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Cardinal says condoms ban due to implied sexual immorality

Pontifical Council for the Family president Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, has said explicitly that the Church does not allow the use of condoms - even to prevent HIV/AIDS infection - because their use "implies sexually immoral conduct."

Speaking on Colombia's RCN Radio Network, he regretted confusion caused by the reporting of statements by the Secretary of the Spanish Bishops Conference, Fr Juan Antonio Martinez Camino.

Martinez Camino said condoms could have "a place in the global approach to tackling AIDS", but the Conference followed up with a statement stressing that there had not been any change in the Church's position on the use of condoms.

Cardinal Trujillo (pictured) insisted that the Church "collaborates effectively and meaningfully in the prevention of AIDS, promoting the education of persons in faithful conjugal love that is open to life".

Meanwhile Pontifical Council for Health Care president Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan told an Italian newspaper that the pressure for widespread distribution of condoms reflects acceptance of "a libertarian and libertine sexual conduct".

He was also responding to the controversy that followed the Spanish statement.

Cardinal Barragan argued that the drive to accept condom use reflects "the norms that derive from the sexual revolution".

Pressed by reporters on the question of whether it would be a "lesser evil" for an AIDS-infected individual to use a condom rather than risk exposing his partner to the AIDS virus, the cardinal declined to respond.

"I don't want to get into casuistry," he said, explaining that it would be imprudent to enter into a theoretical discussion, without knowing the specific circumstances that faced the individual.

On Thursday, Melbourne auxiliary Bishop Christopher Prowse said: "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."

Last month, Church Resources CEO Fr Michael Kelly - a member of the Federal Government's Ministerial Advisory Committee on AIDS, Sexual Health and Hepatitis has said it is culture, not condoms, that should occupy the minds of seeking a solution to AIDS.

"The Church opposes condom use in part because their use does not address the cause of the problem, a deadly virus transmitted through sexual contact," he explained. "It is not an anti-sex argument to observe that our culture has been thoroughly over-sexualised largely for commercial gain."

Cardinal Lopez Trujillo weighs in on condom use and AIDS (Catholic News Agency 24/1/05)
Vatican prelate reiterates stand against condoms (Catholic World News 24/1/05)

Pontifical Council for the Family
Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care
Spanish Bishops Conference
The truth about condoms (The Tablet 10/7/04)

Pope calls attention to AIDS in developing world (CathNews 24/1/05)
Condom controversy continues (CathNews 21/1/05)
Spanish Church acknowledges role of condoms in AIDS fight (CathNews 20/1/05)
Priest says AIDS fight must tackle 'sex object' culture (CathNews 1/12/04)

Education Needed in AIDS Fight, Says Pope (Zenit 23/1/05)

25 Jan 2005