Catholic Church in Southern Africa May Consider Endorsing Condom Use to Stem Spread of HIV/AIDS
The Roman Catholic Church in southern Africa is "consider[ing]" supporting condom use as a method to stem the spread of HIV/AIDS in the region, Britain's Daily Telegraph reports. The church's "fundamental principle of the sanctity of life" forbids the use of condoms. But Bishop Kevin Dowling of South Africa stated in a policy paper that the church should "reconside[r]" this view. Although the paper emphasizes the church's belief that sexual activity should be confined within marriage, it adds that the church should consider supporting condom use because "a large proportion of people" do not adhere to this principle. Dowling prepared the document after discussing the HIV/AIDS epidemic with local health workers who are "facing local HIV infection rates of up to 50%." The Daily Telegraph reports that the issue is likely to "pit the traditionalist wing of the Catholic Church against pragmatists who argue that the effect of [HIV/AIDS] means the issue of condoms must be reconsidered." The Southern Africa Catholic Bishops Conference will discuss the idea later this month (Butcher, Daily Telegraph, 7/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.