Catholics for a Free Choice Magazine Examines the Church’s Response to the HIV/AIDS EpidemicConscience, a magazine published by Catholics for a Free Choice, in a series of articles in the Autumn 2001 issue examines the Catholic church's response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Summaries of some of the articles appear below:
- "Catholics, Conscience and Condoms": Catholic theologian Anthony Padovano, a member of Catholic Voices, an international forum on population and development, states in a commentary that the Vatican can and should lift its ban on condoms to prevent the transmission of HIV. He states that Catholics "overwhelmingly" support condom usage to prevent HIV transmission, but the official church "remains divided." Padovano explores three questions -- "How do we promote mature sexuality?" "How do we save lives?" and "How do we live in a world that is less than ideal?" -- that stand at the root of the Catholic debate over condom usage (Padovano, Conscience, Autumn 2001).
- "The Lesser Evil: The Catholic Church and the AIDS Epidemic": Conscience editor Patricia Miller examines the church's response to the African HIV/AIDS epidemic and the effect its "no condom" policy has had on HIV prevention efforts in the region (Miller, Conscience, Autumn 2001).
- "A Disease, Not a Sin": Balwant Singh, director of international projects at Family Health International, explores how religious health organizations are fighting AIDS in Africa. The article also addresses the challenges facing religious reproductive health organizations in Africa (Singh, Conscience, Autumn 2001).
- "The Plight of Women and the Girl-Child in Africa in the Age of HIV/AIDS": This condensed version of a speech given at the 45th Session of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women by Sr. Anne Nasimiyu-Wasike, a professor of systematic theology at Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya, explains why African women are especially vulnerable to HIV. Nasimiyu-Wasike states that women are "bearing the brunt" of the HIV/AIDS epidemic because many traditional societies assign women "inferior status" and must battle "lop-sided cultural, legal, economic and social confinements" (Nasimiyu-Wasike, Conscience, Autumn 2001).