Volumne 5 No. 2
Bishops' Conference Remains Stalwart On Condom Use
With more than 25 million Africans now
infected with the HIV/AIDS virus, the world awaited the pronouncement
of the South African Bishops' Conference last July.Would the bishops
relax their ban on condoms? The answer was No.
After five days of debating behind closed doors, the
Catholic bishops from Botswana, South Africa, and Swaziland emerged
from their semi-annual meeting in Pretoria, South Africa, to announce
that they stand solidly behind the Vatican in their position on the
use of condoms to prevent the spread of AIDS.
The bishops concluded that condoms are "an
immoral and misguided weapon in our battle against HIV/AIDS."
The bishops believe that condoms undermine abstinence and marital fidelity.Condoms
are doubly sinful, they say, both as contraceptives and agents of promiscuity.
In the war against AIDS,the Vatican has ejected prevention
campaigns that pay special attention to those at highest risk of HIV
infection,believing that such recognition would imply approval of immoral
According to Ethiopia's Health Ministry, the country's
AIDS death toll is expected to reach 1.7 million by the end of the year.
Africa lays claim to more than 70% of the 36 million people worldwide
who are living with HIV/AIDS.
Professor of Moral Theology and Consultation President,
Dan Maguire said: "This is the way reform of moral teaching
happens in the Catholic church. The Church once taught that all interest
on loans was sinful. The laity led the way to reform by disagreeing.
The theologians followed in about 100 years, and 100 years later, the
Vatican finally caught up.Given the stakes in human life and the Vatican's
influence and power, one hopes it will not take them that long to learn