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Vatican reaffirms opposition to use of condoms to counter AIDS
    Despite rumours that it was re-evaluating its position on the use of condoms in AIDS prevention, the Vatican on Thursday reaffirmed its opposition.
    Vatican officials also told a news conference that while it was no secret some priests had contracted AIDS either through sexual conduct or contact with AIDS patients, they felt media attention on the issue was 'morbid curiosity'.
    "Is it possible to use condoms? Of course. Many people use them. But if you ask whether they are allowed according to Catholic doctrine, the answer is 'no' because they are not ethically permissible," said Archbishop Javier Barragan.
    Barragan, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Workers, was speaking on the opening of a two-day symposium at the Vatican on AIDS and health care.
    "We are opposed to the use of condoms because they do not respect the absolute dignity of the human person," Barragan said.
    Rumours have swept Church circles around the world that the Vatican might be on the verge of allowing limited use of condoms based on the concept of the "lesser of two evils". The speculation was fuelled by an article last September in the US Jesuits' publication 'America'.