Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Will the Pope Allow Condoms to Prevent the Spread of AIDS?

The front page of Tuesday's New York Times includes a story that says that Pope Benedict has ordered a study of the church's teachings on condoms to prevent the spread of AIDS -- in marriage only. That's right; it's front page news that the Vatican is studying whether condoms can be used by a married couple where one of the partners has AIDS or is infected with HIV. The article says that condom use might be considered a "lesser evil" -- I guess compared to the evil of giving your spouse an incurable disease that you know you have.

Catholic theologians in the article are guessing that the Pope won't change church policy instead counseling such MARRIED couples to abstain from sexual intercourse completely. Rev. Thomas Berg from Westchester is quoted as saying that to use a condom (again in heterosexual marriage where one partner has HIV or AIDS) would "still be opting for something that dramatically disorders those sexual relations." That's the exact quote -- trying to protect one's spouse from a life threatening disease would dramatically disorder the relationship.

In what universe?? These are the same religious leaders who proclaim that sexual intercourse belongs only in marriage and then deny the sacrament of marriage to gay couples. Yet, they would also deny the right to have sex safely to married couples where one of the partners has HIV. How could it possibly be moral to advocate the transmission of disease rather than condom use? Perhaps our prayers could help the Pope do the right thing; actually if you're praying about this, let's suggest that the Pope recognize that condoms must be available to all who need them, regardless of marital status.

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