commissioned by Pope Benedict XVI on the use of condoms to
fight AIDS has passed its first hurdle and is now
being reviewed by top theologians for possible use in
a papal document, a cardinal said on Tuesday.
something that worries the pope a lot," said Cardinal
Javier Lozano Barragan, head of the Vatican's Pontifical
Council for Health Pastoral Care.
Church opposes the use of condoms and teaches that fidelity
within heterosexual marriage, chastity, and abstinence are
the best ways to stop the spread of AIDS.
It says promoting
condoms fosters immoral and hedonistic lifestyles and
behavior that will only contribute to the spread of AIDS. It
teaches that homosexual acts are sinful in the first
wishes of Benedict, we carried out a careful study on
condoms, both from a scientific and moral point of view,"
Barragan told a news conference.
Barragan spoke on
the day a United Nations report said HIV infections
were on the rise in all regions and that nearly 40 million
adults and children are infected worldwide.
had completed a 200-page study on condoms and passed it on
to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which
would add its own theological and doctrinal opinions.
The study, which would not be made public, would then
be passed on to the pope, who may use it for his own
"First, we must
consider if there is a need for an answer [on the use
of condoms] at the supreme level," Barragan said. He said
his department's study was based on scientific data
and "took all points of view" into consideration. "We
hope the theologians and the holy father will say what
is best regarding this subject...but no response from
the church can be one that encourages a libertine sexual
attitude," he said.
spoke at the presentation of a Vatican conference on the
pastoral aspects on the treatment of infectious diseases,
declined to give any details on the study.
In recent years,
several top church officials have called for a change in
Vatican policy on condoms to allow their use by married
couples where one partner is affected by HIV or AIDS.
But the Vatican
has been loath to issue any document that could be
interpreted as a green light for the use of condoms to stop
the spread of AIDS, fearing it would endorse