Vatican Marks World AIDS Day by Defending Catholic Church’s Opposition to Condom Use
The Vatican on World AIDS Day issued a statement "strong[ly] defen[ding]" the Roman Catholic Church's position opposing condom use, saying "fidelity, chastity and abstinence" are the most effective ways to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS in a "pan-sexualist society," Reuters reports. Cardinal Javier Lozana Barragan, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care, said in a five-page statement, "We have to present this as the main way for effective prevention of infection and spread of HIV/AIDS, since the phenomenon of AIDS is a pathology of the spirit" (Pullella, Reuters, 12/1). Pope John Paul II during his Sunday remarks preceding World AIDS Day offered prayers for people living with HIV/AIDS, saying, "While I pray for those who are hit by this scourge, I encourage those in the church who carry out an invaluable service of acceptance, care and spiritual accompaniment to our brothers and sisters" (Winfield, AP/Charlotte Observer, 11/30).
Additional information on World AIDS Day -- including webcasts; access to studies and key facts; and links to resources and organizations around the world -- can be found online on kaisernetwork.org.