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Monday, April 24, 2006

Condom Report

There has been a flurry of blogging over the use of condoms by married Catholics infected with AIDS. This has been prompted by rumors that a document is forthcoming from the Vatican on this issue. However, it has been confused and muddled due to an interview of Cardinal Maria Martini (apparently a liberal) in which he claims allowing married Catholic couples in this situation could be the "lesser of two evils". So much has been posted and blogged, it is difficult to present anything comprenhensive on my own. Let me direct you to the American Papist blog. He is doing a fine job of posting stories and documents as this story progresses.
I did find this little editorial in an Australian newspaper. It is so befuddling and confused on Catholic teaching, I don't know where to begin. But it points to the basic problem, I think, behind this issue. The assumption in our society is that we must have sex or we will....die? Who knows. Condoms have been known to fail. Any husband or wife who truly loves their spouse would abstain from sexual intercourse rather than take any risk of sentencing them to this disease. Never mind that even if the couple clearly has the intent of using a condom solely to protect from infection, using a condom interferes with the unitive nature of the marital act. It renders it something more akin to masturbation than intercourse. So even if you take fertility out of the picture, no principle of double effect can be applied in this instance. For that matter, married couples where the woman is past menopause with no chance of conception cannot use a condom either. Anyhow, this post is a bit ramblimg. Do read the American Papist. He is much more coherent.

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