certain measure of deliberation must have been in play. After all, they published it.

  8. DHippolito says:

    I firmly believe that the editors of L’OR have their own agenda; whether it coincides w/this (or any) Pope’s is a separate question. Let’s not forget that, in the Vatican, lots of bureaucrats have their own agendas concerning a whole host of matters, let alone the “new Evangelization” (will somebody please explain to me what that is?).

    Then again, we can parse the text in various languages all we want but it won’t hide an uncomfortable fact: This Pope made a stupid mistake. He used a hypothetical about prostitution to justify a possible exception to Catholic teaching regarding birth control and he did so in front of a journalist. To me, that’s the major issue, especially regarding his moral view of prostitution vis-a-vis condom use.

    This is my problem: Have Catholic leaders become so morally dense that they would — even in a hypothetical situation — effectively ignore the greater sin of prostitution for the sake of a focus on condoms?

  9. rakesvines says:

    The Pope is not popular in every circle – specially the Liberal one. As Peters noted, such an isolated publication will draw much fire and any reasonable person knows that – specially, the people in L’Obs. They breathe this stuff and know what the world will jump on. So, I think someone there wanted to discredit the Pope; that org has been compromised. And by golly heads must roll after an investigation! I know we should not condemn, but we also need to open our eyes and be as shrewd as serpents. Every conservative or faithful Catholic is now going to be challenged by their lax counterparts during the Thanksgiving get together and unless one knows some Moral theology, then one is up for tough fight. I did my sophomoric attempt at http://divine-ripples.blogspot.com/2010/11/pope-allows-condoms-morality-behind.html
    but it may not be enough, so I’ll keep on reading. But my point is, investigatation is needed and serious disciplinary action needs to happen. We have an enemy inside L’Obs. And this blunder has caused innumerable offenses to God and man.

  10. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Lori Pieper has passed on to us, “kann das ein erster Akt zu einer Moralisierung sein, ein erstes Stück Verantwortung, […]”. As a very plodding reader of German, I wonder, can whichever Italian(s) it proves to be, and those responsible at Ignatius, have made a pig’s ear of “Verantwortung”? Curious are the plurals in Italian and English (“singoli casi”/”case of some individuals”) as opposed to the singulars “Akt” and “Stück”. The “ein erster” and “ein erstes” have disappeared (though Ignatius has “a basis”). Might the (mis[!])translators also, mysteriously omitting these, have somehow smashed “Akt” and “Verantwortung” together, yielding “casi justificati” and “a basis”?

    If this might have been “predictably” “the single most controversial paragraph”, ought they not have taken greater care?

  11. markomalley says:

    Maybe somebody at Il Secolo could offer Gian Maria a job.

  12. RichR says:

    Very eye-opening piece. Thanks for sharing!

  13. dominic1955 says:

    As to the worse sin of prostitution, what he’s trying to say is that (basically) the addition of a condom in that situation probably wouldn’t add to the gravity of what’s going on especially since no contraception is going to be happening in a gay brothel.

    This is the real problem, though, most people are not to quick on their toes when it comes to Catholic moral theology or philosophy especially outsiders but more and more our own people. Its no secret that many Catholics think and act just like their secular peers. The secular world (and I include those Catholics mentioned before in this) seems to have quit trying to use real thinking. They couldn’t reason their way out of a wet paper bag let alone understand the rather simple statement the pope made.

  14. LaudemGloriae says:

    I don’t blame the media, I blame the message. Media is doing what media does.

    I’m really nearing the end of my patience with those who continue to assert that those of us upset by this issue are Homer-Simpson-idiots too feable-minded to comprehend the Pope’s statements.

    The Church is supposed to be the beacon of light and truth in a fallen world. When the Church departs from being this beacon to make compromises with the world and engage in hair splitting over the various shade of gray within the spectrum of evil, I believe this to be evidence that it has truly lost its way. The more shades of gray we introduce, the greater the chance that we will no longer be able to find the light in the darkness.

    Please look long and hard at the image I’ve linked and ask yourself: is this what you want Catholic priests and nuns teaching the children in Africa?


  15. S. Murphy says:

    D’Hippolito, the worse sin in the Pope’s hypothetical is the indifference to human life on the part of the HIV-positive individual. The decision to use a condom is thus seen as a willingness to at least attempt to protect the other party to the transaction from disease – a step in the right direction, compared to preferring one’s own pleasure over the other guy’s health.

    Seewald: “Can you see a circumstance in which condoms might be justified?”
    Pope: “Let me see – How ’bout this: if, in the midst of a complete and utter morass of sin, a situation where the principle ‘love your neighbor’ has been replaced with ‘make your neighbor a sex-object, and do it for money,’ if one of the guys is infected with a deadly disease, and has just enough spark of grace in him to use a condom in order to protect the other guy from contracting it – in that case, a condom might represent a movement up from the depths of miasma toward clean air, insofar as it at least removes depraved indifference to human life from the toxic sludge these two are swimming in.”
    L’OR, Media and general, and a lot of people who lack reading comprehension: Pope said blah blah blah CONDOM! blah blah blah! He must have chucked Humanae Vitae in the shredder! PAR-TAY!!!
    The rest of us: “waitaminnit…”

    No, disconcerting as it was to hear NPR say that the Pope had ‘endorsed condoms under certain circumstances,’ he basically just talked like a grown-up talking to grown-ups. It wasn’t the McChrystal-level adverse judgment some seem to think.

  16. Jacob says:

    Vian’s regime at L’OR has been a complete disaster. The paper has been off message time and time again. L’OR unilaterally broke the embargo on the Pope’s book. I cannot believe that that was sanctioned by those at a higher level of power. This smacks of yet another attempt by the current regime to make itself relevant by not only jumping the gun, but by showcasing what it deemed to be the most controversial statements.

    This goes back to my second point in my two-point program to clean up Rome. /Someone/ needs to be given total and final authority what is published and the personnel behind it.

  17. Randii says:

    ITA LaudemGloriae.

    Peters and most of the rest sitting in the “orthodox choir” are trying to stir up secondary issues maybe cause they think it will keep us folks in the pew from reading at face value what the Pope said. But Peters can’t make the words go away or the ambiguity as you note this further introduces into the church’s teaching on this.

    It is what it is. You’d think Peters would be as outraged by the Pope’s words as he is by the OR’s actions.

  18. From Ed Peter’s Article:

    “Instantly, of course, the world formed exactly the wrong understanding of that paragraph that anyone could have predicted.”

    Hmm, while I agree L’OR did wrong and people should be reforming the paper and firing people if justified, I must also say that without ill-will on the part of dissenters and the media such a gross misconduct on the part of L’OR would have had less effect than it had.

  19. Dennis Martin says:

    D’Hippolito: “He used a hypothetical about prostitution to justify a possible exception to Catholic teaching regarding birth control”

    Actually, he did no such thing. His comment did not have anything to do with birth control.

    The fallacy arises from the nearly universal equation of condom with contraception.

    A condom in itself is a latex container. It is indeed most commonly used in heterosexual sex as a contraceptive mechanism.

    But in homosexual sex, which sex is necessarily and without exception contraceptive, the condom does not contracept because there’s nothing to contracept. The pope’s larger point was the there’s too much focus on condoms and that condoms in themselves are indifferent bits of matter. It’s their use that matters. So he found an illustration in which, yes, a condom might be used as a baby step toward moralization but is NOT even then used morally (as he explained in reply to Seewald’s followup question). The condom in that instant is used to prevent AIDS as a gesture of humanization but it is not used contraceptively.

    He took as his basis the obvious fact that sex act between two men is always contraceptive and always wrong. So he was not making any exception to the Church’s “position on birth control” nor was he even changing the Church’s position on condoms because the Church has always viewed condoms in themselves as good creatures of God even if they have precious few good uses. Using one as a water balloon is not immoral. It’s not a common use, of course. I’m told condoms are supplied in survival kits for soldiers to serve as lightweight, compact canteens to hold water. The Church never had a blanket condemnation of condoms. She had a blanket condemnation of contraception and of condoms used to contracept.

    So the pope changed nothing with regard to birth control.

  20. cblanch says:

    I’m having a hard time understanding why this topic is turning the Catholic world upside down? The Church hasn’t changed her teaching on the use of condoms. The media does what it always does with regard to sensationalism (Most people are skeptical about every news story nowadays, anyhow. Much like tv commercials and telemarketers.). And as a result, some of us will have an excellent opportunity to share our faith with others over Thanksgiving!

    Shouldn’t we all expect to be made fun of, questioned and grilled, persecuted, etc…as followers of Christ? Why should we wasted time ripping apart the Pope or other Catholics? This is a PRIME opportunity to evangelize!! Let’s joyfully dig in and get our work done…being prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks!

  21. C. says:

    Lombardi is in on it: “At the same time the Pope considers an exceptional circumstance in which the exercise of sexuality represents a real threat to another person’s life.”

    Oh, “exceptional” like every single exercise of sexuality? How is this a clarification?

  22. C. says:

    Here’s my clarification:

    Condoms mitigate sodomy but exacerbate fornication.

    Was that so hard?

  23. rakesvines says:

    You can see how the Liberals in this thread read what they want to read. Bottom line, the people at L’Obs are either too idiotic to not see this coming or too wicked to make this happen in discredit the Traditional Conservative Pope. Either way – idiotic or malicious they need to be taken out. If it was up to me, I’d set the guy up to a few rounds with a Swiss guard but, I think the Pope would not approve.

  24. Norah says:


    German translation from Sandro Magister
    The original German of the passage on HIV and condoms:

    “Die bloße Fixierung auf das Kondom bedeutet eine Banalisierung der Sexualität, und die ist ja gerade die gefährliche Quelle dafür, dass die Menschen in der Sexualität nicht mehr den Ausdruck ihrer Liebe finden, sondern nur noch eine Art von Droge, die sie sich selbst verabreichen. Deshalb ist auch der Kampf gegen die Banalisierung der Sexualität ein Teil des Ringens darum, dass Sexualität positiv gewertet wird und ihre positive Wirkung im Ganzen des Menschseins entfalten kann. Ich würde sagen, wenn ein Prostituierter ein Kondom verwendet, kann das ein erster Akt zu einer Moralisierung sein, ein erstes Stück Verantwortung, um wieder ein Bewusstsein dafür zu entwickeln, dass nicht alles gestattet ist und man nicht alles tun kann, was man will. Aber es ist nicht die eigentliche Art, dem Übel beizukommen. Diese muss wirklich in der Vermenschlichung der Sexualität liegen”.

    My expat friend will translate it for me when he reads my email and I will post it here.

  25. Lori Pieper says:

    Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Lori Pieper has passed on to us, “kann das ein erster Akt zu einer Moralisierung sein, ein erstes Stück Verantwortung, […]“. As a very plodding reader of German, I wonder, can whichever Italian(s) it proves to be, and those responsible at Ignatius, have made a pig’s ear of “Verantwortung”? Curious are the plurals in Italian and English (“singoli casi”/”case of some individuals”) as opposed to the singulars “Akt” and “Stück”. The “ein erster” and “ein erstes” have disappeared (though Ignatius has “a basis”). Might the (mis[!])translators also, mysteriously omitting these, have somehow smashed “Akt” and “Verantwortung” together, yielding “casi justificati” and “a basis”?

    No, that’s not what happened. There was an interpolation in the text in the translations. Both the Italian and the English translated the words you mentioned correctly. In addition. however, they replaced the Pope’s words “I would say that” –which directly preceded “a male prostitute” with a whole other clause, and that is where the “casi justificati” and “a basis” come from. The rest of the text is rendered accurately in both versions. The interpolations themselves aren’t identical, so you have to wonder what’s going on.

    I got the German text from Sandro Magister’s site (blog?) and I can’t absolutely vouch for its authenticity but since he’s an old Vatican hand, I would assume he’d go to the authentic source.

    Whatever we blame OR for — and they are to blame for breaking the press embargo — they are not to blame for doing the translation. That is the official translation of the book being put out by the Libreria Editrice Vaticana, and of course, its already typeset and they just put passages from it in the paper. The whole thing had to have been done higher up — but by who? I doubt that anyone at the paper knew these weren’t the Pope’s actual words — unless someone at the paper actually translated the whole book, and we don’t know that.

  26. The Cobbler says:

    Would it be morally reprehensible to pray that a bad newspaper go out of business? Would it be reprehensible to pray that they do something not evil but definitely boneheaded to bring about said end of business? Because I just thought of some things they could conceivably print that would finally alienate their entire readership…

  27. skellmeyer says:

    A) Why is Ed Peters being applauded for attacking fellow Catholics? Isn’t that divisive? Why oh why are we “shooting our own?” (sniffle)

    B) Seriously, though, couldn’t we ask the same questions of Ignatius press that Ed asks of LOR? Why is Ignatius releasing the book? Why don’t they hold off on release until this can get fixed? How did this get past their editors? Did Fr. Fessio miss it? Isn’t Ignatius Press just as much a part of the problem as LOR for including this in the book to be released? Doesn’t Ignatius have a duty to protect the Holy Father and the Church Universal from precisely this kind of firestorm insofar as they can? Who is more at fault – LOR for releasing a preview or Ignatius for actually putting the book in the hands of millions?

    Sure, it will make their publishing year a success, but is that all they think about?
    And if you don’t like my saying that about Ignatius, then why do you like it said about LOR, who is, after all, much LESS culpable (they aren’t publishing the book)?

  28. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Dear Lori Pieper,

    Thanks very much for your corrective comment above (22 November 2010 at 10:32 pm): I was culpably lazy and incautious in not having followed up your and Lurker 59’s previous links to citations of the full Italian and ‘Ignatius’ texts and comparing them in full in all details!

    As one who has at least proofread transcriptions by someone else of oral history interviews I conducted, and knows what a business that is, I will try to think aloud, less lazily, in the hope of contributing something sensible.


    1. There is an original audio-recording, in German.
    2. It may have been copied, and also edited.
    3. There is/are one or more transcriptions of the full and/or an edited audio, (each) compared with its audio-source (and/or one or another (edited) audio-version) and as necessary corrected, and/or otherwise prepared, for printing, as a draft version.
    4. Any German draft(s) may have been further edited.
    5. Either Some German transcription(s) or draft(s) lie(s) behind the official Italian and ‘Ignatius’ versions, or they have had independent recourse to the German audio (in some version), or both.
    6. The Italian and Ignatius versions have draft-versions behind the final version (first edition, first impression book text).

    The differences could be the result of one or more written interpolations, at various stages. They could also have resulted from differences in trancription, correction, or further editing from one or more version(s) of the audio.

    Questions worth asking: who has been involved in the transcriptions, translations, corrections, further editing (in German, Italian, English, etc.)?

    What are the actual details of ‘transmission history’ from original complete German audio to various first ed., first impr. texts?

    Did both Peter Seewald and Pope Benedict proofread the final draft German version? Did either read any final draft translations?

  29. liebemama says:

    At this rate, the book is going to be a best seller. Someone will benefit financially.
    I’m just sayin’.

  30. Lori Pieper says:

    Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Any of that is possible. We just don’t know. It does seem to me that somebody – especially with the Italian text – had an agenda as to what they wanted the Pope to have said.

  31. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Lori Pieper wrote, “It does seem to me that somebody – especially with the Italian text – had an agenda as to what they wanted the Pope to have said.”

    That strikes me as plausible.

    I am also struck by what seems a resemblance between the recent sensation-mongering, attacks, etc. with reference to Msgr. A.-J. Léonard, Archbishop of Malines-Brussels. A new Dutch translation of an long-since published French interview was seized upon, for the occasion, and the Archespiscopal spokesman, Jürgen Mettepenningen (as he came across in reports), does not even seem to have taken the trouble to find out what was going on, before he went off posturing self-importantly. (Anna Arco had a link to the French text of Mgsr. Léonard’s written response, with her own translation – in which it appeared very lucid in its details, and Mark de Vries, at his In caelo et in terra site, had a Dutch text and English translation: I have not compared the translations!).

    A few years ago, reading the (non-English) archdiocesan magazine of an archbishop who struck me as admirable, I was dumbfounded at how out-of-tune with him much of the magazine often seemed. If it is not putting it too strongly, I sometimes wondered if he was not to varying degrees a sort of prisoner in his own archdiocese, occasionally suffered to say something (with who knows what caution on his part), but that was about it. (I hope the impression was exaggerated, but…)

    With the Regensburg address, the attendant press got it wrong – carelessly, stupidly, maliciously, or various mixtures of such – straight from the Pope’s mouth.

    In translated-text-based cases such as this and Mgsr. Léonard’s, there is more room for “an agenda”, involving those one is formally given to rely upon.

  32. boko fittleworth says:

    AP is reporting that:

    The Rev. Federico Lombardi told reporters Tuesday that he had asked the pope whether he meant this to only apply to men.
    Benedict replied that it didn’t matter, that the important thing was that the intent was to take responsibility and take into consideration the life of the other.
    Lombardi said: “This is if you’re a woman, a man, or a transsexual.”

    Is this how the Magisterium teaches, now? What an embarrassment! (And what does Lombardi mean by “transsexuals?” Mentally ill self-mutilators? I guess “transsexuals” does have fewer syllables, but it lacks the precision one would desire from serious men treating a serious topic.) This is a fiasco and a failure from the Pope on down. Our betters are withholding clear teaching from the faithful while handing ammunition over to the Church’s enemies.

  33. LaudemGloriae says:

    Venerator Sti Lot, all good points, however, the Vatican has not stated that the Pope mispoke or that his comments were edited together to say something other than what was said, which under the circumstances I think they would be obliged to do given the upset this has caused. Boko fittleworth’s comments confirm that the Pope said what he meant to say.

  34. Seamus says:

    Apropos of “L’OR’s panting after pop relevance”: back when Don Novello played the role of Fr. Guido Sarducci, the “gossip columnist for L’Osservatore Romano,” on Saturday Night Live, we had no idea that that was prophecy rather than humor.

  35. the whole thing is so irresponsible and scandalous but, its too late, the damage and confusion is done…
    from AP news wire 7:50 am PS time Nov. 23/2010
    “VATICAN CITY (AP) – Using a condom is a lesser evil than transmitting HIV to a sexual partner – even if that means a woman averting a possible pregnancy, the Vatican said Tuesday, signalling a seismic shift in papal teaching”
    “Condom remarks ‘not limited to men only’, says Vatican (Nov. 23) Asia Pacific News Wire
    Headline CBC (Canadian Broadcast Company),
    Tuesday, November 23, 2010 | 10:38 AM ET
    “Pope now OKs condoms for men, women to prevent HIV.
    —even if that means averting a possible pregnancy, the Vatican said Tuesday, signalling a seismic shift in Papal teaching”

  36. Randii says:

    I agree UberUltramontist. This is a huge change in church teaching. [Nooooo.]

    Fr. Lombardi’s comments that the Pope’s words apply to women and transexuals as well as men takes away any possible way of nuancing this. The Vatican clearly is signalling a sea-change. [HA! Wrong.]

  37. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    Didn’t the 2nd Vatican Council teach about the importance of having reliably Catholic sources of the means of social communication? What I mean is this: the Pope shouldn’t count on those who willfully misconstrue his words, but should the cabbal who willfully misconstrue his words include those at his own Catholic media outlets?

    Here’s another question: is it just possible that His Holiness knew something of the kerfuffle which would result from the media circus, and — a la Regensburg — intentionally allowed this so as to bring out several important issues?

    Remember– God allows evil so that he can bring a greater good from it.

  38. Lori Pieper says:

    “LaudemGloriae says:
    23 November 2010 at 10:12 am

    Venerator Sti Lot, all good points, however, the Vatican has not stated that the Pope mispoke or that his comments were edited together to say something other than what was said, which under the circumstances I think they would be obliged to do given the upset this has caused. Boko fittleworth’s comments confirm that the Pope said what he meant to say.”

    The Italian text has the Pope saying that condom use is “justified,” the original German text does not. The Italian text clearly has an addition to his words, that is, something he clearly did not say. All the more important now that the Pope has indicated he was thinking of women too, which could include cases where contraception might also be involved. We need to know whether the Pope is actually OK’ing the practice, and according to his original words, he clearly was not.

    Yes, the Vatican has yet to clear up the differing texts, and I hope they do so pronto.

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