Reuters has picked up the story of America magazine’s ad for a condom-covered statue of Mary. They give the editors’ response and even highlight Diogenes’ comments and criticism. I find the response by the America editors to be glaringly lame.
Another issue may be Catholic priests’ unfamiliarity with what condoms look like.
“We’re Jesuits,” Martin said. “I don’t think you could have found anyone in the editors’ room who has seen a condom.” The mention of a “veil of latex” failed to register, he said.
Let’s set aside the fact that America has been consistent venue for discussion of contemporary Western culture, especially sexuality and even artificial contraception. Let’s also set aside the fact that the “we’re priests” and “we’re Jesuits” defenses are insulting because we know that there are more than a few gay priests and gay Jesuits (how many have died of AIDS in the past 20 years? Hundreds in the US alone).
Is there anyone in the US today who doesn’t know what a condom looks like? We’re bombarded by sexual content day and night. If this were some devotional pamphlet for elderly grannies, that would be one thing, but we’re talking about a leading Catholic newsweekly. As a colleague put it, “I’m bald but I know what a hair dryer looks like.”
I also find it interesting that Reuters, of all venues, gave it such straightforward treatment, including the criticism by Catholic World News and another blogger, and even providing a link to CWN. Good show for Reuters on that one.
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