Monday, November 07, 2005

The Hireling Report #9

Link to Original

From The Tablet
November 5, 2005
by Ellen Teague

Cardinal endorses condom use for married couples

CAMEROON’S CARDINAL has approved the use of condoms as a protective measure against HIV/Aids, provided the couples using them are married.
“If a partner in a marriage is infected with HIV, the use of condoms makes sense,” Cardinal Christian Wiyghan Tumi, Archbishop of Douala, said in an interview with the Deutsche Presse-Agentur. Condom use would be permissible only within marriage but “possibly there can be a rethink there”, said the 75-year-old cardinal. He did not expect the Vatican to stray from its official line against condom use and he agreed with its view that “loyalty and abstention remain still the best protection against Aids”.

HIV infection in Cameroon grew slowly between the late 1980s and 1996, with average incidence among pregnant women in urban areas rising from below 2 per cent to 5 per cent. However, the latest data indicate an HIV prevalence of around 11 per cent in all the West African country’s provinces.

Close to one million adults and children are currently living with HIV/Aids in Cameroon and an estimated 210,000 children under 14 have lost one or both parents to Aids.

When the Director of the United Nations Programme on HIV/Aids, Dr Peter Piot, visited the country two years ago he called upon the Cameroonian Government to improve its HIV care and prevention programmes, and one of its responses has been to urge condom use among high-risk groups.

At that time, Cardinal Tumi lamented the “safe-sex” campaigns that were plastered across billboards in Douala. His current view may have been influenced by the disappointing outcome of an international meeting held in Cameroon last week of scientists involved in the African Aids Vaccine Programme. They announced that the prospect of developing a preventive vaccine in the near future remained bleak.

Several church leaders have broken ranks with the Vatican’s position over the past two years. In February, Cardinal Georges Cottier, the theologian of the papal household, said the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” should be considered in cases where sexual activity involves a partner who is HIV-positive.

Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, who chairs the Pontifical Council for Health, believes the use of condoms to be acceptable when abstinence is not an option. Bishop Kevin Dowling of Rustenburg, South Africa, has said that opposition to condoms amounts to a death sentence for women who cannot insist on abstinence or fidelity.


Post a Comment

<< Home