Yes, you read that correctly. Other Catholic bloggers have criticized the media for its coverage of Pope Benedict’s recently released comments on AIDS and condoms (reproduced in their entirety below), but on this one, to be fair, journalists are in a bind.
They know the Pope didn’t change Church doctrine on contraception, nor—the wishful thinking of a few familiar “religion experts” aside—did he even edge closer to doing so. But at the same time, what the Pope said was unexpected and significant. Several of the articles I’ve read in the secular press have hinted at just how hard it is to do justice to the Pope’s comments in a headline.
And the press has good reason to be confused. The reason coverage of the Holy Father’s words—such as his March 2009 comments on AIDS and condoms—is often so unbalanced is that what he is offering is not so much a political “stance” on an issue, but a complete—and, for many, completely foreign—vision of what human sexuality means. His comments in Light of the World, like his March 2009 comments, are intended to invite people to give this vision a second look.