Vatican said to be rethinking condoms - page 2

After decades of opposition, Vatican view on condoms begins to shift | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited "Cardinal Barragán noted a passage from a 1981 document issued by the late Pope John Paul... Read More

  1. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from Jolie
    I think it is cricial to understand the reason why the Vatican is considering the condom issue at this time: For the protection of a married person whose spouse is infected with HIV.

    The Catholic Church is not "rethinking" its stance on contraception or its stance on sexual relationships between unmarried and/or homosexual couples. Those behaviors are considered sinful, and the Church's view of them will not change.

    The only situation in which the Church is considering "allowing" the use of condoms is within a marital relationship in which one spouse is HIV (+) and the other is not, as a means of protecting the uninfected spouse from exposure to a fatal illness. The justification for this consideration comes from the Commandment, "Thou shalt not kill."

    I would like to see reliable statistics backing the claim that millions have contracted HIV because of the Catholic Church's ban on condom use. I am certain that the percentage of HIV cases contracted within monogamous married relationships is near zero. Therefore, most of those who have contracted the disease (other than thru accidental healthcare-related exposure, also a small percentage) were already violating Church law in some way unrelated to condom use such as drug use, or unmarried sex. If they were willing to violate Church law on these issues, why would they then stop short of using a condom in order to comply with the Church's stance on contraception? Makes no sense.

    You make excellent points.

    steph
  2. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from Jolie
    I think it is cricial to understand the reason why the Vatican is considering the condom issue at this time: For the protection of a married person whose spouse is infected with HIV.

    The Catholic Church is not "rethinking" its stance on contraception or its stance on sexual relationships between unmarried and/or homosexual couples. Those behaviors are considered sinful, and the Church's view of them will not change.

    The only situation in which the Church is considering "allowing" the use of condoms is within a marital relationship in which one spouse is HIV (+) and the other is not, as a means of protecting the uninfected spouse from exposure to a fatal illness. The justification for this consideration comes from the Commandment, "Thou shalt not kill."

    I would like to see reliable statistics backing the claim that millions have contracted HIV because of the Catholic Church's ban on condom use. I am certain that the percentage of HIV cases contracted within monogamous married relationships is near zero. Therefore, most of those who have contracted the disease (other than thru accidental healthcare-related exposure, also a small percentage) were already violating Church law in some way unrelated to condom use such as drug use, or unmarried sex. If they were willing to violate Church law on these issues, why would they then stop short of using a condom in order to comply with the Church's stance on contraception? Makes no sense.
    1st - I didn't say that millions have contracted AIDS because of this Catholic practice. I said, in the meantime since JPII comments in 1981, millions have contracted AIDS (in toto) and MANY OF THEM were Catholics. I didn't even try to quote a stat about how many of THEM contracted AIDS as a result of not using condoms.

    2 - 'if they were willing to violate church law on these issues, then why would they stop short of using condoms?' - because, most people are humans and cave where they cave but that doesn't mean that just because they are weak and fallible in ONE aspect of their beliefs that all aspects now become available to them. That's the nature of morality - breaking ranks with your personal moral code is NOT always reasonable, and certainly not consistent.

    3. I understand that the church is not rethinking contraception. And it WOULD be in error for the church to make it easier to commit any action that it considers sinful, such as sexual immorality. But, the message will be sent and sent clearly: the church sanctions the use of condoms, not to prevent birth, but to prevent disease. They don't have to address the issue in re: immoral sexuality because the sanction to protect against disease transmission itself, even if not aimed at those engaged in sexual immorality, will allow many more Catholics to be more consistent with their thinking in regards to YOUR point: using condoms in that event. In other words, if I'm not able to constrain myself from sexual immorality, I understand that the church doesn't want that act to be the vehicle for the transmission of a deadly disease. So now, condoms are not the sin they were - for this purpose. Or, as you put it, those that engage in non-marital sex that are HIV positive will get the very point you make: 'thou shalt not kill' is more important than a prohibition on condom use.

    Steph from before: I understand where you are coming from when you say abstinence works. I agree that it can. But, you are talking about POSTPONING sex until marriage. Delayed gratification is a completely different concept from prohibited gratification. There's a difference between waiting and knowing that you can never do so again. In any case, both concepts are subject to failure. It CAN work, but doesn't necessarily work in all cases. From a purely statistical point of view, condom availabilty for when it DOESN'T work is a wise course of action, if you are HIV+, or live in regions where it is rampant. I'm not arguing FOR sex outside of marriage, I'm arguing for taking into account that it DOES happen. And when it DOES happen, it shouldn't be a death sentence.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  3. by   Jolie
    [QUOTE=ZASHAGALKA;1939003]

    2 - 'if they were willing to violate church law on these issues, then why would they stop short of using condoms?' - because, most people are humans and cave where they cave but that doesn't mean that just because they are weak and fallible in ONE aspect of their beliefs that all aspects now become available to them. That's the nature of morality - breaking ranks with your personal moral code is NOT always reasonable, and certainly not consistent.


    I have a very hard time believing that a person who is "caving" on his/her morality and engaging in unmarried sex would then have a sudden attack of conscience causing him/her to forgo the use of an artificial barrier meant to prevent disease transmission and pregnancy. "I know that unmarried sex is wrong, so while I'm engaging in it I'll make certain the "act" is open to conception and disease transmission."
  4. by   Jolie
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA

    3. I understand that the church is not rethinking contraception. And it WOULD be in error for the church to make it easier to commit any action that it considers sinful, such as sexual immorality. But, the message will be sent and sent clearly: the church sanctions the use of condoms, not to prevent birth, but to prevent disease. They don't have to address the issue in re: immoral sexuality because the sanction to protect against disease transmission itself, even if not aimed at those engaged in sexual immorality, will allow many more Catholics to be more consistent with their thinking in regards to YOUR point: using condoms in that event. In other words, if I'm not able to constrain myself from sexual immorality, I understand that the church doesn't want that act to be the vehicle for the transmission of a deadly disease. So now, condoms are not the sin they were - for this purpose. Or, as you put it, those that engage in non-marital sex that are HIV positive will get the very point you make: 'thou shalt not kill' is more important than a prohibition on condom use.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.

    The point that seems to be consistently (and conveniently?) overlooked
    in the discussion is this: The possible change applies ONLY to married couples who face the risk of HIV transmission within their marital relationship. Not to unmarried couples, not to homosexual couples, and not to HIV-free married couples. So, condoms remain the "sin they were" for everyone else.
  5. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from Jolie
    The point that seems to be consistently (and conveniently?) overlooked
    in the discussion is this: The possible change applies ONLY to married couples who face the risk of HIV transmission within their marital relationship. Not to unmarried couples, not to homosexual couples, and not to HIV-free married couples. So, condoms remain the "sin they were" for everyone else.
    I haven't 'overlooked' the point. I've said that people will take the point as they will.

    If the church positions itself that use of condoms to prevent disease is a response to a higher commandment: thou shalt not kill, that point will carry the day. Sinful or not, it's as valid a point for any type of sex.

    Once the Catholic church concedes on THAT point, the ramifications will extend beyond its narrowly defined intent.

    Or, to think about it in other terms, there is a subtle difference, in the minds of most religious people, between their own tailored beliefs, and the beliefs of the church. Once the CHURCH decides that this is an issue where exceptions can be made, many will examine that exception into how they incorporate it into their own practices.

    And let me add THIS: once the church concedes on this point, many American Catholics will take it as a general concession on condoms, including use as contraceptives. Many already hold this view and the church making ANY relaxation on their use would be considered grounds for many to take it further. In fact, THIS is probably what the Catholic church has feared about this issue all along.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Nov 24, '06
  6. by   hogan4736
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    ...In the meantime, millions have died of AIDS, many Catholic. I wonder how many died because they felt it was an abomination to use a condom?

    Likely not many, just my thought on that point...As the ones who are so devout that they take the bible's words literally, are most likely not homosexual...

    The church is changing (albeit slightly) their view likely d/t pressure from married couples who are in the very situation described by Jolie...


    The Catholic Church distinguishes between dogma and regulations. The male-only priesthood is Catholic dogma, irreversible by papal decree. The ban on marriage is considered a regulation. As Knight-Ridder put it, "That means the pope could change it overnight if he wished."

    The church (certainly not just Catholics) has a history of changing regulations that would seem to better the religion...
  7. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from hogan4736
    Likely not many, just my thought on that point...As the ones who are so devout that they take the bible's words literally, are most likely not homosexual...

    The church is changing (albeit slightly) their view likely d/t pressure from married couples who are in the very situation described by Jolie...


    The Catholic Church distinguishes between dogma and regulations. The male-only priesthood is Catholic dogma, irreversible by papal decree. The ban on marriage is considered a regulation. As Knight-Ridder put it, "That means the pope could change it overnight if he wished."

    The church (certainly not just Catholics) has a history of changing regulations that would seem to better the religion...
    While I might agree that the church isn't going to change its position on homosexuality anytime soon, I don't think that is at the heart of the issue.
    Let's face it: for homosexuals using condoms, the issue was NEVER about the prevention of birth. So banning condoms as birth control device never made sense for that group. In that case, Jolie was correct: if you are going to disregard the church teachings in that case, then use of condoms isn't nearly any further of an issue.

    But for heterosexual couples? The AIDS epidemic is still very rampant. We just don't notice it as much in a nation where antiretrovirals are easily available. But in Africa? This disease still kills millions, it remains the number one health concern (killing as many as malaria, but with much longer term effects and transmission 'vectors') and it is destroying many nations and societies. Homosexuality isn't nearly as much an issue in transmission in those nations, it practically isn't an issue, at all.

    I think the number is probably more than you give credit. In America, condoms are easily and cheaply available and you can obtain them, even if Catholic, without facing much chance of stigma. The same cannot be said everywhere. And the situations being addressed: one married partner having HIV - is far more common in those places than here.

    Information on Aids - Overview

    - 29.4 Million living with HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan (SS) Africa, representing 2/3rd of all worldwide known cases

    - Estimated that 3.2 million adults and children became infected in 2003 alone in SS Africa.

    - Estimated 2.3 million died of AIDS in 2003 in SS Africa

    - You have to go down to #22 on the list of nations with highest cases of HIV/AIDS to find a nation NOT in SS Africa.

    - In 10 nations in SS Africa, more than 10% of adults have HIV.

    These are the statistics that the Vatican is addressing, not homosexuality.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Nov 24, '06
  8. by   Barb101
    rubber erases many sins
  9. by   BSNtobe2009
    I think if the Vatican approves condom use it will come with conditions, and I guarantee that. That is why they are looking at condom use only and not general birth control.

    If two married people are medically healthy, the Vatican will say they should not use a condom b/c it will inhibit procreation.

    However, if one member has a medical condition prior to marriage (HIV, Hepatitis, etc), or contracts one during the marriage, through a blood transfusion, organ transplant (rare now, but it does happen), or in the cases of nurses or healthcare workers, a dirty needle stick, then condoms are not being used to prevent birth control, they would be used to prevent the spread of disease.

    I don't think everyone needs to hold their breath that the Vatican will advocate birth control. That changed during the 50's with "Vatican II" when they adopted the new philosophy that instead of being encouraged to have as many children as possible, you can use natural methods of birth control (rhythm method), to decide whether or not to have children.
  10. by   BSNtobe2009
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    1st - I didn't say that millions have contracted AIDS because of this Catholic practice. I said, in the meantime since JPII comments in 1981, millions have contracted AIDS (in toto) and MANY OF THEM were Catholics. I didn't even try to quote a stat about how many of THEM contracted AIDS as a result of not using condoms.

    2 - 'if they were willing to violate church law on these issues, then why would they stop short of using condoms?' - because, most people are humans and cave where they cave but that doesn't mean that just because they are weak and fallible in ONE aspect of their beliefs that all aspects now become available to them. That's the nature of morality - breaking ranks with your personal moral code is NOT always reasonable, and certainly not consistent.

    3. I understand that the church is not rethinking contraception. And it WOULD be in error for the church to make it easier to commit any action that it considers sinful, such as sexual immorality. But, the message will be sent and sent clearly: the church sanctions the use of condoms, not to prevent birth, but to prevent disease. They don't have to address the issue in re: immoral sexuality because the sanction to protect against disease transmission itself, even if not aimed at those engaged in sexual immorality, will allow many more Catholics to be more consistent with their thinking in regards to YOUR point: using condoms in that event. In other words, if I'm not able to constrain myself from sexual immorality, I understand that the church doesn't want that act to be the vehicle for the transmission of a deadly disease. So now, condoms are not the sin they were - for this purpose. Or, as you put it, those that engage in non-marital sex that are HIV positive will get the very point you make: 'thou shalt not kill' is more important than a prohibition on condom use.

    Steph from before: I understand where you are coming from when you say abstinence works. I agree that it can. But, you are talking about POSTPONING sex until marriage. Delayed gratification is a completely different concept from prohibited gratification. There's a difference between waiting and knowing that you can never do so again. In any case, both concepts are subject to failure. It CAN work, but doesn't necessarily work in all cases. From a purely statistical point of view, condom availabilty for when it DOESN'T work is a wise course of action, if you are HIV+, or live in regions where it is rampant. I'm not arguing FOR sex outside of marriage, I'm arguing for taking into account that it DOES happen. And when it DOES happen, it shouldn't be a death sentence.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    I don't think that millions of people have contracted AIDS by not using condoms and you cannot compare this with a true practicing catholic.

    If you are engaging in premarital sex, you are violating the Catholic teachings, then whether or not you use a condom or not to commit the "sin" is irrelevant.

    When you subtract every case of AIDS that came by way of homosexual sex, illegal drug use, and premarital sex, a few million will get cut down to a few thousand very quickly.

    That leaves you with babies born to HIV mothers, and those that have received blood or blood products...and there still aren't many of those walking around.
  11. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from BSNtobe2009
    When you subtract every case of AIDS that came by way of homosexual sex, illegal drug use, and premarital sex, a few million will get cut down to a few thousand very quickly.
    While you may be correct about this, premarital sex, illegal drug use, and even homosexuality are sins about which the Catholic church, and MOST Christian churches offer forgiveness readily with repentance.

    And my point is valid that, in the meantime between repentance, I don't think the Catholic church is is going to give a grant to condoms for disease control and exempt these individualsl.

    And when you consider these groups, those numbers dramatically rise back to the level of millions. You need only look at Africa to see this.

    I don't think it would be the Catholic church's position to write these potentially forgiven sinners off as deserving a death sentence for their future spouses. Certainly, not if they read Jesus' interactions with an adultress and what that says about the actions we are to emulate.

    No, the Catholic church WILL NOT grant a concession to condom use in order to ENGAGE in such sins. But, I have no doubt that such a concession WILL extend to protecting future spouses against the consequences of such sins.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Nov 26, '06
  12. by   BSNtobe2009
    Homosexuality is not a sin in the Catholic church...that is a myth. It's the practice of homosexual SEX that the church is against.

    The Catholic church believes that the purposes of sex within a marriage is procreation, that can only happen between one man and one woman. Homosexuals cannot reproduce with each other, and for this reason, cannot marry, that is why it's the act of sex and not the love of a same-sexed partner.

    At my parish, one of the priests has a group of gay couples that they counsel once a week that are living as a loving couple, want to be welcome in the church as a couple, and are trying to live in the faith in the privacy of their home as well. We are not the only parish to have this group.
  13. by   CHATSDALE
    a. i cannot see the differance between nfp, condom, chemical - if your intention is to prevent pregnancy don't they think that God knows what is going on in the mind??

    the situation in africa is horrible, i don't believe that condoms will help much except perhaps in the cities but to deliver and educate in the villages will be difficult..also aids is nonsymptomatic for so long after it is contagious that we really have a problem tx for aids must be continued w/o break or it will grow profusely worse than before
    they say that life began in africa, i wonder if it will fade out there also
    God willing a cure will be discovered that can be delivered

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