HIV, The Wretched of the Earth, and CC's Teaching


#1

HIV is unfortunate but two wrongs don’t make a right.

Enough is enough; there has been too much deadly righteousness already. This statement, made earlier today by another poster, is profoundly distressing, and casts a shadow over the whole mission of Christ in favour of the teaching of this unique Catholic Church.

My life, and that of countless thousands of others, has been spent in trying to stem the tide of an abominable plague such as we have not seen for centuries. We do not know when it will end - perhaps not for another century or more. It is probable that well over 100 million people have died from HIV in the past 30 years alone, and there are at least 100 million currently infected. And drugs will not cure them, but will keep the poor alive for a couple of years, the wealthy a few more. In South Africa alone, more than 1500 people are infected each day. And no, this is not a matter of immorality, where one makes a judgement about the behaviour of another.

To say that HIV is ‘unfortunate’ is a foul understatement, and reveals a level of unknowing that is profound. Please read and learn; please feel somewhat responsible for the suffering of the wretched of the earth who are those who are most affected by this pandemic.

And when we could be saving lives, every day, for young and old, by using the tools that we have to combat HIV infection, it is morally wrong not to do so. That is my opinion. It is also the opinion of others within the Catholic church:

Quote:

There is a growing consensus among Catholic moral theologians that the Church’s teaching finds room for this life-saving, ‘prophylactic’ use of condoms. The condom is used to protect against lethal infection. It is not being used to prevent conception. The protection of life takes priority and justifies the condom use.

The sacred principle of the priority of life still stands. Out of this principle flows not merely the lawfulness of using a condom when there is risk of contracting or transmitting the HIV virus, but even the obligation to do so. Responsible sexuality requires that those engaging in sexual activity take the necessary effective measures to prevent the transmission of HIV and other infections. In the words of a leading Catholic ethicist, “this prevention is an urgent moral duty and not a noncommittal advice or recommendation.”

This would be the principle governing every act of sexual intercourse where there is risk of HIV infection. It does not matter whether one is talking about fornication where neither party is married or about adultery where the intercourse is with somebody other than one’s lawful spouse. It does not make any difference whether one is talking about casual sex or commercial sex, about heterosexual or homosexual activity. The situation does not change according to the age of those involved; neither does it change according to whether it is a man or boy who initiates the sex or whether it is a girl or woman. Even in an unlawful union, the protection of life is the over-arching principle, and hence arises the obligation to protect oneself or one’s partner against life-threatening HIV infection.

This proposition was published recently by my closest colleague in the battle against HIV, an eminent Jesuit (78 years old) based in Lusaka, who is a leading activist on the challenge of HIV to education systems. The Vatican is aware of his views, and those of many others with similar views within the Church.

Please read it and think. Comment if you want, but this is NOT an invitation to battle over condom use in the conventional sense. It IS an invitation to reflect on a Jesuit’s plea for reason and for right interpretation.

The complete paper is available by email on request.


#2

There is, in fact, a 100 percent effective way to not transmit HIV sexually…maybe it was ABSTINENCE?!

The truth is that if you have a deadly STD you shouldn’t have sex.

This is just like the argument that contraceptives are okay because they are better than abortion. Ridiculus.


#3

Did you read the quote?


#4

it is truly shocking, nerfherder, but sadly not surprising (on this forum at least)
CAF - the worst advert for Catholicism I know:(


#5

I read the quote and am disgusted that Catholic theologians would even consider this a valid topic for discussion.

We are all going to die and when we do we will have to face God’s Justice. Is sex really worth going to hell for all eternity? I would rather live a celibate life than risk my soul’s final destination.

Anyone knowing they have HIV who has sex ,with a condom or not, is commiting a mortal sin against the 5th Commandment “Tho shalt not kill.”

Do you know the failure rate of condoms for pregnancy? A leading NZ abortionist stated that 30% of the abortions she performed were due to condom failure. And the HIV virus is smaller than human sperm.


#6

Of course, abstinence would be the best policy. But many, if not most, are unable (or unwilling) to continuosly remain abstinent. When these people depart from abstinence, then condoms would definitely prevent a far greater evil.

Comment if you want, but this is NOT an invitation to battle over condom use in the conventional sense.

Yes, this topic has been much discussed here. I will support the Church’s teaching, but agree that it may be wise to reconsider the issue of HIV and condoms.

It IS an invitation to reflect on a Jesuit’s plea for reason and for right interpretation.

The complete paper is available by email on request.

I will send you a private message with my email address.


#7

Oh gosh, I would say I love you to bits for just being thoughtful and sane about a holocaust. Look forward to receiving your PM.


#8

So adhering to the teachings of the Church is the worst advertisement you know?


#9

Amen. Thank you Eileen_T.

Also, in the OP’s “quote” above
The protection of life takes priority and justifies the condom use.

This is equivalent to saying, it’s OK to do something that’s 10% likely to get somebody killed because it’s better than doing something else that is 100% likely to get them killed.

By the above logic, I guess it’s e.g. OK to tell people with smallpox that it’s OK to leave quarantine so long as they try hard not to cough in people’s faces…we’re protecting the populace “most” of the time. The real answer of course is “quarantine” i.e. abstinence from contact with other people.

And I guess it’s OK for me to shoot guns off in any direction for any reason of my choosing. Since I’m a horrible shot and only hit the target 10% of the time the populace is generally protected. Of course, the real answer here is “abstinence” as well.

Abstinence IS possible. Really, it is. Even sexual abstinence. If you believe otherwise, then our priests and bishops, and other unmarrieds should just throw in the towel. And everyone who “makes the case” for “Oh…it’s just SO hard not to have sex” just makes matters worse.


#10

I don’t buy into the AIDs across Africa thing. Some of it may be due to HIV infection, yea, I’ll give you that, but my nickel is on the drinking water.


#11

It is interesting that those who Fight HIV now want to blame the Church Lets put aside the absurdityof believing that promiscous and/or people egaging in homoseaxual sex are to be expected to follow the teachings of the Church anyway. The truth is that the Pope warned about this 40 years ago. If one reads “Humanae Vitae” you will see that every prediction the Pope made about the dangers of wide spread contraception came true.

So how is it somehow his fault? The whole argumentt of the AIDS activist from day one has been that this terrible disease has to be the fault of someone other than those who catch it. Thats right-there always had to be a boogeyman to blame the spread of AIDS on other than anal sex and intravenous drug use… So we had the mass hysteria of the " everyone is equally suspectible to getting AIDS" myth that wasted 100s of millions of dollars and untold lives targeting people who had little of no chance of catching it… And our schools threw condoms at our kids and told them that all they had to do was practice “safe sex” and all would be well. Promiscouity rose, STDs rose, abortions rose and child abuse rose. And it was all blamed on the man who had predicted it would happen

Now we are told that becuase the Church forbids condoms it is their fault that people die of AIDS. Note again that this explanation excludes those who are spreading the diesease from any blame-its the fault of a Church most of them could not care less about . If people were really following the Churchs teaching(instead of focusing on the one small part about condoms) there would be a huge decrease in AIDS and all other STDs.

Note well-for stateing the obvoious i am now going to be labeled a homophobic bigot. Fool that i am I have always followed the teachings of the Church. Becuase of this I have never Fathered a child out of wedlock ,. never had one of my children aborted and I have never contracted an STD. To the AIDS activist that means i am to blame for the spread of AIDS.


#12

Well, we still have to be sensitive to the people who catch it by accidentally not noticing cuts and picking up stray HIV blood. There are those field doctors who have caught it(no fooling, not many people are in this category).

There are also those that have been honest victims of rape from a HIV-infected raper. There’s also the small cases where some distraught people put HIV-infected needles under gas-pumps…

We just need to be sensitive.

:gopray: Spirit, rain down Your counsel, understanding, and strength. Help us to hear the Word of God. Help us to understand hardships. Help us to stay strong in the faith.


#13

But I can also remember the now deceased false visionary Veronica Luekens up in Bayside, NY, making pronouncemnets that AIDS is a punishment for homosexuality. Fortunately the Church quickly condemned the movement as a false apparition site.


#14

Nobody deserves to get AIDS. Nobody. But until we adress the problem it will never get solved. The problem is not the Church.


#15

Several Evangelical preachers said he same. complete nonsense but their words gave cover to those who wantedto blame the whole thing on religion…

Pope Paul VI gave the solution to the AIDS crisis long before anyone even knew what AIDS was.


#16

Well the obvious solution is chastity. But how do you expect someone who is hiding homosexual feelings inside to respond to the religious right when they make foolish statements of God punishing people? Many, including myself internalized it and wound up attempting suicide. This has got to stop. We can reach out to them with the message of abstinence but let’s not hit them over the head for the feelings.


#17

Yes, you are right.

If you believe otherwise, then our priests and bishops, and other unmarrieds should just throw in the towel.

I think that the millions of religious who have remained abstinent are testimony to your first point. But their examples do not mean that everyone, all the billions of us common people, are able to remain abstinent. Some can, and they deserve praise. But that doesn’t mean that we can reasonably expect such exemplary behavior from most.


#18

The Church does not now and never did say AIDS was Gods punishment yet it is the Catholic Chruch that is singled out for blame for the spread of AIDS. Remember all the AIDS activists calling John Paul II a mass murderer when he died?


#19

The Church does not now and never did say AIDS was Gods punishment yet it is the Catholic Chruch that is singled out for blame for the spread of AIDS. Remember all the AIDS activists calling John Paul II a mass murderer when he died?


#20

Its not the Church’s business to tell people how to sin.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.