Vatican reiterates opposition to condom use
BY Advocate.com Editors
November 07 2002 1:00 AM ET
The Vatican repeated its opposition on Wednesday to condom use to fight AIDS, saying chastity is the best way to prevent the spread of HIV.
The Vatican position may sound "ridiculous in the society in which we live," acknowledged Monsignor Javier Lozano Barragan, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Workers, but there is only one way to prevent HIV from spreading, he added: "We say that prevention...is called chastity." Barragan's comments came ahead of a three-day Vatican symposium on health care in the world's Catholic hospitals and clinics.
The Vatican has been criticized for its steadfast opposition to condom use, especially in poor regions such as Africa that have been devastated by the epidemic. Developing countries are home to more than 90% of the world's 37.1 million HIV-infected people. Seventy percent of these, or 26 million people, live in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Roman Catholic Church has argued that condoms do not offer 100% protection and contribute to what Barragan called a "pansexual" society in which sex has been separated into an act of pleasure or procreation. "In this separation, according to this mentality, it's absurd that the church says no to condoms," he said. "But we have another ethical horizon--that is life."
Two years ago in the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Monsignor Jacques Suadeau of the Pontifical Council for the Family hinted at a possible softening of the church's stance, saying condoms are one of the ways to "contain" the spread of HIV. He stressed that chastity is the only way to prevent the spread of the virus but that in the case of Thai sex workers, for example, condom use is a "lesser evil." Later, however, Suadeau denied he was signaling a change.
- Multiple Attacks on Gay Men in NYC, Hours After Rally
- Op-ed: Are We More Successful Because We’re Gay?
- Donald Rumsfeld Isn't Sure, But Marriage Equality Might Lead to Polygamy
- We Love Liberace Now Even More Than 30 Years Ago
- Op-ed: Adopting the T in LGBT
- Father of Teen Facing Felony for Lesbian Relationship Says She's Been Targeted Before
Sign Up For Email Updates
- Youth WATCH: What Happens When a Gay Scout Comes Out to Camp Leader 13 min 4 sec ago
- Commentary Op-ed: Are We More Successful Because We’re Gay? 38 min 29 sec ago
- Current Issue We Love Liberace Now Even More Than 30 Years Ago 1 hour 12 min ago
- Sports Water Polo Player Addresses WeHo City Council in Speedo May 22 2013 10:00 PM
- Comics and Graphic Novels This Gay Superhero Comic Is So Super Duper May 22 2013 9:00 PM
- The End of Bullying Could Video Games Be a Cure for Anti-LGBT Bullying? May 22 2013 8:15 PM
- Women Kaitlyn Hunt's Lawyer: Possible Plea Deal, But No Felony For Same-Sex High School Relationship May 22 2013 7:03 PM