Vatican Studying Limited Condom Use

The Vatican is currently involved in an examination of the question whether condom use can be justified when one partner in a Catholic marriage has HIV/AIDS. Until now, even this very narrowly defined use of contraception has not been allowed by Catholic leaders. The church has a blanket and, theoretically at least, unwavering ban on all types of "artificial" contraception.Before his election, Pope Benedict XVI was considered an arch-conservative, and for more than twenty years had served his predecessor as chief doctrinal watchdog.

But recent interest by the Pope in issues like genetic engineering and invitro fertilization suggest he may be open to revisiting some long held church positions.The HIV/AIDS situation in the world is one of those hard facts that simply cannot be ignored. Even for the church it is difficult to escape the moral dilemma posed by such a situation.

Because a rigid refusal to allow condoms where further infection is likely could very well (and likely would) result in further spread of the disease -- often to innocent third parties like children.When we add the political dimension provided by the recent epidemic-like spread of HIV/AIDS in places like Africa, it is difficult to see how the church's dogmatic stance can be considered morally acceptable.These are not new issues, although they have a new urgency in the face of the current epidemic.

The question the church has been asking for centuries is whether a morally questionable act can be justified to avoid more harmful consequences.The Protestant wing of the Christian church has quite comfortably answered this question in the affirmative. Contraception is generally acceptable for Protestants because it makes sexual intercourse between a couple possible without the messy consequences.But the official position of most Protestant churches is less rigid on the whole question of the place of sexual intercourse in marriage -- allowing that it plays a role in marriage quite distinct from procreation. The Vatican has not been prepared to accept that position.

That is why any wavering at all on the use of "artificial" methods of contraception like condoms is viewed as potentially revolutionary for Catholics. If it is alright to use a condom to prevent a greater evil (the further spread of the disease), why not to prevent the greater evil of an unwanted pregnancy?.And if condoms are acceptable for this purpose, why not other forms of contraception such as birth control pills?.On both sides of the debate there are people ready to take any concessions to their next logical conclusion.

Both liberals and conservatives would be asking the same question as Helen Hull Hitchcock of Women for Faith and Family, "Now wait a minute. If it's OK for this couple to use it, why can't another couple use it too.".

That's why the Vatican's examination of condom usage in even this limited context is about much more than the spread of HIV/AIDS.

.Rick Hendershot publishes Linknet News | Get UK Condoms - Free UK postage and packaging for condoms | Viagra, Cialis FDA Approved - Online prescription drugs.

By: Rick Hendershot


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