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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Aids, theological truth, practical reality

There's a post at America magazine's blog by Austen Ivereigh - Aids, condoms, and the suppression of theological truth. Here's a bit from the post .....

The Vatican has admitted shelving a theological report into the morality of the use of condoms to prevent Aids .... a high-ranking CDF official ... "Everyone knows that theologically there is a strong case for clarifying that teaching ... but there's just no way of doing it publicly without it being misunderstood ... It would be confusing for the faithful." ..... The Church was accused in the media of making the Aids crisis worse by opposing the use of condoms to prevent its spread. In fact, condoms are not the solution to Aids in Africa, and as the Pope last year pointed out, their promotion has contributed to the spread of Aids for a whole host of reasons .... But the question in moral theology still remains of whether it is morally preferable for an infected man to use a condom than not to use one. The consensus of moral theologians -- and this was doubtless reflected in Cardinal Lozano Barragán's report -- is a firm YES ...

I guess it should come as no surprise that the Vatican thinks the faithful are too dim to understand a nuanced change of stance, but what especially bothers me is something about the post itself -- it dwells on Catholic theologians' opinion of the ethics of using condoms to prevent Aids, but at the same time it pushes the erroneous idea that using condoms actually makes the spread of Aids worse.

More on the subject of Aids and condoms ....

- South African Bishop Opposes Vatican's Ban on Condoms (NPR)

- Aids and the lesser evil (The Tablet, editorial)

- The church & AIDS in Africa: condoms & the culture of life (Commonweal)

- Three Things You Don't Know About AIDS in Africa (Esquire)

- Catholic condom ban helping AIDS spread in Latin America: U.N. (Reuters FaithWorld)

- Emily Oster: What do we really know about the spread of AIDS? .....


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