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.