How do u defend the church's teaching on contraception in these cases?


So I’m curious how do you defend the church’s teaching on contraception. It’s easy to rule out “the pill” since it functions as an abortifacient, but what about “condoms” when you have sites and studies that seem to show it helps in disease protection.

PS: I’m aware of the reasons why the church condemns contraceptives.Humane vitae has been prophetic when it comes to the consequences of contraception.

I’ve heard yes they are not effective in all cases, but does anyone have any online studies that seem to prove otherwise. Thanks!


What venereal diseases do a married couple need protection from?


Actually the situation is more to do with what’s going on in Africa ( High HIV/ AIDS). The United Nations has been promoting Condoms there to “apparently” help the situation there.

Also if one of the partners have an incurable STD, then what can be done?


i guess in theory the answer to preventing STDs is to simply abstain / do not engage in premarital sex, and if one is going to , to before hand swap medical records. It is an answer, but one that is not going happen often if ever… That and one is only considering that STDs, are only transmitted sexually, often they are, but one would have to also do some kind of study to make sure or find out how many stds are being transferred in medical situations / operations / blood transfusions. etc.

But that would be twisting the topic, the topic is a sexually active person or couple with an STD, now defend the Church teaching.No one needs to defend Church teaching as believing in Church teaching is voluntary, the free will thing to believe or not.
The question is also weak because one is assuming that a married couple has to engage in sex to express love for each other, so there again if said couple has an STD either partner, intercourse is not the only way to express that love. In theory every good Catholic is practicing abstinence and waiting until marriage to engage in the act so not engaging afterwards once an STD is contracted shouldn’t be an issue.

Less someone wants to entertain the idea that perhaps the Church does make mistakes on social issues, then someone screams 2000 years of church teaching you wana say that is wrong, an then someone says dogma someone else says cannon law, etc. Or should one ask how does a married person contract an STD ? The answer to STDs’ besides not engaging in sex, is research for cures, excellent standards being conducted in hospitals that leave a very small chance of accidentally contracting an STD. And education, education in faith, education in what the faithful consider the purpose of intercourse to be for.

But condoms in Africa, i doubt is the answer , questions are more pertaining, things like why in the world are people in Africa so sexually active ( if they are and that is the reason for the STDs ) etc.


Condoms were intended to prevent pregnancies and do a wonderful job of that, as long as they are used properly and don’t break or slip (which they do anywhere from 1.5-16% of the time, depending on which study you want to use). They weren’t designed to prevent diseases and numerous studies over the last 20 years (including a big one a year or so ago that Planned Parenthood, the CDC and several other groups tried to get suppressed) have shown that their effectiveness in doing so is either highly overrated or nonexistent. No matter how effective they are, though, if someone is following the Church’s teachings on chastity, sexuality and marriage, Her teaching on contraception is utterly and totally irrelevant. One point I’ve made numerous times before is that I’m the only one of my friends who waited for marriage. I’m also the only one of my friends who never spent a single minute worrying about STD’s or unwanted pregnancies.


namer0331 #1
It’s easy to rule out “the pill” since it functions as an abortifacient, but what about “condoms” when you have sites and studies that seem to show it helps in disease protection.

Clear cut:
**Answer by Fr.Stephen F. Torraco on June 19, 2006 (EWTN): **
“If you want an objective reason as to why contraception is a serious evil and NFP is not only morally justifiable but also praiseworthy, that objective reason is this: with contraception, there is the deliberate rupture of the intimate link between the unitive and procreative meanings of the marital act. With NFP, there is no such rupture. Even in the case in which a couple, using NFP, resorts to the infertile period for marital relations so as to avoid pregnancy (assuming for the sake of argument, for serious reasons) there is no such objective rupture of that link precisely because there is nothing there to contracept. You need to understand that morality is not simply about results. It is also about our actions in and of themselves. The argument to which you refer (the results are the same with NFP and contraception) is purely utilitarian and does not take into consideration the entire human act. Furthermore, as I have pointed out several times, the condoning of contraception quite logically is also the condoning of genital activity with anyone or anything, as well as of in vitro fertilization and cloning. The Church’s teaching on contraception does not at all depend on faith. It is a clear and rational defense of the very essence of civilization.”
[The late Fr Torraco was the Executive Director of the Society for the Study of the Magisterial Teaching of the Church (SSMTC), and answered questions for Mother Angelica’s Eternal Word Television Network].

Abundant data exist to show the severe limitations of relying on condoms to solve the AIDS problem. A letter from Australian-based bioethicist Amin Abboud, published July 30 by the British Medical Journal, noted that any change in the Catholic Church’s position on condoms would be detrimental for Africa.

According to Abboud, a statistical analysis of the situation in the continent shows that the greater the percentage of Catholics in any country, the lower the level of HIV. “If the Catholic Church is promoting a message about HIV in those countries,” he added, “it seems to be working.”

Data from the World Health Organization puts the figure for HIV infection in Swaziland 42.6% of the population. Only 5% of the population is Catholic. And in Botswana, where 37% of the adult population is HIV infected, only 4% of the population is Catholic. In Uganda, however, where 43% of the population is Catholic, the proportion of HIV infected adults is 4%
[NEW YORK, 24 SEPT. 2005 (ZENIT)]


The main issue I have with contraception is only God is the author of life. It is his to give and take as he pleases. Who are we to play God?


So why is it OK to revive someone who has died, especially by medical means? That is playing God. We do that thousands of times a day all over the world. :shrug:


Actually, the results in Africa from where they promoted abstinence showed far greater results than where they promoted condoms.

To your second point, don’t marry someone with an STD. Even with condoms, if you have sex with an infected person for 20, 30, 40, 50 years, you most likely WILL contract that STD. Just from the sheer numbers of times you have sex, and the failure rates of condoms even in the best circumstances, you will most likely contract the disease. Couple times a week, 52 weeks a year. So you’re having sex with an infected person 75-125 times a year ballpark. Now multiply that by 20 years. Do you honestly think that condoms will protect you WITHOUT FAIL 1,500 to 2,500 times in a row!!!

And that’s just for 20 years. It goes up the longer you are married.

What kind of life is THAT???


I mean, I’m no expert here, but I think the solution is built into the acronym. If S will T your D, then don’t do S.

It’s not that complicated of an issue - we should be willing to shelves our desires (especially when acting on them would be morally wrong, diseases aside, anyway) if following them could give someone aids. Condoms and the like are just a pretend solution, a way of pretending we can bypass the actual problem by doing yet another evil thing that lowers risks of one bad consequence of this other evil somewhat. Better to avoid evil altogether, I think.




Let’s start with the general. Married couples are to respect the dignity of their fertility. That is the norm, and an exception (AIDS epidemic, rape as a weapon of war, sex slavery) should not define the norm.

This is a special case and it merits special attention:

Pope Benedict had said (and I don’t have time to look it up) that condoms in Thailand could help fight the spread of HIV, in particular because the chief cause of spread is sex tourism, which is a horrible thing with many causes. I think his comments were through the lens of “we can’t stop this at this point because it’s essentially sex slavery and no one is doing much about it. So we tell the faithful it’s not illicit to use condoms to help at least stop the spread because there’s not a choice, there’s not a society that supports these healthy and holy relationships.” But the media ran with it a few more miles (Benedict approves homosexuality!) so not much more was said.

I think a key difference between Africa and Thailand is that in Africa much of the spread of HIV is driven by rape in war-torn areas and a culture of infidelity or polygamy in general. Allowing condoms in marital relations makes the men feel they can do whatever they like to whomever. The solution there is to end the war and end the culture of infidelity. It does seem a grey line.

However, the UN can do far more than the Vatican to end war in Africa, and to end sex slavery and sex tourism in Thailand.

That’s a hard question. It’s also one that doesn’t normally come about - does one fiancee have herpes and the other doesn’t, and they find this out prior to becoming married? If so, do they decide to get married anyway? Or does the husband pick up herpes through infidelity and bring it into the marital home but find out before he can pass it on? I see these as exceptions - awful, certainly, and difficult - but because the Church would be in a position to tell this unfortunate couple “You cannot use a condom” and that seems unfair, doesn’t mean the Church should tell all married couples “Go ahead and use condoms”.

Pastorally would such a couple be allowed to do so? I’d think not but perhaps someone with a better understanding of the sexual aspects of moral theology could answer.


I really like this:

I was just conversing with a co-worker about how we as a society continue to move away from what has sustained us as a race for millennia, and keep finding more problems erupt. We replace nursing with formula, and find that our kids have digestive problems; we replace physical labor with desk jobs and find that obesity skyrockets. We replace sleep with 24-hour-culture and find a higher incidence of strokes and diabetes. We replace a norm of lifelong marriage with a hook-up culture and we find rising illegitimacy and divorce rates. So we replace chastity and fidelity with ways to “not get caught” and find an epidemic of HIV and other diseases. We really do know how to destroy ourselves, don’t we? Thank God we have a Savior - we need Him.

I want to share an example. When I was in high school we did the same “experiment” that everyone else did in biology class, where students would have a beaker of water and an eye dropper, and would go around sharing water in other students’ beakers. One beaker had a chemical in the water that would, when tested at the end, turn blue - this was the “infection”. The teacher at first said everyone had to participate, then suggested that students could cover their beakers with plastic wrap (as a condom would work). One of the girls - I don’t even remember if she was Christian - didn’t want to participate. She said she felt offended by it and didn’t want to simulate being in an orgy (this was 20 years ago before we talked about a “hook-up culture”). So the teacher said she didn’t have to participate.

Well, it didn’t quite work out that way. Some of the boys used their eye droppers to puncture the plastic wrap. The girl who didn’t want to participate was surrounded by four or five of the boys who tried very hard to drop their water into her beaker. She was visibly upset by what, in the simulation, was a gang-rape. Her parents complained to the Principal and the teacher apologized for not having a better control - the following year, students were simply allowed to opt-out of the exercise altogether. So in the course of trying to make a point about safe sex, the teacher ended up making a point about the problems of free license.

Maybe if the students were given some realistic reward set, ie “If you don’t participate, you get 5 extra credit points. If you do participate, you get 1 point per person you share with - unless you test positive in which case you lose 10 points. The point is that abstinence will cost you nothing, if you play the culture’s game you think you get a rewards but you could lose very big.” Or maybe something that was decidedly non-sexual but definitely about epidemiology would be a better example.


:thumbsup: Terrific story!


That is NOT what BXVI said at all. What he said was that a hypothetical infected prostitute who used a condom could be the very first stages of turning towards God. That they realized they could be harming someone, so they were taking a very incremental step towards limiting harm (even though that step is a poor one). He was only making the point that you could find people on the beginning of their path towards turning to God. It didn’t mean using condoms was a good thing.


Sorry to tell you this, but if someone is truly dead, we can’t revive them.
We can restart a heart that has stopped. That’s different.


So you disagree that God, and God alone, is the sole author of life?


This is simply not true. Correct condom use has over and over been shown to reduce the transmission rates of HIV and of other STD’s. A simple PubMed search gives you a bumper crop of studies.

The Church’s position is still correct. There is no need to spread misinformation.

an infectious disease MD


Condoms have been shown to be ineffective in the spread of Herpes and HPV. As far as HIV goes, a study last year replicated the results of a 1989 study that showed that, when used properly 100% of the time, latex and polyurethane condoms are only about 70% effective in preventing the spread of HIV between gay men. Other meta-analyses of published studies have shown that the overall effectiveness in preventing the spread of HIV is about 85%. They’re far less effective in preventing bacterial diseases like gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis. All these studies are also dependent upon 100% consistent, proper use (put it on properly at the start of an encounter before any genital contact, use proper lubrication, leave it on the entire time, remove it properly immediately after and don’t engage in any additional contact after the fact). Studies have shown that about 80% of people never check their condoms for damage beforehand, and put them on wrong anywhere from 2-50% of the time (that’s regarding the actual application of the condom and not when it’s put on). A study I read last year said that sexually active teens only engage in proper condom use about 30-40% of the time, which according to the study was roughly the same as the population as a whole (a different meta-analysis of studies of adults showed rates as high as 51% for putting them on late and 47% for early removal). Not leaving them on for the entirety of a sexual encounter gives you exactly 0% protection against STD’s. Even with 100% consistent, perfect, failure-free use (which, as shown above, still doesn’t do a lot to prevent disease) you still have to worry about breakage and slipping. Pro-condom folks will tell you that condoms break about 1-4% of the time. The only problem with that is that other studies, including some by condom manufacturers, have shown breakage rates with proper use being as high as 40%. Slippage rates were anywhere from 13-20%, and leaking rates were as high as 13%. And all these studies were concerned just with latex & polyurethane condoms since lambskin condoms have never been intended to prevent disease.

Bottom line is that you’re correct in stating that when stored, put on and used 100% properly and consistently 100% of the time, as long as you use the right type of condom, condoms are mildly effective in reducing the transmission rates of HIV in general, and gonorrhea in men.


This rings a better bell now. Thank you for the correction:

So the difference was that the person who desires to use one is showing charity (in very incipient form) towards another, rather than it being a policy change. I’m probably remembering some policy wonks thoughts on it and their attempt to explain the difference between Thailand and Africa as far as a condom campaign.

As far as effectiveness of contraception, I agree with other posters here who said the Church’s opposition isn’t based on effectiveness, but rather on intent. The intent of sexual intercourse is genitive; pleasure may or may not follow. That was true when I was living haphazardly in my teens and twenties. It remains true as a married father, faithful to my wife. And if the intent of sex weren’t genitive, then why do people use contraception in the first place?

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