Italian Jesuit Magazine plays down announced change in Church’s Condom position


 An article in the authoritative Jesuit journal “La Civiltà Cattolica” confirms that the Church will not loosen its restrictions. Not even when it comes to AIDS in Africa.

 “La Civiltà Cattolica,” the journal of the Rome Jesuits that is printed under the supervision of the Vatican authorities, published this week on its website an article by Michael F. Czerny, S.J.

The article is dedicated to AIDS in Africa and to the Church’s efforts to combat it, published in the most recent edition of the magazine. (May 6, 2006) The article aims chiefly to answer the declarations of Cardinal Martini in L’espresso magazine of April 21, that stirred a big controversy on whether the Church is about to shift its position and allow the use of condoms in some cases.

The article published in the latest issue of “La Civiltà Cattolica” is an implicit response to the expectations for a change in the Church’s stance, beginning with the specific case illustrated by cardinal Martini.

The article makes no direct reference to condoms, but it demonstrates that the Church’s activity is directed in an entirely different direction, which can be summed up in the word “chastity.” It maintains that the Church would do nothing but harm if its efforts in combating AIDS “seemed to support promiscuous, excessive, and destructive behavior.”

At the same time as “La Civiltà Cattolica” was publishing its article, the pope referred twice – in addresses on May 11 and 13 – to the encyclical “Humanae Vitae” by Paul VI, describing it as “prophetic and always relevant.”

Cardinal Martini is a Jesuit. And the Jesuits have been for years among the most active in fighting AIDS in Africa, in almost thirty sub-Saharan countries.

The author of the article in “La Civiltà Cattolica” is also a Jesuit: Fr. Michael F. Czerny, director of the African Jesuit AIDS Network, AJAN, founded in 2002 with headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. He is also the author of the book “AIDS and the Church in Africa: To Shepherd the Church, Family of God in Africa in the Age of AIDS,” published in Nairobi in 2005 by Pauline Publications Africa. The above image is the AJAN logo.

The complete Italian version, which is much longer, can be read on the website of “La Civiltà Cattolica,” issue 3741 of May 6, 2006.

A shorter english version can be read of the website of Vatican analyst Sandro Magister:

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