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Posted by on Apr 23, 2006 in At TMV | 3 comments

Prominent Catholic leader defends limited condom use

It’s not much, but it’s something. And, for what it is, it’s awfully important:

One of the Roman Catholic Church’s most distinguished cardinals has publicly backed the use of condoms among married couples to prevent Aids transmission.

Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini said that in couples where one had HIV/Aids, which could pass to the partner, the use of condoms was “a lesser evil”.

The Vatican says condoms should never be used, even to stop Aids spreading from one married partner to another.

Given the Church’s historical opposition to the use of contraception without exception, this is a huge step in the right direction. However, Martini, formerly the Archbishop of Milan, is one of the more “progressive” members of the College of Cardinals and doesn’t speak for the Vatican (although he was one of the leading papabili, if generally considered too old and too liberal at the time — subsequent reports have suggested that he was one of Ratzinger’s chief rivals in the conclave). And I doubt we’re about to hear anything similar from Ratzinger-B16.

Still, kudos to Cardinal Martini.

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  • He also has an awesome surname!

    It would be nice if things like marital contraception didn’t keep getting in the way of actual injustices related to conception, like the appalling number of abortions in this country that have no medical excuse whatsoever. Thanks, Catholic Church!

  • AIDS activists have long criticized the Church for it’s apparent refusal to acknowledge the need for condom use in the fight against the virus, especially in third world countries where women are particularly vulnerable.

    I personally feel that historians will view the Church’s position on contraception, in light of the AIDS crisis, as misguided as their inexcusable silence during the Holocaust. The Church only recently apologized for their inaction at the time. I expect to see a future Pope making a similar apology regarding the AIDS epidemic.

    read more observations here:

  • Fat

    Reading a lot of information about the Catholic Church’s stand against birth control, I have never seen the question: Why are/is the Church against it? IMHO it is because the more children born into Catholic families, the Church will always continue with it’s outdated ways.

    They need the children so some of the priests can abuse them, and they need more and more money that these family’s will donate to the church. I realize this makes me look anti-Catholic, but I’m not. I believe everyone should belong to a religious group of their choice.

    To give one man, (the Pope) that much authority over all the members of one reliegion, even the Muslim religion doesn’t do that, makes one wonder just what is going on. To help stop the spread of Aids, poverty, etc. would be working for the betterment of all mankind, yet this religious sect refuses to do so.

    Lots of people mention that the Muslim countries are still living in the 13th Century. Well, isn’t the Catholic Church doing the same?

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