.- An official from the Pontifical Council for Health and Pastoral Care, presided by Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragán, made it clear today that the recent interview given by the Mexican prelate to the Italian daily La Reppublica, doesn’t hint at any change in the doctrine of the Church on the use of condoms to fight Aids.
Over the weekend, numerous dailies and news agencies have headlined the Cardinal’s interview, in which he declared that: "This is a very difficult and delicate subject that requires prudence. My department is studying this closely with scientists and theologians expressly assigned to draft a document that will be issued soon," he said.
The prelate’s declarations became the basis of heavy speculations, especially his thoughts on making “the Church’s position more flexible,” in respect to the use of condoms.
Nevertheless, Msgr. Antonio Soto Guerrero, personal secretary of Cardinal Lozano Barragán, and member of the Pontifical Council for Health, told CNA that “the Doctrine of the Church remains firmly within the principles of Catholic moral. Facing AIDS, there is abstinence; we cannot forget that the issue has to do in large parts to a moral disorder facing the seventh commandment.”
In his remarks to CNA, Msgr. Soto said that “indeed, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith , headed by Cardinal William Joseph Levada, is currently studying the possibility of drafting a document on the same issue, and for that reason he has asked for the opinion of the other dicasteries in the Vatican. “
“Our dicasteries have already sent very serious studies from members and consulters who are answering to consultations requested by the Congregation (for the Doctrine of the Faith). The Congregation will then carry out a thorough study that will last a few months before presenting the conclusions to the Pope, who will subsequently decide of the publication of a document.”
“The moral principle of the Church is the same,” he stressed, “but the situations we have to face changed. It’s rather about applying the doctrine of the Church to always new situations such as AIDS,” said Msgr. Soto.
“Let me take a specific example”, he told CNA, in which one member of a couple “has AIDS, and requests matrimony, has the other partner the right to protect his health in any way?”
“The principle”, he said, “remains the defense of life and the conscience that everything that sends back to the fifth commandment includes the seventh one too, the act of fornicating that implies defending life.”