.- Speaking on Vatican Radio, Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care, announced that his dicastery is preparing a document on ministry to persons with AIDS.
While an international conference on AIDS is currently taking place in Cabo City, South Africa, with over a thousand experts meeting to discuss the AIDS pandemic in Africa, the Mexican cardinal noted that “unfortunately, the illness is spreading: we’re talking about now some 42 million people affected by AIDS.”
“And according to doctors,” he said, “for every person who has AIDS another three are infected with HIV, thus making it 169 million the number of persons affected around the world by this terrible pandemic.”
The cardinal said that while the task is difficult, the dicastery is preparing a document on pastoral ministry for persons with AIDS. “It’s possible it will be ready this year,” he stated.
Cardinal Lozano said he was disappointed that most agencies involved in preventing the spread of the disease understand prevention “as the condom…Certainly the Catholic Church believes that the most important form of prevention is abstinence and marital fidelity: in this way absolutely nothing can happen.”
The cardinal said the question of the use of condoms in marriages in which one partner is HIV positive poses a “problem.”
“Precisely in this sense we are preparing a profound study that will be both scientific and moral. This study will certainly be presented to the Holy Father through the necessary channels and the Holy Father, according to his wisdom and with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, will make the decision and will tell us which way to go. What he says will be the position of the Church,” the cardinal said.