Fernando Saenz Lacalle of San Salvador, El Salvador, said this week
that only the Pope has the authority to define the Church’s position on
the use of condoms by married couples in which one spouse is infected
with HIV or AIDS.
In the midst of a debate in El Salvador about a policy that would center the country’s efforts to fight AIDS on the distribution and promotion of condoms, Archbishop Saenz was asked by local reporters about the statements by Italian Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, who called the use of condoms in such cases a “lesser evil.” “These opinions have not been expressed by the Pope, who is the only one with authority to speak on this matter,” the archbishop said.
“We should not be spreading confusing ideas about such important issues that affect morality and the nature of the marriage act,” he added.
Many media outlets have recently reported that the Vatican is planning a new instruction on the use of condoms, but so far, pertinent Vatican offices have denied the suggestion.