Vatican to take definitive stand on condoms

The Vatican announced that it will host an AIDS conference to clarify the Pope’s controversial statement on condoms.

Msgr. Jean-Marie Mpendawatu, undersecretary of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry, said the one-day conference will put to rest any questions about the Church’s stand on condoms.

Last year, the Pope told German journalist Peter Seewald that the use of condoms in certain circumstances by an HIV infected person could indicate “the intention of reducing the risk of infection, a first step in a movement toward a different way, a more human way, of living sexuality.”

Although the Pope said he still does not endorse the use of condoms as a moral solution to the spread of Aids, many understood his remark as an endorsement if abstinence was not an option.

Now, what does that have to do with RH Bill debate here?

It means that the Pope and the Vatican recognize that condoms do in fact prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS virus.

So that debunks the claim of the native bishops and their followers that condoms are porous and the HIV/AIDS virus can penetrate it. That’s one leg less for the anti-RH centipede.

If the Church ends up making one of those hair-splitting decisions like “it’s okay to use condoms for HIV/AIDS prevention but not for contraception” then
our native bishops will have to dance on the head of a pin. Again. Just like their predecessors did in the past.

Decades ago, in the US and Europe, the sale and advertisement of condoms for birth control was illegal. However, it was not illegal if condoms were sold and advertised as devices for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.

Of course, the distinction was absurd. It made pregnancy a sexually transmitted disease.

But those were the days religious leaders could still wield tremendous influence over politics, when faith came before reason.

We will see soon enough if the world is big enough to accomodate both the condom and the Church.

Manuel Buencamino

Buencamino was a weekly columnist for Today and Business Mirror. He has also written articles in other publications like Malaya, Newsbreak, "Yellow Pad" in Business World, and "Talk of the Town" in the Inquirer. He is currently with Interaksyon, the news site of TV5. MB blogged for Filipino Voices, blogs for ProPinoy and maintains a blog, Game-changers for him, as far as music goes, are Monk, Miles, Jimi, and Santana.

  • Thai anton

    In Netherlands if you go to a sex shop (prostution house) you MUST use condom or the sex shop worker( prostitute ) Will call the cops on you, and
    You will end up in JAIL. Prostitution is legal there anD sex shop worker have the right to be protected from sexually transmitted deseases. Now that is true democracy in action.

  • There are many things about the Pope’s statement that need clarification:

    a. His allowance for condom use by MALE prostitutes to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS with their wives (since abstaining from sex with your spouse is not an option): there seems to be two things that the Church considers immoral that is condoned: both homosexual intercourse and condom use. That leads to the next point

    b. What about female sex workers? Why would the Church frown upon their use of condoms and permit its use among male sex workers? Shouldn’t they be treated with the same moral equivalence?

    c. Once you allow for condom use to prevent HIV/AIDS from spreading (the Catholic Church’s big concern in Africa), other STD’s should also be considered when abstinence is not an option.

    These are just some of the ramifications of the Pope’s pronouncements. These have serious consequences for the RH debate.

    • GabbyD

      the “male prostitute” was just an example he gave in an interview. he’s since clarified it to mean sex workers generically.

      • GabbyD

        sex workers that might spread disease, i mean

    • UP nn grad

      The big leap is ths. For reasons of economics and health (economics — sex workers choose sex work for the pay) and health (condoms to protect the sex workers), condom use is acceptable and conforms to the norms of the Vatican.

      The next leap is straightforward — condom use by consenting parents should be acceptable by reasons of economics — spacing of children — and health — health. Which, in fact, was the official thinking by the think-tank of the Vatican decades ago…. until papal blah-blah-blah overruled a holy and logical look at condoms.