VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican office responsible for health care matters said Friday (Feb. 5) that it had stopped work on a long-expected study of condoms and AIDS, and that “nothing serious” had been done on the project.
“There was a project, there was, but nothing serious was delivered,”
said Bishop Jose Luis Redrado Marchite, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers, at a Vatican press conference.
Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, former head of the health care council, said in 2006 that his staff was preparing a “profound study,” requested by Pope Benedict XVI, that would consider “both the scientific and technical aspects linked to the condom, as well as the moral implications in all their amplitude.”
Catholic teaching forbids the use of condoms as a form of contraception, but no pope has definitively addressed the morality of their use to prevent AIDS and other infectious diseases.
Benedict, however, provoked an international furor last March when he told reporters on a flight to Africa that “one cannot overcome the problems (of AIDS) with the distribution of condoms. On the contrary, they increase the problem.”
Lozano retired as head of the health care council last April.
Redrado did not rule out further study of the condom question.
“It is in the air, a study is thought about and talked about,” he said, “but we are not on that track at this time.”
— Francis X. Rocca
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