The leading article on the telegraph website this very moment is
Hmm, well I’m not sure about that, I’ll believe it when I see it. That rather jaw dropping statement is somewhat tempered by the holy father, who when it comes down to it says flatly that abstinence is a far more effective, moral and humane way of fighting aids.
The example he gives is that of a male prostitute could be right to use a condom… erm the obvious point is that the world in which a male prostitute operates is totally immoral to start with.
The Catholic Church’s current position is the most humane solution to the AIDS problem of the world, not just Africa. The Current position is that sex should only be within the context of a loving, monogamous and sacramental marriage. If the world listened to this great teaching the aids epidemic would be over in a generation. If you love someone but you are HIV positive you wouldn’t want to inflict that virus on them, abstinence would be the best way to protect them from the horrors of HIV/AIDS.
As the pope clearly said, condoms aren’t the answer to prevent the spread of aids, this is because they do not provide complete protection or 100% reliability. Would you trust your life to a very thin layer of rubber? A condom only reduces the probability of infection, how may people would still go skydiving if parachutes only opened 99% of the time?
There is good reason to believe condoms work less than 99% of the time, and that is excluding human error. The problem of course is that this is often discovered the hard way, by someone having supposedly safe sex and later discovering they are HIV positive. People think that AIDS isn’t a problem in the west anymore, they are very wrong, it still kills people, there is no cure for HIV, the grueling regimen of antiretroviral drugs does prolong life but does not halt the onset of AIDS indefinitely.
The Catholic Church knows what it is talking about and many Catholic Charities and religious communities are at the front lines of the fight against the AIDS epidemic and caring for its victims.
What I don’t understand is the idea that the Catholic Church banned contraception… I don’t see roving packs of clergy burning down condom factories or picketing family planning clinics with a drawing pin in hand.
The Catholic Church has taught that contraception is immoral, just as it teaches that sex outside of marriage is immoral and murder is immoral. People are completely free to obey or disobey the Church, if they are determined to disobey the Church then the fact that it will effect the eternal destination of their soul is probably the least of their concerns.