Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The condom thing

Or How The Media Took One Thing and Made It Something Else
Or The Health Minister's Debacle

April 24th

Condom issue hangs over Vatican | ANSA

Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, the former archbishop of Milan, said last week he thought that in certain situations condoms could be considered a "lesser evil" .

His words made a splash in the media, which immediately began speculating that a shift may be on the cards in the Vatican's traditional rejection of condoms as an option for fighting AIDS .

Italian newspapers pressed Vatican officials for views on Martini's remarks, hopeful of gauging which way the wind was blowing. But prelates were cautious, refusing to do more than confirm that it was a tricky issue .

On Sunday, the La Repubblica daily cited the pope's chief aide on health matters as saying the Vatican will soon publish a document on the use of the condom by people with serious diseases such as AIDS .

But so far there has been no confirmation that such a document is in the pipeline.

Catholic Church to Ease Ban on Condom Use | Deutche Welle

One year after the election of Pope Benedict XVI, the Vatican, in a reversal of church doctrine, is prepared to allow the use of condoms to combat AIDS.

In a victory for reform-minded critics of the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI has now reversed the Catholic Church's long-standing position with regard to the use of condoms to combat the spread of the HIV virus.

The Vatican's "health minister" Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, who is close to the pope, told the Rome-based newspaper La Repubblica "It was the pope who took the initiative over this very sensitive and difficult issue." Barragan, who is Mexican, added that the Vatican is preparing a document on condom use, but declined to reveal its details.

Church has not changed position on respect for human life, other moral issues, says Msgr. Sgreccia

Vatican office clarifies: teaching on condoms and AIDS will not change | Catholic News Agency

Vatican City, Apr. 24, 2006 (CNA) - An official from the Pontifical Council for Health and Pastoral Care, presided by Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragán, made it clear today that the recent interview given by the Mexican prelate to the Italian daily La Reppublica, doesn’t hint at any change in the doctrine of the Church on the use of condoms to fight Aids.

Over the weekend, numerous dailies and news agencies have headlined the Cardinal’s interview, in which he declared that: "This is a very difficult and delicate subject that requires prudence. My department is studying this closely with scientists and theologians expressly assigned to draft a document that will be issued soon," he said.

The prelate’s declarations became the basis of heavy speculations, especially his thoughts on making “the Church’s position more flexible,” in respect to the use of condoms.

And that was that. Tune in for next weekend's episode of 'The Vatican is poised to relax...'

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