Contraceptives preventing disease

I read articles stating that at least two Cardinals have indicated that use of condoms among married couples may be a licit if used for the prevention of disease. Does anyone have a “position paper” or write-up on this?

I guess from first blush I can’t think of any way this would be permissible. Of course, that is why I am asking, so that I can understand why some Cardinals think it might be acceptable.


Simply because a couple of cardinals might have said something does not negate centuries of consistent moral teaching against a practice. Cardinals have been wrong before, and will be wrong on issues in the future, too. They do not carry anymore certainty of faith than any other bishop when it comes to infallibility - except the Bishop of Rome, and even then it is in very restricted situations.

They may be referring to a comment made by Pope Benedict XVI where he pointed out that use of condoms among male prostitutes to prevent the spread of AIDS may be the first actions of grace working in the person’s life because they are concerned about preventing the customers getting AIDS. But Pope Benedict was NOT saying that it is, therefore, okay to use a condom. What he was saying was that even though the male prostitute is sinning grievously by having sex outside marriage, by having sex with contraceptives, and by selling his body (all of which Pope Benedict would agree could send the man to Hell should he die in that state), the concern for the other person might be a faint spark of grace barely starting to turn the man in the general direction of an ultimate repentance and resulting state of grace - but definitely not a factor that legitimates all the evil that is being committed.

Some people in the media heard this and posted headlines saying “POPE OK’S CONDOM USE IN AIDS VICTIMS”. Whatever.

Pope Benedict is a theologian who is used to finer points of theology. This is a total hypothetical that really deserves no time on the front page at all. Rather, it is something for ivory tower theologians who spend their time thinking of rare and pointless situations where, practically speaking, no one really cares except them. Beyond that, unless a person is formally trained in theology and philosophy, they have a hard time debating this…let alone posting it on the front page of a secular newspaper. I’ve probably not done the Pope’s comments full justice, myself.

It would be permisable for two males to use a condom, because they are not preventing the conception of new life. :frowning:

Source? Not trying to be a stick in the mud, but I’m just wondering where this is coming from.

I heard something similar, and I think it may work under the rule of double effect…your intention is to prevent disease, not prevent life. If it is used under these terms, than it is licit.

I heard that the church permitted the use of birth control pills for medical issues… I didn’t have a problem with that so long as they are abstaining from sex…but i heard from several 10,000+ CA catholic posters (seemed quite knowledgeable) that no…the church permits the use of the pills AND they are still able to have sex because of the rule of double effect. They are preventing illness…not trying to stop a baby.

They sited a source for this as well in church teaching… I can’t for the life of me remember! I’m sorry

All I remember is after having been shown… I had to give up my argument.
God bless

Principle of Double Effect:

  1. the nature of the act is itself good, or at least morally neutral;
  2. the agent intends the good effect and not the bad either as a means to the good or as an end itself;
  3. the good effect outweighs the bad effect in circumstances sufficiently grave to justify causing the bad effect and the agent exercises due diligence to minimize the harm

How is wearing a condom during sex a morally neutral act (or good)? It isn’t. It’s disordered by nature.

As far as whether or not it is “okay”, why would a person even ask such a question? If the man was truly concerned about the other guy, he wouldn’t have such sex in the first place. They are having homosexual sex and the man is selling his body. They obviously aren’t concerned about eternity here. It’s like a murderer giving you a chance to kiss your wife goodbye before he blows you away with his gun. The end result is still the same.

It would be okay for two men to use condoms, but not during sex. Because sex between two males prevents the openness to life that is part of the meaning of sex.

People do this all the time. They are trying to cling to their sins, and reduce the number of bad effects their sinful choices have. He still plans to commit prostitution, homosexuality, and possibly pass on HIV. Condom use is licit, because it protects some what from harm. It is better than passing on HIV.

Condom use is only sinful when used to prevent pregnancy. Obviously that is not a possiblity here.

It would be better if they quit these encounters all together, but that is a seperate issue.

Sources for any of this?


first of all they may have been misquoted. Shocking I know! The only way I can think of Married couples licitly using condoms would be if say the wife has herpes. They could use NFP. If they wanted to use Condoms to reduce husbands exposure to herpes, they could licitly use it on her infertile days.

No, that is not correct. Veritatis Splendor and the CCC teach that there are three fonts (sources) of morality:

  1. intention, the reason or purpose for choosing the act
  2. moral object, which determines the moral nature of the act,
  3. circumstances.

All three fonts must be good for an act to be moral. So the use of contraception, which the Magisterium teaches is intrinsically evil (bad moral object), cannot be justified by any intention (such as to prevent disease), nor by any circumstance, such as that the wife is on a less fertile day.

Pope John Paul II: “The reason why a good intention is not itself sufficient, but a correct choice of actions is also needed, is that the human act depends on its object, whether that object is capable or not of being ordered to God, to the One who ‘alone is good’, and thus brings about the perfection of the person. An act is therefore good if its object is in conformity with the good of the person with respect for the goods morally relevant for him.” Veritatis Splendor, n. 78.

The Church does not permit the use of contraception on less fertile days, but rather She forbids absolutely its use, since contraception is inherently ordered toward depriving sexual acts of the good end of procreation.

Then what would they do with them? Make balloon animals?

sure :slight_smile: I would guess that balloons would be cheaper and easier to work with in making balloon animals, but perhaps (sadly) less available.

Okay, you can make a condor and I’ll make an anacondoma. :wink:

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