CONTRACEPTION

An Italian Daily has rumoured that the Pope plans to make an announcement on a change in the policy on contraception possibly as early as this month.  This much is certain.  Cardinal Barragan of Mexico has completed the first stage of a review on contraception in the church.  Cardinal Daneels of Belgium said that using s condom in a conjungal situation to protect against Aids is morally different than using one for birth control.  The Pope’s own theologian, Cardinal Cottier, argues that the Roman Catholic “theology  of life” could be used to justify lifting the ban (to prevent death from Aids)  Cardinal Martini, a candidate for the papacy. said a married person with HIV was “obliged” to protect his or her partner from the disease.

        It is reckoned that 40 million people are HIV positive and that 8,000 die from Aids a day.  Surely it is time for a philosophy of life.

16 Comments »

  1. 1
    Barbara Says:

    Who was it said the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath?

  2. 2
    Paul Geraghty Says:

    That would be Dolly Parton, Barbara. I hope this is not going to be a repeat of 1968 – hopes raised and then cruelly dashed.

  3. 3
    SUZANNE Says:

    Not gonna happen. Their could be something regarding condom use in cases of rape(which is already permissible), but Catholic Church doctrine on contraception is not going to change. You cannot initiate sex with the intention of using contraception.

    You can make an intrinsically immoral act morally permissible.

  4. 4
    Barbara Says:

    Can you explain to me, Suzanne, how a condom may permissably be used in cases of rape? Does one politely offer a condom to the rapist? Is it permissable to force the rapist to use a condom?

  5. 5
    SUZANNE Says:

    For an act to be contraceptive, sex has to be involved.

    Rape does not constitute sex, since sex requires two people’s consent.

    Therefore, a condom in the case of rape is permitted, as it amounts to self-defense, not contraception.

    It is permissible to ask a rapist to use a condom, if you can persuade him.

    I remember that a group of nuns working in the Balkans were allowed to carry condoms during the Balkan wars in the nineties.

  6. 6
    Barbara Says:

    Thank you for that clarification, Suzanne. God knows we must protect nuns!
    If self-defense justifies the use of a condom — I agree that it does — then is not reasonable for a woman whose husband is believed to have contracted AIDS to insist on a condom out of self-defense? She may not have the power to deny her husband sex in her culture.

  7. 7
    SUZANNE Says:

    If self-defense justifies the use of a condom — I agree that it does — then is not reasonable for a woman whose husband is believed to have contracted AIDS to insist on a condom out of self-defense? She may not have the power to deny her husband sex in her culture.

    This is where it gets slightly thornier. There is a case to be made that if the husband is going to seriously injure her for refusing to have sex, a condom may not be in the wrong.

    But I can just see this exception being extended to cover situations it was never meant to cover.

  8. 8
    Barbara Says:

    It seems like a fairly restricted situation to me, Suzanne. (1) There is a spouse with AIDS (or very likely to have contracted AIDS); (2) There is an imminent threat to the health of the noninfected spouse. Whether the husband beats his wife or how severely he beats her or whether he “merely” disowns and thereby disgraces her seems to me to be part of the threat.
    What is needed is education of the pastors of such populations, that they may give wise and compassionate advice to women (especially) in such dire circumstances.
    The alternative is a horrific loss of life to disease that could have been prevented — yes, by chastity, most of all, but in the event that one partner is not a saint by prudent use of a condom. How seriously are we taking this theology of life?

  9. 9
    Cate McB Says:

    How seriously indeed ???????
    Way to go Barbara!!!!

  10. 10
    SUZANNE Says:

    The alternative is a horrific loss of life to disease that could have been prevented — yes, by chastity, most of all, but in the event that one partner is not a saint by prudent use of a condom. How seriously are we taking this theology of life?

    In Uganda,where abstinence is widely practiced, AIDS has been curbed.

    It shoul the offending partner who should be taken to task. It is his responsibility. The burden shouldn’t be on the wife to use condoms, it should be on the society to make men accountable for their actions. Condoms don’t solve the problem of a whole structure of sin, wherein men think it’s perfectly okay to sleep around.

    Condoms are not the answer. They don’t even stop AIDS in every case.

  11. 11
    Barbara Says:

    Of course abstinence is the best method for controlling AIDS. It requires education and a society that does not send men away from home to work in mines where they lack the companionship of their families. Alas, until society changes and men take responsibility, innocent women will die, innocent babies will be born with AIDS.

    No, condoms do not solve the problem of a whole structure of sin. However, until that problem is solved women will die.

    There is another structure of sin that does not protect innocent women. A condom may not protect against AIDS 100%, but it is a darn sight better than unprotected sex in saving women’s lives.

    The offending partner should be taken to task, you say. I suppose, but he already has a death sentence on him and inadequate medical treatment in many places. How will punishing him any more save women’s lives?

  12. 12
    SUZANNE Says:

    The offending partner should be taken to task, you say. I suppose, but he already has a death sentence on him and inadequate medical treatment in many places. How will punishing him any more save women’s lives?

    For one thing, the guy doesn’t always KNOW he has HIV. He won’t put a condom on in the first place.

    Secondly, even if he does know, and he’s callous as you make him out to be, why would he put one on? If he’s willing to beat up his wife, then what makes him likely to put one on?

    The real solution is not condoms but a more respectful culture.

  13. 13
    Barbara Says:

    I don’t believe I have characterized the man as necessarily callous. Some may be. I suspect many are victims of societal ills. Societal changes don’t occur overnight. Fear of death, whether in the form of AIDS or capital punishment, does not eliminate bad behaviour.
    I am presuming the man loves his wife and would use a condom to protect her, if he were to be convinced it were the lesser of two evils.
    I think that woman stands a better chance of getting her husband to put on a condom than those nuns would have getting a rapist to put one on.

  14. 14
    alien Says:

    Times have definately changed, Aids was probably not around when religions took their stands on what is acceptable behavior. Believing in evolution, means things change, and we must adapt to the new reality. Better safe than sorry. Especially since Aids sees no difference in a man or women. We have to protect ourselves even if religion has not caught up to the new now. Shutting our eyes with blind faith, might hurt us badly. What new surprises does nature have for us all in the future. Will religion be ready to evolve also. Maybe some religions meant, two partners stay together for ever, never sleep together or with anyone else before marriage, so there would be no chance of disease. That’s not going to be the norm anymore. It has become a scary world in just my 45 years.

  15. 15
    Paul Geraghty Says:

    It may have become a scary world Alien but at least you talk a lot of sense!

  16. 16
    Eleanor Says:

    Why not take a survey among priests themselves to determine their choice of birth control material and the reasons for this choice. Is is to avoid AIDS from multiple partners or to avoid impregnating their female lovers? That the Chuch has to debate this question as millions of lives hang in the balance is what is sinful – not the birth control.

    “Glimpses into the Obvious”


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