Volumne 5 No. 2                                  

One South African Bishop Supports Condoms To Prevent AIDS

   The Agence France-Presse reports that a Roman Catholic newspaper in South Africa, The Southern Cross, has thrown its support behind a local bishop who believes the church should lift its ban on condom use to prevent HIV infections in AIDS-ravaged sub- Saharan Africa. The Southern Cross said that condoms provide one way, "albeit an imperfect one," of halting the spread of AIDS. The editorial continued, "In that light, the church is called to reconcile its total ban on prophylactics with the philosophy of the sanctity of life."

   Earlier, Bishop Kevin Dowling had said that the AIDS crisis in South Africa requires the church to permit the use of condoms to stop "transmitting death." The editorial backed Dowling's comments, explaining that this view should be seen as an attempt to balance Catholic doctrine with the compassion the Church should how toward the most vulnerable people in society. The editorial went on to say, "Bishop Kevin Dowling's contribution to this debate articulates what many Catholics, including moral theologians, have been reasoning for a long time."

Source: PPFA Public Policy Department
Table of Contents for January 2002 Newsletter