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condoms and Cathloic church - 03/03/2013

The Catholic Church has long opposed the use of condoms within and even outside of marriage. Since it strongly believes in the preservation of life, any type of contraceptive method is not acceptable to Catholicism. According to the church, the use of artificial birth control goes against the purpose of sex which is to procreate particularly among married couples. It further believed that condom use only encourages abuse and rape. In 1930, Pope Pius XI officially announced that contraception is “an offense against the law of God and nature” and those who practice it are guilty of a grave sin. Many other popes are one in their stand against condom use and a relaxation of the church policy. In 1995, Pope John Paul II issued an Evangelium Vitae that ruled against abortion and use of contraceptives. These two methods, he described as slayers of potential children whom God intended to create. In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI also supported the policy and even referred to some Italian Catholics who had a few children only as having a certain “dangerous individualism.” He also added that contrary to its supposed objective of preventing the spread of AIDS in Africa, condom use encourages sexual activity and therefore can contribute to the epidemic. Three years after, though, Pope Benedict XVI surprised the world when he signaled a shift in the church’s stand. In his new book, he said that the Catholic Church can allow the use of condom to prevent the spread of AIDS in certain instances. He clarified, however, he was not going against the past teachings and that he based his logic on St. Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century. In 2003, a documentary produced by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) showed the late Colombian cardinal Alfonso Trujillo as saying that the condoms are unsafe to use. Trujillo, who was then the head of the pontifical council for the family, expounded that the AIDS virus can spread through the condoms and since they are only 90 percent, there is still a 10 percent risk that cannot be discounted. But while a great number of popes were totally against the rubber contraceptive, there were some who attempted to relax the policy. In 1966, for instance, a papal commission on birth control succeeded in recommending that opposition be relaxed. The commission was passed after gaining 30 votes against five that opposed. Two years after, however, then Pope Paul VI reinforced the opposition of the Vatican and issued Humanae Vitae that signified the Catholic Church’s position against condom use until today. Unknown to many, the Catholic Church provides an estimated 25 percent of all AIDS care around the world. The care is provided to different types of people – married men and men, single people, lesbians, gays, transsexuals and sex workers. Catholic health care has been contributing in the fight against AIDS for a long time now and reports have it that it has brought anti-retroviral treatment to a great number of people.

 

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