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Condom controversy continues


The controversy unleashed yesterday by a spokesman for the Spanish Catholic Bishops' Conference has caused much confusion in headlines around the world. The Spanish Bishops have denied any change. Bishop Prowse in Melbourne defended the Roman position and said there would be no change in Australia.

While some media are still reporting the original story indicating a change in Spain, most are now reporting the denial of a change and carrying local reports either backing Rome or backing some modification of the opposition to condoms in the AIDS fight.

This excerpt from the Melbourne Herald-Sun provides as good overview as any of the more than 400 headlines around the world being carried by the Google search engine early this morning.

The secretary-general of the Spanish bishops' conference later backtracked, saying the Spanish church still believed artificial contraception to be immoral.

But the heads of the Catholic church in England and Belgium have also recently suggested that condoms could be morally obligatory in some circumstances.

Self-described Catholic AIDS agency the Australian AIDS Fund yesterday called on the church in Australia to follow the rebels' lead.

"The church has been hung up on condoms as a barrier to life," AAF president Brian Haill said. "But HIV has changed the whole situation and now condoms preserve life."

But Christopher Prowse, Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne, yesterday defended the Roman position and said there would be no change in Australia. "The idea of allowing condoms to fight AIDS tends to look at AIDS outside the bigger moral view of fidelity in marriage and chastity in life," he said.

Maverick Catholic priest Father Bob Maguire said in the face of a greater evil such as AIDS sometimes a lesser evil had to be allowed.

SOURCES
Church firm in stance on condoms (Herald-Sun 21/1/05)
Spain bishops deny condom rethink (BBC 21/1/05)
Church holds firm on condoms (SBS World News 20/1/05)


LINK
Spain's Catholic Church backs condoms to fight AIDS (Reuters 18/1/05)


ARCHIVE
Priest says AIDS fight must tackle 'sex object' culture (CathNews 31/12/04)
Australian charity targets poverty in PNG AIDS fight (ABC News 30/11/04)
World AIDS Day 1st December 2004 (Caritas Australia)
Australian Government New Ministerial Advisory Committee on AIDS, Sexual Health and Hepatitis
World AIDS Day 1 December 2004
Australian AIDS Fund Inc
Drugs won't rid world of AIDS, says agency (Church Times 26/11/04)
Women more vulnerable to AIDS, Vatican official says (Catholic World News 30/11/04)
Churches sign AIDS code (Ekklesia 30/11/04)
Little Joyce: AIDS survivor (Catholic Mission 29/11/04)
Experts now say abstinence and fidelity key to stopping AIDS (Catholic News Agency 29/11/04)
Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care: Message for World Aids Day, 1 December 2004 (African Jesuit AIDS Network)
Vatican Message for World AIDS Day (Catholic Bishops Conference of India 24/11/04)
1 in 4 centers dedicated to treating HIV/AIDS in the world are Catholic, says Cardinal (Catholic News Agency 25/11/04)
Holy See calls for banishing of "social stigma" against AIDS victims (Catholic News Agency 25/11/04)
Vatican Message for World AIDS Day (Catholic Bishops Conference of India 24/11/04)
Cardinal calls for reduction in price of AIDS medicines (Ekklesia 25/11/04)
"Reduction of the price of the anti-viral drugs needed to treat HIV/AIDS patients; intensification of information campaigns in order to avoid mother/child transmission of the virus; greater attention for most vulnerable social groups." Message for World AIDS Day from the President of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care of Health workers and the Sick (Fides 24/11/04)
Vatican calls for cheaper drugs to treat HIV/AIDS patients (Independent Catholic News/Fides 25/11/04)
AIDS Hits Women Harder, Warns Vatican (Zenit 24/11/04)
Vatican Message for World AIDS Day (Zenit 24/11/04)
Amid changing attitudes, Thai Catholics lead way in AIDS awareness (Catholic News Service 23/11/04)
Catholic-run center in Thailand helps AIDS patients survive, thrive (Catholic News Service
23/11/04)

Christian Aid calls for urgent action in fight against AIDS (Independent Catholic News 24/11/04)
Australian charity targets poverty in PNG AIDS fight (ABC News 30/11/04)

21 Jan 2005