Thursday, December 01, 2005

Pope plays dumb on World AIDS Day

Sorry, but this really burns me up. In his World AIDS Day message, the pope is touting the "effectiveness" of AIDS prevention programs that promote abstinence and fidelity in marriage--while at the same time forbidding condom use, even for married couples.

Now let's think about this: If you want to promote sexual fidelity in marriage, but you won't allow serodiscordant couples (couples of different HIV status) to use the best (though imperfect) protection available, what choices do people have? Do we really want to put women at further risk along with the children that may be conceived?

Surely the answer to that question is no. And, as Bishop Kevin Dowling of Rustenburg, South Africa points out, most recently in an NPR profile, when used to preserve life (rather than as a contraceptive), condom use is prolife. Being against condom use in this instance is, quite frankly, part of the culture of death as far as I'm concerned. The interests of life--especially of poor women and children--trump the maintenance of a teaching that most Catholic married couples have judged unhelpful in practice if not in principle.


At 4:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the discussions of "the Pill," there was a distinction drawn between the use of the pill with a theraputic intention in contrast with the use of the pill with a contraceptive intention.

While the physical act was the same (taking a pill), the moral act was quite different - and positively evaluated.

That conversation was happening within a specific method of moral reasoning. Staying within that method and thinking analagously, one might use condoms with different intentions.

When using condoms, if the intention is contraceptive, one moral interpretation could be drawn. If used for health reasons, a very different moral evaluation.

If there is a double/multiple effect when one uses condoms, the principle of double effect comes into play.


Post a Comment

<< Home