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Condoms: "principle of double-effect might apply" Melbourne V-G

Mgr Les Tomlinson, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Melbourne, says in The Age this morning the principle of double effect might apply for the use of condoms in the case of AIDS or for a women with an irregular menstrual cycle "as long as the intention was not to prevent conception it might be acceptable".

The report carried on CathNews yesterday about the comments of Cardinal Godfried Danneels of Belgium has been widely reported in the international media this morning. In its report, The Age newspaper quotes Mgr Les Tomlinson as saying:

the church taught that artificial contraception should never be used. But he said the "principle of double effect" might apply, where as long as the intention was not to prevent conception it might be acceptable.

He said that under this principle a woman with an irregular menstrual cycle might take the contraceptive pill because it improved her life."But the church has said it's not a good thing even in these circumstances because it might be confusing, it might seem to condone sex outside marriage."

One expects there are going to be a lot of homilies in coming weeks around Australia of priests trying to explain what the "principle of double effect" is!

The Age – Cardinal hints use of condoms not sinful

Guardian – Cardinal backs use of condoms (this report includes further perspectives on how Cardinal Danneel's position fits in with the Vatican).

14 Jan 2004