David Gibson has a fine wrap-up of the Great Condom Freak-out in today’s NYT Week in Review. His key point is that by justifying the use of condoms in certain cases as the lesser of evils, Pope Benedict has embraced the traditional Catholic approach to moral reasoning (casuistry) that he used to oppose.
No wonder Catholic conservatives are so distressed. This sends a signal that the pope does not endorse the kind of moral absolutism that not only has condemned condoms in all cases but also has barred pro-choice Catholic politicians from the Eucharist and opposed the new health care law. It gives heart to Catholic progressives everywhere.