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.'"
This is the reality: a married woman living in Southern Africa is athigher risk of becoming infected with HIV than an unmarried woman.Extolling abstinence and fidelity, as the Catholic Church does, willnot protect her; in all likelihood she is already monogamous. It is herhusband who is likely to have HIV. Yet refusing a husbands sexualovertures risks ostracism, violence, and destitution for herself andher children. Given these realities, isnt opposing the use of condomstantamount to condemning countless women to death? In the midst of theAIDS epidemic, which has already killed tens of millions and preysdisproportionately on the poor, the condom acts as a contra mortem andits use is justified by the Catholic consistent ethic of life.