The bishop’s pro-condom AIDS argument

The bishop’s pro-condom AIDS argument

For all of South African Bishop Kevin Dowling’s rage against the unfairness of the AIDS epidemic, his rejection of the Church’s teaching on contraception and insistence that the use of condoms for AIDS victims is a valid medical use has a very glaring problem: He rejects, a priori, the idea that people can be taught that it is immoral to engage in extramarital sexual activity and that they should abstain from sex. After all, which is worse: endangering your physical health or putting yourself in danger of hell?

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
15 comments
  • Dom,

    Have you ever been instructed during your youth in CCD or during your education at Franciscan Universtity, that one cannot tell a lie even if it meant saving the world from extermination?

    And lying is act of “disobedience” against God’s Will, is it not?

    NOw we have a bisop who sees his “Whole Nation” being possibly wiped out by “Aids”.  He sees daily the suffering of “innocent children dying from this horrific scouge”.

    All of this because of acts of “disobedience”, pormiscuious sex among heterosexauls, and acts of homosexuality.

    How does one hope to put an end to all this?  By allowing a “lie” to become the saviour?  The use of “condoms” is to became the saving remedy?

    Condoms have one purpose—-to prevent conception.  The use of condoms is an intrincically immoral action. Now the bishop wants to make its use a moral good act?

    And they have gone so far as to invoke the moral principal of “Double Effect”?

    They will have to do better than this. Let them spell it out word for word how this principal applies in this case.

    I know what the come-back will be.
    Blanchard, you would sing a different tune if you lived in the reality that the Bishop faces everyday. You would soon change your tune, seeing the suffering and dying taking place before your eyes.
    Blanchard, your cold and heartless.

  • Marc,

    Contrary to what you may have been told by the media, you don’t need to have sex to live. If you have a communicable disease, don’t have sex with somebody, especially if you don’t know if the deadly disease can pass through the latex. You may as well play Russian Roulette with five bullets.

  • Is it ever permissible to do evil in order to accomplish a good end? No. The answer is always No. It always has been No. It always will be No. I don’t care how you try to massage it and justify it, but that’s what the proposition boils down to.

  • That’s a bit of circular reasoning.

    Artificial contraception is an evil. Engaging in marital relations with the intention of blocking its unitive and procreative ends is evil. The condom, by definition, does that. A condom is not evil. Using a condom is.

  • Marc,

    You may think there are degrees of evil, but the Church doesn’t. That’s clearly outside the bounds of the Church’s moral teachings. And, yes, God forgives sins, but it’s not automatic. If I do something saying that God will forgive me, then I’m compounding my sin and presuming upon God’s mercy while ignoring His justice.

    Also, if someone is so ill-educated to think they can get pregnant while properly wearing a condom, then she doesn’t have intent, one of the necessary components of committing sin, although the act is still grave matter. Her culpability is reduced. Of course, the reality is the other way around: while sperm are about 1,000 times bigger than HIV and get caught in the latex, tiny little HIV can get through some condoms, especially ones made in poorly regulated Third World factories.

  • In the real world such a situation is extremely unlikelytraception ,but a side effect it is not immoral for her to have sex with her husband. But if she takes advantage of the medicine to have sex while having a contraceptive mentality, or if she continues to take it for its contraceptive properties then it would be immoral. As for the 50-50 odds, that’s cutting the hairs pretty fine and as I’m not a moral theologian, I won’t begin to tread there.

  • Here is the site that Richard was trying to link to:

    ( http://www.ewtn.com/vexperts/showresult.asp?RecNum=379844&Forums=0&Experts=16&Days=365&Author;=&Keyword=contraception&pgnu=1&groupnum=0 )

    It answers this question: “Father, does it violate Church teaching if a married couple uses condoms to prevent transmital of AIDS from an infected spouse rather than for the purpose of contraception ? If so, why ? Is abstinence their only option ? Would you note where I could go to for more detailed explanation than you may have time for.”

    Fr. Torraco answers it much better than I did.

  • Sin is the “act” of committing evil, but because of various factors our culpability can reduced. It does not reduce the “evilness” of the act. Grave matter always remains grave matter. That’s the point.

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