Cardinal Martini on condoms & AIDS
Rocco Palmo points out this BBC story, which reports that Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, one-time papabile, told L’Espresso that “in couples where one had HIV/AIDS, which could pass to the partner, the use of condoms was ‘a lesser evil.’”
For more on the subject, see the cover story in the most recent Commonweal, “The Church & AIDS in Africa,” by Marcella Alsan, MD. A snippet:
This is the reality: a married woman living in Southern Africa is at
higher risk of becoming infected with HIV than an unmarried woman.
Extolling abstinence and fidelity, as the Catholic Church does, will
not protect her; in all likelihood she is already monogamous. It is her
husband who is likely to have HIV. Yet refusing a husband’s sexual
overtures risks ostracism, violence, and destitution for herself and
her children. Given these realities, isn’t opposing the use of condoms
tantamount to condemning countless women to death? In the midst of the
AIDS epidemic, which has already killed tens of millions and preys
disproportionately on the poor, the condom acts as a contra mortem and
its use is justified by the Catholic consistent ethic of life.
Now go read the whole thing.