There are headlines out this weekend, that in a book soon to be published or just now published or whatever, Pope Benedict gave his approval to condoms -- and apparently, while he was on a roll, prostitution.
Just in time for the holidays. Nice.
To be a Catholic, is to believe that the Church, proclaiming the teaching of Christ through His Vicar (that would be the Pope; stay with me here), united with the teaching authority thereof (that would be the "Magisterium"), is not capable of error in matters of faith and morals. That's the short explanation. It'll do for now. Meanwhile, my Close and Personal Friends Jimmy Akin and Carol McKinley have both explained the situation already.
Akin explains not only what the Pope said, but what he did not say, and the distinction between authoritative teaching and private opinion. McKinley's presentation, while a bit dense in some places, is nonetheless comprehensive, and includes a link to the piece from Catholic World Report. Fortunately, it also includes a quote from CWR, since the link didn't work last time I checked.
UPDATE1: For all you Father Z fans, click here.
UPDATE2: Not to be outdone, Simcha Fisher tells us of how “it would be kind of weird not to acknowledge the brouhaha about the Pope’s comments that L’Osservatore Romano leaked, apparently following its mission to act as the poorly-informed, half-senile uncle who blurts out crazy stuff and makes things so awkward around the holidays.”
We'll probably have other updates as the day lingers on, when we're not celebrating Sal's birthday. (More on that later.)