Religion and Condoms
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Condoms are manufactured with a very important purpose.
They were designed to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases as well as in
preventing unwanted pregnancies. Unfortunately, religious leaders don’t see eye
to eye with condom manufacturers. And so we have this conflict between condoms and
religion going on even until this very day.
Since condoms became popular as a protection against unexpected pregnancies and sexually
transmitted diseases, the church has been vocal of its opposition against the use of such
product. The Catholic Church, in particular, has always hogged the headlines because of
its objection to the use of condoms as a birth control method. The Roman Catholic Church
never allows condom use in its family planning education campaign
but focuses on sexual abstinence and faithfulness between a married couple to prevent
the spread of HIV that causes AIDS.
The late Pope John Paul II, for instance, was a very strong advocate of the natural
family planning process and condemned the use of condoms. This year, Pope Benedict VI and
the Vatican gathered more negative feedback from various sectors of society after the Pope,
during his first trip to Africa in March, announced that condoms are not the solution to the
AIDS crisis in Africa and are even partly to blame for the spread of AIDS in the continent.
Australia’s Anglican Dean of Sydney Phillip Jensen, however, strongly supports the
views of Pope Benedict XVI saying that the promotion of condom use in Africa has only led to
increasing promiscuity. The bishop of the French city of Orleans also agreed with the Pope
saying that the condom is not a total guarantee against the spread of AIDS.
Unfortunately, there are far more groups that did not like the Pope’s comments.
The governments of Germany, Belgium and France as well as aid organizations were
angered by the pontiff’s remarks. The Lancet, an internationally known medical research
journal, even clamored for a retraction or correction of his statement because coming from
a major religious figure worldwide, they believe the irresponsible comment could cause an
adverse effect on the health of people. Currently, approximately 22 million people are
infected with HIV in Africa, based on the 2007 figures of the United Nations.
So far, among the major religious congregations in the world, most are open to condom
use. And although the Roman Catholic has long banned the use of this protective product,
there are Catholics who do prefer the condom for health protection and to prevent conception.
Personal preference for these people is seen as more important than adhering to their