Sources told NCR this week that a draft study currently being prepared by the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care would provisionally accept the use of condoms in the narrow context of a married couple, where one partner is infected with HIV/AIDS and the other is not, as a means to prevent transmission of the disease.
Speaking on background, an official in Lozano Barragàn's office later told NCR that the draft takes a favorable position on the use of condoms to halt the spread of the disease "inside marriage and the family, not outside of it."
Lozano Barragàn, however, has stressed in subsequent interviews that the work of his office is on-going and provisional, and has indicated that it will be up to Benedict XVI to decide if a document should be issued.
The key quote is of course, "It is not clear when, or if, an official Vatican document on the subject will be released to the public." Like I said the other day, if this document ever makes it to public consumption, it will be six months to a year. Mark your calendars.
A seminary friend and I were discussing the whole condom thing. He made a point about how he learned that in sex out of marriage, the Church didn't make a distinction between sex with contraception and sex without it since the sex itself is a sin. It is only after marriage that such distinctions come into play...
This is to me a lot of hair splitting over an issue that will all too easily blow up in the Church's face. The mass media and the general public will simply hear 'it's okay to use a condom' and will tune out all the points about HIV, inside the marriage and all that.
To wrap up our survey of Vaticanisti, Sandro Magister has general reaction on Cardinal Martini's comments on the condom issue that bear reading.