By Diogenes ( articles ) | Oct 19, 2003
The current U.S. Catholic features South African Bishop Kevin Dowling's article "It is Not Immoral to Use Condoms to Prevent AIDS" .
Many others decide, for whatever reason, that they cannot or will not follow the church's ideals in sexual ethics and in doing so could transmit a death-dealing virus to another through a sexual encounter. We do not live in an ideal world -- on the contrary. What have we to say to this real world? ...
For me, the condom and microbiocide question is not simply a matter of chastity but of justice. In this frightening pandemic, should we focus all our efforts on proclaiming an ethic of sexuality, or should we not also commit ourselves to an ethic of protecting and saving life? If life is indeed sacred to us, we should surely not compound one failure in regard to chastity with another failure in terms of justice by not taking the means we have to prevent the transmission of a death-dealing virus.
Trouble is, your Excellency, that there exists no area of morality in which some folks will not decide -- "for whatever reason" -- that that they cannot or will not follow the Church's teaching. Do they all enjoy a right to protect themselves from the undesirable consequences of their sins?
Take any moral prohibition ... the one that discountenances wife-beating, for example. Regrettably, some husbands will arrive at the conclusion that they can't live up to the Church's "ideal" in this area. But slugging his wife puts a husband at risk of knuckle abrasion and tendonitis. Do we issue him with leather bag mitts and instruct him in their use, so as not to compound a failure in charity with a failure (your Lordship's word, not mine) in justice?
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