Thursday, April 27, 2006

Catholic condoms?

I was out of town when this one hit, but it seems the Vatican is finally listening to its better angels on condom promotion in HIV prevention. As if in response to Cardinal Martini's comments last week on the issue, the Holy See said it would soon release a study requested by Pope Benedict on the issue, according to the BBC; Martini had called the use of condoms by couples in which one partner was HIV-positive would be a "lesser evil" than risking the infection of the negative partner.

Of course, I think this is a total no-brainer, but anything that would free Catholic aid agencies, which provide the majority of HIV-prevention in a lot of poor areas of the world, to add condoms to their prevention efforts is a good thing.

The better thing would be to allow married couples to follow their consciences in this matter, of course, but don't expect that any time soon. Already Zenit (, click on the 4/25 daily dispatch) is reporting that the head of the pontifical council preparing the study is pointing out that his organization cannot make any change in teaching and that the study is for "internal dialogue." Unfortunately, as far as many in Rome are concerned, even the smallest opening toward condoms would be equivalent to the fall of the Berlin Wall, leading ultimately in many of their minds to gay marriage--you know, that big slippery slope.

Time will tell, of course, but there's too much pressure and too many good reasons--even theological ones--for changing the Catholic tune on condoms and HIV. The sooner the better.


At 4:33 PM, Anonymous bob said...

Brian: Do you realize what a limited permission of condom use would do? The official teaching is that contraception is intrinsically evil and can therefore never ever be permitted -- even to save lives. If the Vatican allowed it in this case, the wheels of the whole ban would come off and...oh my!

At 10:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Should we be more concerned about saving lives or saving souls? Sure a condom may save their earthly life but if they are in a state of mortal sin due to sexual immorality they are spiritually dead. A condom will not save you from hell.


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