Admiral of Morality: Vatican to Ponder condoms, again

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Vatican to Ponder condoms, again

Cardinal hand delivers 200 page report on using condoms
Next step: A 300 page report on the feasibility and Christian-ness of sewage treatment systems

David Willey reports for the BBC from Rome


The Roman Catholic Church is due to discuss the use of condoms to fight AIDS at a conference on infectious diseases opening at the Vatican.

The Catholic Church formally opposes any use of condoms, advising fidelity within marriage, sexual abstinence, or slow and painful death by easily preventable disease.

A senior Vatican cardinal has publicly questioned the efficacy of condoms as a barrier to disease. But since he is celibate and has not matured sexually since the age of 13 when a terrifying but somehow wonderful dream produced a nocturnal emission and the impetus to discern his call to the priesthood, he may not be a good source of information on the health benefits of condoms.

But, as the UN reports growing levels of infection, there are signs a shift of Vatican policy is being discussed, a development not necessarily leading to anything else anytime soon.

Pope Benedict XVI has commissioned a report on the scientific and moral aspects of the use of condoms.

The head of the Vatican's Council for pastoral health care, Cardinal Lozano Barragan from Mexico, announced that the 200-page report has now been passed on to top theologians for possible use in a papal document rejecting, of course, the use of condoms.

The Cardinal's document reportedly has 199 pages stating "condoms greatly assist in preventing the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases" and one page stating "but that is not very important, now is it."

The BBC item in full.

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