Green condoms?

I was fascinated by a letter to the editor in today’s Washington Post, suggesting a way that Pope Benedict’s recent opening on the use of condoms might have wider implications.

Here is the letter in full:

The Green Issue of Birth Control

The clarifications of Pope Benedict XVI's comment on condoms ["Theologians debate meaning of pope's condom remark," news story, Nov. 24] are suggestive, given the oft-stated concern of this "green pope" for the environment.

Incongruously, he remains in denial about the reality of global overpopulation, even while accepting the scientific evidence of human-caused climate change.

But the view ascribed to him by his spokesman -- of the moral imperative of "taking into consideration the risk of the life of another" and "avoiding passing a grave risk onto another" -- applies as much to the ravaged world that we are leaving to posterity as it does to the AIDS epidemic.

Might not a sophisticated thinker such as Benedict eventually come to see that the ecological harm done by overpopulation is the strongest argument of all for birth control?

Daryl P. Domning, Silver Spring, MD

This is food for thought… in Rome and elsewhere.


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