TV & Radio
バチカンがコンドーム使用で方針転換？ ＨＩＶ感染防止で (産経 2006/04/24)
Vatican reviews policy on condoms
Questions raised about which is lesser evil: condoms, AIDS
Tuesday, April 25, 2006 Posted: 1642 GMT (0042 HKT)
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- The Vatican is studying whether condoms can be condoned to help stem the tide of AIDS and a host of other bioethical issues such as stem cell research, officials said Tuesday.
But there is no indication of when or whether it would pronounce itself on the matter.
Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, who heads the Vatican office for health care, was quoted over the weekend in Italy's La Repubblica daily as saying his office was preparing a document on the question of condoms and AIDS, and that it would be released soon.
But on Tuesday, he clarified that his office was merely studying the issue at the request of the pope as part of a broader "dialogue" with other Vatican departments.
"We are conducting a very profound scientific, technical and moral study" on how to deal with married couples when one is infected with HIV, he told Vatican Radio.
He said the study would be presented to Pope Benedict XVI, "who with his wisdom and the help of the Holy Spirit will take a decision and tell us where we are going."
While the Vatican has no specific policy concerning condoms and AIDS, the Catholic Church opposes the use of condoms as part of its overall teaching against contraception. It advocates sexual abstinence as the best way to combat the spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Debate over 'lesser evils'
The issue was reignited last week when a one-time papal contender, retired Milan Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, said in comments published in Italian newsweekly L'Espresso that condoms were the "lesser evil" in combating AIDS.
Other cardinals and prelates have made similar comments, arguing that when confronted with the possibility that within a married couple, an HIV-positive spouse could transmit the virus to the other, it was a "lesser evil" to condone the couple's use of condoms.
Other cardinals, however, have flatly rejected their argument -- an indication that the issue is still undecided at the Vatican.
Two Vatican officials said Tuesday that the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith -- which was headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger before he became pope -- had for some time been gathering information on a broad host of bioethical issues, including AIDS and condoms.
Lozano Barragan's office, as well as the Pontifical Academy for Life, have contributed to the congregation's study, the officials said, speaking on condition they not be identified further.
The Pontifical Academy for Life is a Vatican think tank that focuses on bioethical issues, such as artificial procreation, end-of-life care and stem cell research.
However, the officials said there was no indication that the congregation was actively preparing a document on the issue, much less about when a pronouncement might emerge. "It might have been put on the back burner," one official at the Academy for Life said.
When the congregation does release the document, the Rome daily Il Messagero reported, it would restate church teaching on condoms and reject any opening on the question of condoning them for married couples when a partner has AIDS. It said the Vatican would reject Martini's argument that condoms were the "lesser evil."
Several cardinals and churchmen have spoken out on the issue in recent years as the Vatican has come under increasing criticism for its position.
Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels, for example, has said it would be a sin for an HIV-positive person to have sex without a condom, since he or she would be violating the Fifth Commandment, "you shall not kill."
Lozano Barragan himself has suggested that condoms could sometimes be condoned, such as when a woman cannot refuse her HIV-positive husband's sexual advances, since she has a right to defend herself.
However, another Vatican cardinal, Alfonso Lopez Trujillo of Colombia, made headlines in 2003 when he said condoms did not prevent AIDS and may help spread it because they created a false sense of security. Lopez Trujillo heads the Vatican's office for the family.
Vatican preparing statement on condoms and AIDS
Sun 23 Apr 2006 12:42 PM ET
ROME, April 23 (Reuters) - The Vatican will soon publish a statement on the use of condoms to prevent the spread of AIDS, an issue highlighted by a call from a leading cardinal to ease its ban on them, a Catholic Church official said.
Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, the head of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care, declined to reveal the contents of the document in an interview published in Sunday's la Repubblica newspaper, but said Pope Benedict had asked his department to study the issue.
The former archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, who was standard bearer for a moderate minority in the conclave that elected the Pope last year, called for a reform in an interview published in Italy on Friday.
The Vatican opposes condoms as a form of contraception, but several cardinals have said in recent years that using them is a lesser evil if the alternative is infection with AIDS.
"This is a very difficult and delicate subject that requires prudence," said Mexican-born Barragan.
"My department is studying this closely with scientists and theologians expressly assigned to draft a document that will be issued soon," he said.
The Catholic Church, which runs many hospitals and institutions to help AIDS victims, opposes the use of condoms and teaches that fidelity within heterosexual marriage, chastity and abstinence are the best way to stop the spread of AIDS.
It says promoting condoms to fight the spread of AIDS fosters immoral and hedonistic lifestyles and behaviour that will only contribute to its spread.
In his interview with the weekly L'Espresso, Martini backed up his call for a change in condom policy by referring to cases where one partner in a marriage is infected with AIDS.
"This person has an obligation to protect the other partner and the other partner also has to protect themselves," he said. The Church disapproves of sexual intercourse outside marriage.
Barragan commented favourably on Martini's suggestion that the Church allow women who cannot get pregnant to use surplus frozen embryos from fertility clinics that usually dispose of them after a couple has undergone fertility treatment.
Pope orders condoms study in Aids fight
Barbara McMahon in Rome
Monday April 24, 2006
Pope Benedict has asked senior theologians and scientists to prepare a document discussing the use of condoms as a means of preventing the transmission of HIV, a Vatican official has revealed.
The study comes only days after a contender in last year's papal elections, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, challenged the Roman Catholic church's official position by suggesting that condom use was the "lesser evil" in combating Aids.
It is unclear whether the proposed document will pave the way for a fundamental shift in church policy. The Vatican currently opposes the use of condoms as part of its teaching against contraception, and advocates sexual abstinence as the best way to fight the spread of the Aids virus.
Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragán, who is in charge of the Vatican's healthcare ministry, disclosed plans to publish the document in an interview published in La Repubblica newspaper yesterday.
"Soon, the Vatican will issue a document about the use of condoms by persons who have grave diseases, starting with Aids," said Cardinal Barragán "My department is carefully studying it, along with scientists and theologians."
He described the issue as a "very difficult and delicate subject which warrants prudence". He did not want to anticipate any outcome of the study.
In the past, Pope Benedict has said chastity is the only safe way to fight the spread of HIV. But the subject has sharply divided the church's most senior clerics.