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Vatican to weigh condoms in fighting AIDS

c. 2011 Religion News Service

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The morality and effectiveness of using condoms to prevent HIV/AIDS will be on the agenda at a Vatican conference this weekend (May 27-28), six months after comments by Pope Benedict XVI again touched off worldwide controversy.

The conference, which will focus on “the centrality of care” in preventing and treating HIV/AIDS, is sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers, and is scheduled to include two dozen speakers from across the globe.

One speaker will be Edward C. Green, former director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at the Harvard School of Public Health, who in March 2009 defended Benedict’s statement that condoms actually “increase the problem” of AIDS in Africa.

“Current empirical evidence supports” the pope, Green wrote in a widely discussed article.

Another talk will address Catholic teaching on HIV/AIDS, a highly sensitive subject that Benedict touched on in a book-length interview published last November.

While noting that condoms are not a “real or moral solution” to the AIDS epidemic, the pope said that their use by someone intending to prevent infection could “be a first step in the direction of a moralization” of sexuality.

The Vatican’s doctrinal office later insisted that the pope’s words did not mark a change in Catholic moral teaching or “pastoral practice” against the use of condoms for AIDS prevention or contraception.

It is not clear whether the conference will address whether condoms are appropriate for married couples in which only one partner is infected with HIV, a question on which the church has made no definitive pronouncement.

The Wednesday (May 25) edition of the official Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, included a piece by Spanish theologian Juan Jose Prez-Soba, arguing that couples in such a predicament should abstain from sex, because intercourse performed with a condom is, “from the moral point of view, not a fully conjugal act.”

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posted May 24, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Got’ta love the headline for this article. I imagine Cardinals and Bishops huddle around a balance scale with condoms on one side and angels dancing on the head of a pin on the other side. Or maybe they are weighing the condoms against a bishop’s mitre. Or, for the edgy group, weighing condoms against a petri dish of stem cells.

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posted May 24, 2011 at 6:45 pm

What’s to “weigh”! Better AIDS then condoms? The answer is so obvious it should be biting Benny’s butt!

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posted May 24, 2011 at 7:51 pm

According to the Doomsday man everyone has 5 months to make up their minds about a lot of things. We’ll all have to weigh something, right?

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Pingback: Vatican conference (May 27-28) | Catholic Asia-Pacific Coalition on HIV/AIDS


posted May 25, 2011 at 4:26 pm

This is just one more reason the Vatican has nothing to say about morality. This discussion of theirs is twenty years or so out of date. Probably more like a hundred considering other STD’s.

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Pingback: Vatican conference to discuss morality & effectiveness of condoms preventing HIV/AIDS « Protect the Pope


posted May 26, 2011 at 12:10 pm

The Vatican has nothing to say about morality because they believe that their imaginary god is the basis of morality, and they have to say what their imaginary god decrees. That is why their priests rape nuns and bugger children, and why they maintain that it isn’t paedophilia if the victim is over ten years of age.

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