New York Times Examines Debate Over Catholic Church’s Opposition to Condoms for HIV Prevention
The New York Times on Friday examined how an increasing number of Roman Catholics "are urging the new pope to revisit what was probably his predecessor's most divisive position -- his opposition to condom use in the fight against AIDS" (Rosenthal, New York Times, 4/22). The Roman Catholic Church's College of Cardinals on Tuesday elected as the new pope Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany -- now known as Pope Benedict XVI -- who is viewed as a staunch supporter of conservative Roman Catholic doctrine (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/20). Benedict has not spoken about the issue, but observers say he is not expected to "soften" the use of contraceptives, including condoms, the Times reports. Medical aid organizations and many governments say that condoms are the "only method that reliably prevents sexual transmission" of HIV, but the Catholic Church promotes sexual abstinence and fidelity in marriage to prevent the spread of the virus, according to the Times. However, some high church officials and theologians say that the church should "accept condoms in certain circumstances to stem the spread of AIDS, as a pro-life medical intervention," the Times reports (New York Times, 4/22).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.