More on condoms from the Vatican

YAOUNDE, Cameroon — The Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, briefed reporters in Cameroon today on Pope Benedict XVI’s remarks on condoms and AIDS prevention, made on the papal plane yesterday.

The spokesman didn’t add much to what the pope had said, though there seemed to be an effort to explain succinctly why the pope said so bluntly that condom distribution was not, in his opinion, the proper response.

A few minutes ago the Vatican put out a statement from Father Lombardi with the essential points of his briefing. Here’s our translation:

Regarding the reaction provoked by words of the pope on the problem of AIDS, the director of the Vatican press office, Father Federico Lombardi, clarifies that the Holy Father has reaffirmed the position of the Catholic Church and the essential elements of its commitment in combatting the terrible scourge of AIDS: first, with education in personal responsibility in the use of sexuality and with reaffirmation of the essential role of marriage and the family; second, with research and implementation of effective treatment of AIDS and making it available to the greatest number of sick people through many health initiatives and institutions; third, with human and spiritual assistance for those with AIDS as for all the suffering, who have always been in the heart of the church.

These are the directions in which the church concentrates its commitment. It does not believe that focusing primarily on a wider distribution of condoms is in reality the best, most far-sighted and effective way to oppose the scourge of AIDS and protect human life.

4 Responses

  1. At the core of the Pope’s message was the need to humanize sexuality. In our popular culture where “recreational sex” is so widely accepted and promoted we have a dehumanization of sexuality. This contributes greatly not only to AIDS and other sexually tranmitted disease but also to out of wedlock pregnancies and associated poverty and abortion. It is time we emphasized that we areTemples of the Holy Spirit starting with our conception and that we act accordingly.

  2. I strongly commend the Pope’s statement regarding the use of contraceptive devices to prevent the spread of AIDS. I wish more clergy and laity would also become more vocal on the matter. The forces that want the distribution of contraceptives have no foundations or appreciaition for sexual relations in the first place. The only moral capacity for sexual relations is within the bonds of marriage. Outside of which there are no moral relations anyway. Some concern would have to go into the spread of the disease btween husband and wife, however due to the risk of spreading AIDS to the newborn, would that be the most responsible decision that a couple could make in preventing the spead of AIDS. I would suggest that if that situation arrises, that they offer their life to God and serve the church. We need all the help we can get.

  3. I agree with what the Pope is trying to get at, but I really don’t think he said it in the best way.
    We need to explain the Church position and why we have this position in VERY simple layperson’s terms. There are too many myths that the media perpetuates about the Church stance on sex. That needs to be cleared up.

    The Church must maintain the sanctity (and beauty) of sex within marriage and people need to understand that we can’t promote widespread condom use simply because that would be like teaching people how to sin more effectively.
    I lean towards supporting condoms for married couples with AIDS though, but I’m not sure… I leave it up to our professional theologians to ponder that one.

  4. Its up to the Church to study the matter. I dont believe in condom use because I to was of the world and forgot about the Church for 19 years.
    I now understand the logic of the Church and I also see what the world is like regarding its hate for the Church.
    The Church has stated many times what it thinks would have happened in Humanae Vitae and other times since then.
    I dont know what married couples will do who have Aids that is a tough question. Im sure that they the couple will decide in the end what they will do.
    I do know that if all of us had paid better attention or been better catechised maybe we wouldnt have to decide and maybe more couples who are Catholic Christians who have Aids maybe they would have been better off before they contracted the disease barring those who got it by accident in the early days.
    I do now know for the fact the Church has the real truth about real marriage. Its the world that hates them for that truth as Christ said it would happen. It would hate him first and now it hates His Church.
    One can see it in the Hollywood set. One sees that we are going down that slippery slope predicted many times in the history of the Bible.
    I believe in the best sense, hopefully Im saying this right as a laywoman, that the historical value of the Bible even in the old Testament is bearing fruit in some of the decadent things happening today. God knows it all from the beginning. There is nothing new to God or Satan. Its all been done before and it has cost past civilizations as well but no one thinks it can happen in the United States. Wrong this civilization is a little over 200 years old and is no different from the past great societies before us in terms of people.
    In regard to many factors today–if we arent vigilant in the best sense history will repeat itself.
    Laugh secular world but I believe Sodam and Gomorah has much to say here in the future than most give it credit for.
    As John Paul II said in Theology of the Body even Science has much to learn about Genesis so do they all have much to learn from the lessons in the Bibile.
    Even if they cant get past the sanctity there.
    I mean true scholarship of the Bible.
    My hope is that America wakes up because they arent that far behind Russia or the European Union.
    If my husband contracted Aids I know it would be hard but like the Saints who had similar problems with spouses I think that through the grace of God I think that we would have to live as brother and sister.
    I would expect to do the same for him if I contracted Aids accidentally or otherwise.
    If he divorced me I would never marry again.
    This Im sure has been done in the past by some saints–not that Im saying Im one but this is what the Church talks about when it comes down to the real sacrifice. THIS IS WHAT IT MEANS EVEN IN OUR TIME. THE MORE THINGS CHANGE THE MORE THEY STAY THE SAME. GOD CAN GIVE ONE THE GRACE IF ONE ASKS FOR IT IN DIFFICULT TIMES.
    Sometimes God hands this to us and we have to figure out what He is getting at.
    Im pretty sure this is what I would do because Ive been selfish and now I hope I see. I know it would be hard but thats what its all about–THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED.
    Love in Christ
    Brothers and Sisters

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