Pope orders condom study

Vatican study will examine the impact of condom use in preventing HIV infections

BY Matthew Van Atta

April 26 2006 12:00 AM ET

In a move that
may signal an upcoming shift away from the Vatican’s
steadfast opposition to condom use, Pope Benedict XVI has
asked senior theologians and scientists to study the
use of condoms to help prevent HIV infections in
certain populations, according to T
he Guardian of London. Cardinal Javier Lozano
Barragán says the Vatican will issue a
document about condom use once the study is completed. He
had no comment on whether the report will definitely
be used to change the church’s position against
condom use.

The Catholic
Church currently bans any use of condoms, including to
prevent HIV infections. It considers condoms an
artificial form of birth control, which is
prohibited by the church. It instead teaches that
abstinence before marriage and monogamy after marriage are
the best ways to fight the spread of HIV.

Barragán’s announcement comes on the heels of
comments by Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, who was
under consideration for the papacy last year, that in
some cases condom use is a “lesser evil.” He
cited as an example of possible condom use the case of
an HIV-negative woman who is unable to refuse having
sex with her HIV-positive husband. (The Advocate)

Tags: Health

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