Lesser evil in areas of HIV contagion risk, but congregation gives mixed reaction to announcement.
- Photograph: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images
Pope Benedict XVI admitted that condom use is acceptable “in certain cases” that “certain case” is to reduce infection of HIV, not birth control.
On Tuesday November 23, 2010 the Vatican paved the way for widespread use of condoms by Catholic s spreading a theological debate among millions of followers of the Catholic church around the world. In an attempt to clarify confusion, because of many different translations of a series of interviews he recently had about acceptable condom use he stated as a lesser evil where the was risk of HIV contagion. Africa’s reaction to the statement exposed the divergence of views within the Catholic church. The Popes comments have created a doctrinal dilemma for dedicated church goers. “Everyone is misinterpreting the Vatican. People have made up their minds on this issue and are twisting the words to suit themselves and their believes, that fit them”, Says Mathew Ndagosa, archbishop for the Kaduna dioceses in Nigeria. ” The Holy father’s message was clear – there is no change in policy. The church will continue to believe that the indiscriminate use of condoms encourages promiscuity and aggravates the situation.” Boniface Lele, archbishop for the diocese of Mombasa on Kenya, where 30% of the population is Catholic, said he was very pleased: He has been advocating change in the church policy on condoms, to the displeasure of the Vatican. He promotes couples to use the contraceptive if one or both is sick, prevention is a good thing.
Conservative commentators wanted to make clear the Pope is not authorizing condom use with the homosexual community but refers to their use in heterosexual relations only. The Popes spokesman Father Federico Lombardi explained he has raised this issue with the pope. “I personally asked the pope if there was a serious, important problem in the choice of the masculine over the feminine,” Lambardi said . “He told me “no”. “It’s the first step of taking responsibility, of taking into consideration the risk of the life of another with whom you have a relationship … This is if you’re a woman, a man, or a transsexual.” What it comes down to the Pope approves of condom use with sick HIV heterosexuals as a lesser evil where there is risk of spreading HIV contagion. This pope is not likely to make any changes in times about birth control, condoms, heterosexuals, homosexuals HIV or Aids but at least they are talking about it and making sure it’s translated correctly.