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HOME > The Bowl > Thinking Outside the Bowl > Intensely Serious Debate > Holy See: Condoms do not prevent HIV
   
 
Holy See: Condoms do not prevent HIV

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rf134a  
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Oct 09, 2003  2:16 AM 1

So, is it better to give conceive an unwanted child, catch an STD/HIV or to break the cycle of procreation? Sometimes, I really wonder about the 'wisdom' of people who work or whatever they do in that 1.6 square km of land called "the Holy See". I really despise scaremongering from anyone of any faith.

Scientific research by a group including the US National Institutes of Health and the WHO found "intact condoms... are essentially impermeable to particles the size of STD pathogens including the smallest sexually transmitted virus... condoms provide a highly effective barrier to transmission of particles of similar size to those of the smallest STD viruses".

The Vatican's Cardinal Trujillo said: "They are wrong about that... this is an easily recognisable fact."
...
In Lwak, near Lake Victoria, the director of an Aids testing centre says he cannot distribute condoms because of church opposition. Gordon Wambi told the programme: "Some priests have even been saying that condoms are laced with HIV/Aids."


http://www.guardian.co.uk/internati...1058966,00.html


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Oct 09, 2003  9:04 AM 2

To emphasize the seriousness of this consider that:

1. Contrary to what people might be led to believe by the media, it is not war or starvation that is the biggest killer in Africa. AIDS is the number one cause of death, having killed 2.4 million people.

2. 2/3 of all HIV cases are in subsaharan Africa.

3. AIDS has so far orphaned 12 million African children, this number is expected to triple in the next 6 years. Is the Catholic church going to raise these children?

The stance of the Roman Catholic church in this matter seems so shocking and offensive that you would think it would cause Catholics to question the morality of their religion, and the very foundations of their faith.


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Oct 10, 2003  9:52 AM 3

Dewcat I think things need to kept in perspective here.
Originally posted by dewcat


The stance of the Roman Catholic church in this matter seems so shocking and offensive that you would think it would cause Catholics to question the morality of their religion, and the very foundations of their faith.



You may not agree with the teachings of the church it's not fair to call them immoral. The church teaches abstinence before marriage, period. The use of any contraception except natural family planning is not allowed. When one keeps these teaching in mind one can indeed see where the statement came from, even though it is scientifically wrong. That does not make it immoral.... If your theory of immorality were the prevailing logic one can also form the conclusion that it's immoral for aid workers to openly defy the predominent religion's teachings... Why should I as a catholic question the foundation of my religion when in fact the church is taking a stance that abstinence before marriage is indeed the "safest sex" and ultimate protection from HIV and STD's. I may not agree with the Cardinal's statements but that does not make a whole religion immoral.....

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Oct 10, 2003  10:25 PM 4

Originally posted by CSK'sMom
I may not agree with the Cardinal's statements but that does not make a whole religion immoral.....



Maybe not the whole religion, just the officials and the policy makers/'interpreters':


immoral

\Im*mor"al\, a. [Pref. im- not + moral: cf. F. immoral.] Not moral; inconsistent with rectitude, purity, or good morals; contrary to conscience or the divine law; wicked; unjust; dishonest; vicious; licentious; as, an immoral man; an immoral deed.



I agree that preaching abstinance is not 'immoral' per se (more like unrealistic and dogmatic), and teaching that condoms are not 100% effective is fine, but to lie to people and say that they're completely ineffective, and encouraging people not to use them - at the risk of getting a horrible disease you die from - would be, imo 'contrary to conscience', 'wicked', 'unjust', 'dishonest' and 'vicious'

Life is not a dress rehearsal. Edited by alligator on
Oct 10, 2003 at 10:27 PM

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Oct 10, 2003  11:09 PM 5

Ahhh... I see how the reference to divine law was very conveniently left out alligator.... The Catholic church has actively discouraged all forms of birth control since it's invention. Why is this any different?? Let's also keep in mind that we are talking about Africa here as per dewcat's post. The predominent religion is Catholicism. The dioceces' of Africa are taking the same stand as here in North America. No condoms, no birth control pill, no birth control at all other than natural family planning and absolutely no pre-maritual sex. It's not an unrealistic teaching to a Catholic, and it is very attainable. These teachings are the ultimate safe sex. Do you consider the aid workers who pay sexually active people to use condoms immoral?? These types of programs are the norm in the gov't run AIDS programs in Africa according to some prominent AIDS charities here in North America. I absolutely consider actions like these immoral according to divine law. Not only are we talking about people who live in incredible poverty but we are talking about the vast majority being Catholics. So they are given money (which there is a dire need for) to wear a condom (and commit a serious sin). The Cardinals' science was definitely not correct but I have to wonder if it was a case of fighting fire with fire, not that I consider that appropriate either........

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Oct 11, 2003  1:39 AM 6

I admit I don't know very much about being Catholic, so I am merely a stranger looking in.

I know the AIDS crisis in Africa is growing more and more out of control. Money is basically a rarity for most people, and well, healthcare is just non-existent. But who is being infected? Is it only within married couples or is it also the unwed?

One cannot deny that AIDS is spreading very rapidly in Africa. But how? Mother to baby? Possibly. Blood transfusions? I dunno. Drug use? Not very likely, but possible. Unprotected sex? Definitely a possibility. Sex is an activity that transcends economic status. I guess you can call it Human Nature. So, even though premarital sex is forbidden for Catholics, there must be some Africans who are having premarital sex. Or having extra-marital affairs. How else can we explain the fast infection?

Catholicism is a very old religion that dates way back. Very few, if any, of its traditions have changed. I believe the Bible is full of teachings and knowledge based on strong beliefs and faith. But I also think that is was written based on the way of life of that time period. I can understand the Catholic Church's desire to preach abstinence. I agree that it is the safest way to protect yourself from premarital pregnancy. There's no doubt about it. But AIDS and other STDs did not exist back then. And neither did the condom. How could they know?

So, do you think it's possible that the Catholic teachings did not have AIDS and STDs in mind when they were written? In my opinion (and it's only my opinion), Catholic beliefs (and possibly other religions' beliefs) don't all necessarily reflect life and society as we know it today.

I know that if the Catholic Church condones the use of condoms, they believe it also condones premarital sex and birthcontrol. But, all these people are dying and they are being told that condoms are ineffective. If I had to choose between life and religion, I would choose life, but then again, I'm not a devout Catholic. Would they choose something different? I personally think people who want to do something, will do it regardless of what religion says. I'd like some choice in the matter instead of being told what to do. It just seems to me that lying to followers about condom use is the same as indirectly killing them. Truth and honesty should play the dominant role.

There's a fine line in this debate. Is change in religion really that bad? Everything else in life is dynamic, so why must religion be static? Could anyone shed some more light on this?

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Oct 11, 2003  7:42 AM 7

To give an idea of the direction the Catholic Church is going in, I was in Montreal this past summer, and when I stopped by Notre Dame Cathedral for a few minutes of quiet prayer on a busy day I was having, I found that they now charge $3.00 admission - not an optional donation mind you - this is strictly a pay to pray operation. It literally sickened me that day, to see the path my religion is taking. Forget about letting homeless people in to warm up, if the Catholic Church really operated under Christian principles, they would sell the jewels, the art, the real estate holdings, etc., etc., etc. and run the operation out of rented office space in Rome. So there inflexibility in the current African holocaust is really no surprise.


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Oct 11, 2003  11:06 AM 8 Save Up 90% With Our Deal of the Week at Chapters!

Originally posted by CSK'sMom
The Catholic church has actively discouraged all forms of birth control since it's invention.

Unless I'm confused about my pronouns here (not unreasonable, given the use here), that's a bold statement to make - that the Catholic Church was invented.

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Oct 11, 2003  1:29 PM 9

Originally posted by chdude3
Unless I'm confused about my pronouns here (not unreasonable, given the use here), that's a bold statement to make - that the Catholic Church was invented.



Sorry chdude I should have expanded that statement. I was actually referring to the "invention" of birth control.

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Oct 11, 2003  3:07 PM 10

Of course it was invented. Was it around before civilization? Like all other religions, it is an human invention.


Originally posted by chdude3
Unless I'm confused about my pronouns here (not unreasonable, given the use here), that's a bold statement to make - that the Catholic Church was invented.

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Oct 11, 2003  5:57 PM 11

Originally posted by CSK'sMom
Ahhh... I see how the reference to divine law was very conveniently left out alligator....



I didn't convenionently leave it out. it says or divine law. And i'd like to hear the divine law that says it's okay to lie to people to get them to conform to the principles of the religion. LIke i said. preach abstinence. fine. tell people that condoms don't always work. fine.

So I would like to know, can anybody answer? What is the catholic church's position. Is it that people with aids should cease to have sex, even if they're married. or according to the strictest letter of catholic doctrine, they should continue to have unprotected sex with their spouse and infect them, and continue to procreate (since birth control is wrong) and possibly infect their children....

I'd also like to know, purely for my own information, which passage in the bible is it exactly that outlaws birth control?

Okay I found this website, and it answered my own question.

Catholic answers

Scripture

Is contraception a modern invention? Hardly! Birth control has been around for millennia. Scrolls found in Egypt, dating to 1900 B.C., describe ancient methods of birth control that were later practiced in the Roman empire during the apostolic age. Wool that absorbed sperm, poisons that fumigated the uterus, potions, and other methods were used to prevent conception. In some centuries, even condoms were used (though made out of animal skin rather than latex).

The Bible mentions two forms of contraception specifically and condemns both. One, coitus interruptus, was used by Onan to avoid fulfilling his duty according to the ancient Jewish law of fathering children for one’s dead brother. "Judah said to Onan, ‘Go in to your brother’s wife, and perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her, and raise up offspring for your brother.’ But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so when he went in to his brother’s wife he spilled the semen on the ground, lest he should give offspring to his brother. And what he did was displeasing in the sight of the Lord, and he slew him also" (Gen. 38:8–10).

The biblical penalty for not giving your brother’s widow children was public humiliation, not death (Deut. 25:7–10). But Onan received death as punishment for his crime. This means his crime was more than simply not fulfilling the duty of a brother-in-law. He lost his life because he violated natural law, as Jewish and Christian commentators have always understood. For this reason, artificial contraception has historically been known as "Onanism," after the man who practiced it, just as homosexuality has historically been known as "Sodomy," after the men of Sodom, who practiced that vice (cf. Gen. 19).

Deuteronomy 23:1 condemns birth control by sterilization: "He whose testicles are crushed or whose male member is cut off shall not enter the assembly of the Lord." These were the methods of male sterilization available in those days.

Although the Bible rarely deals with contraception—it was so far outside the biblical mindset and so obviously wrong that it did not need the frequent condemnations other sins did—Scripture condemns the practice when it mentions it at all. Once a moral principle has been established in the Bible, every possible application of it need not be mentioned. For example, the general principle that theft is wrong was clearly established in Scripture; but there’s no need to provide an exhaustive list of every kind of theft. Similarly, since the principle that contraception is wrong has been established by being condemned when it’s mentioned in the Bible, every particular form of birth control does not need to be dealt with in Scripture in order for us to see that it is condemned.



Is it me, or are the really reaching here. I mean, this isn't even from the new testament. according to their examples, it's also wrong for a guy not to have children with his dead brother's wife, and the poor soul who has a war injury can't make it into heaven, talk about adding insult to injury....

So I sum up. i can grasp that the catholic church can condemn pre-marital sex. I may not agree with it, but then i'm not catholic. at least they have some reasonably relevant new testament scriptures to back it up. but the outlawing of birth control seems tenuous at best, considering the above explanation. if anyone can find some better examples from the bible surrounding why birth control is wrong for married couples, i'd like to see them.

Life is not a dress rehearsal. Edited by alligator on
Oct 11, 2003 at 6:15 PM

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Oct 11, 2003  6:40 PM 12

Originally posted by alligator


So I sum up. i can grasp that the catholic church can condemn pre-marital sex. I may not agree with it, but then i'm not catholic. at least they have some reasonably relevant new testament scriptures to back it up. but the outlawing of birth control seems tenuous at best, considering the above explanation. if anyone can find some better examples from the bible surrounding why birth control is wrong for married couples, i'd like to see them.



Try here... Contraception and Catholic Teachings specifically this...
Sexual intercourse is naturally ordered to procreation. This order, like the way leaves are ordered to produce food by undergoing photosynthetic activity in the presence of sunlight, exemplifies the natural law. In the Latin text of Humanae Vitae (Latin is the official language of the Church), the expression “per se destinatus” (in itself ordered) is used to indicate the natural relationship that exists between intercourse and procreation. What Church teaching opposes is the violation of the natural ordination between intercourse and the initiation of new life that God, Himself, has established. The Church does not oblige people to have as many children as possible, or to engage in sexual intercourse every time the wife appears to be fertile. She teaches that if the married spouses do have sexual union, that they do not deliberately attempt to negate the natural order that God established between the marital act and His power to create new life. Contraception, so to speak, slams the door in the face of God and encloses the married couple in a world that is deprived of important avenues to and therefore to sources of supernatural help.

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Oct 14, 2003  8:27 AM 13

The spread of AIDS in Africa is God's will, and we are trying to interfere with that by handing out condoms. Will we ever learn to stop trying to play God?


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Oct 14, 2003  8:37 AM 14

Originally posted by nyleve
There's a fine line in this debate. Is change in religion really that bad? Everything else in life is dynamic, so why must religion be static? Could anyone shed some more light on this?



Because morals don't change. Society bastardizes the morals and religion is supposed to pull in the other direction. By being faithful to your religion, you won't be pulled downstream by the remainder of society.

Each piece of the religion may not make absolute sense by itself in the short-term, but following it will give you a better standing in the long-term.

I'm not really sure how letting people die in Africa fits into the better long-term standing, though As someone else said, the rules were probably made only with birth control in mind. Birth control is wrong, medicine is not. I can absolutely see how not using birth control puts you in a better long-term standing.

It's odd, because religion isn't supposed to be steadfast, unless you're a Muslim who seem to have rules for pretty much everything from brushing your teeth to growing your garden.The intent or spirit of the teaching is usually what matters. That's why condoms should be allowed in Africa where the purpose is for STD protection.


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Oct 14, 2003  8:40 AM 15

Originally posted by sdifox
Of course it was invented. Was it around before civilization? Like all other religions, it is an human invention.





Agreed. They are all inventions... if they were not, there would only be one (and if there was only one, it would be 'natural law').


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