Sunday, July 13, 2008

CBCP OKs (?) Condoms for married persons with HIV

CBCP OKs Condoms for married persons with HIV

I did a double-take on this one.
Married persons infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and those with full-blown Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) will be allowed to use condoms to eliminate the risk of infecting their partners, an official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said.

Fr. Edwin Corros, executive secretary of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission for Pastoral Care for Migrants and Itinerant People (ECMI), however, said condom use should be "the last resort."

Last resort?

Before using condoms, the partners should try abstinence and faithfulness to each other.

Only if abstinence and faithfulness won't work?

He clarified that the Church is only allowing the use of condoms in order to save a life – the life of the patient’s partner. "But you see by using that (condom) we are not actually endorsing condom use. We would like to prevent deaths in the family."

Ok, a noble cause. Preventing death. But what kind? Spiritual or physical death?

"I also think that the person also has the right to express the love to his or her partner. So this is practical. (Besides) you cannot also be sure that using condom would be 100-percent proof," Corros said.

Then why recommend it at all? Certainly, the jury is still out on whether condoms are actually effective against HIV. As a "last resort" because it is "practical"? It is strange from a prelate''s point of view that practicality might be used to justify something which is inherently evil. Unless I have read Humanae Vitae incorrectly, which affirms that contraceptives are intrinsically evil, and that each and every marriage act must remain open to the transmission of life, and that the unitive and procreative aspect of the marital act can never be separated. Could I be mistaken? I stand to be corrected. However, I wonder why news reports always attribute the statements of anyone associated with CBCP as an apparent official stand of the CBCP itself. For one thing, the good Fr. Corros statements (personal opinions?) are not featured in the official



matthew archbold said...

this is profoundly disturbing. I have to consider it for a while but at first blush I agree with your take on this. Disturbing.

WillyJ said...

Disturbing is the word, Matthew. Here is an update I just got though, and one that is featured in the CBCP site:

"Fr. Melvin Castro, the executive secretary of the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (ECFL) of CBCP denounced earlier media reports that CBCP has given permission to use condoms for those with HIV/AIDS...Under no circumstances both Vatican and CBCP have ever made an official statement that the use of condoms are okayed as a last resort, Castro added."