The Condom Debate: Wednesday Recap
Some other headlines today on the topic:
From CNS: "Vatican officials say condom-AIDS study still in consultation stage"
From CNA: "Cardinal Lozano [Barragan] announces Vatican document on AIDS prevention"
Speaking to Vatican Radio April 25, the cardinal clarified his remarks, saying his council had undertaken a study that would find its way through usual Vatican channels to the pope, who would decide how to use it.
The Vatican sources said Cardinal Lozano's office had been asked to study one aspect of the wider question of condoms and AIDS, which has been under quiet examination at the Vatican for at least 10 years.
"No document has been prepared yet. Cardinal (Lozano) Barragan was asked to respond to a particular question concerning use of condoms to prevent transmission of the disease between a husband and wife," one source said.
"(Cardinal Lozano) gave his input. Now we have to hear what the competent Vatican agencies have to say," he said.
"From this consultation of officials of Vatican departments that are directly involved in the question, the Holy Father will draw material for his own decision," the source said.
The pope will probably have one of the Vatican agencies issue a document of some type, the source said. There are two possibilities: a broad document on condoms and disease prevention, or a more limited pastoral note that focuses on the situation of married couples in which one partner is infected. Both have potential problems, in the eyes of the Vatican.
Lifesite News has some coverage, and speculates about a scenario I thought likely as well:
Cardinal Lozano [Barragan] said he was disappointed that most agencies involved in preventing the spread of the disease understand prevention “as the condom…Certainly the Catholic Church believes that the most important form of prevention is abstinence and marital fidelity: in this way absolutely nothing can happen.”
The cardinal said the question of the use of condoms in marriages in which one partner is HIV positive poses a “problem.”
“Precisely in this sense we are preparing a profound study that will be both scientific and moral. This study will certainly be presented to the Holy Father through the necessary channels and the Holy Father, according to his wisdom and with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, will make the decision and will tell us which way to go. What he says will be the position of the Church,” the cardinal said.
And in comments which have some suggesting that he [Cardinal Barragan] may have been reprimanded for his loose comments he told Zenit: "I repeat: What I think and my commitment is simply to be an echo of what the Pope says. I don't have a personal opinion as head of this dicastery. My official opinion is to reproduce exactly to the letter what the Pope says."It is at least clear that Cardinal Barragan is either a) very unhappy about the way his comments were taken or b) very embarassed by the effect caused by the comments that he did make.
... finally, in my ever-bemused survey of the mainstream media's coverage of this topic, we have Nora Boustany of the Washington Post interviewing the liberal Bishop Kevin Dowling. I especially enjoyed this quote (there are, of course, many others I could highlight):
"Dowling was in Washington this week to address a forum on the issue sponsored by Physicians for Human Rights. Although he is the only one among South Africa's 30-strong Council of Bishops to take a stand in favor of condom access, his peers understand that he is struggling with the question. "I would not say I am the black sheep," he said. "I am just different."... the only one in the whole council to dissent, eh? And which one do we interview? You guessed it!
Diogenes isn't very pleased either...
Prior posts on this topic: [Tuesday Recap.] [Overview of the story/links to articles.]
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