Vatican says using condoms is less evil than spreading HIV
The Vatican has said using condoms is a lesser evil compared to spreading HIV, even if it prevents pregnancy, reports the AP. The news comes after the Vatican interpreted Pope Benedict XVI’s comment on conditional condom use to mean that everyone can use the contraceptive to prevent HIV transmission.
"Contraception is not the worst evil. The church does not see it as good, but the church does not see it as the worst," Monsignor Jacques Suaudeau, an expert on the Vatican’s bioethics advisory board, told the AP. "Abortion is far worse. Passing on HIV is criminal. That is absolute irresponsibility."
The Pope did not use the term "lesser evil" because he wanted to be understood by the general public, Vatican spokesperson Rev. Federico Lombardi told the AP.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health is "happy that the Vatican actually considered the scientific evidence of condom as an instrument versus HIV/AIDS." Dr. Gerard Belimac, director of the National AIDS/STI Prevention and Control Program, said in an Inquirer.net report, "Although it is not the only solution, it is a primary component of our AIDS prevention program."
Gabriela Rep. Luz Ilagan and Akbayan Rep. Arlene Bag-ao also welcomed the Pope’s statement, saying it will increase the chances of the passing of the Reproductive Health Bill. Ilagan told Inquirer.net, "The hierarchical church should take its cue from the Pope, who has shown open-mindedness on social realities. It is time to consider the plight of the poor, the sick, the marginalized in particular and the flock in general."
Bag-ao said, "It is an acceptance of the reality of AIDS and that condom is not merely for contraception." She added, "The Vatican or the church does not dictate the pace of the work of Congress. The bill will be passed regardless of the level of understanding of the church on condoms."