Vatican Newspaper Article Addresses Condom Use Among Married Couples

Three days before the start of a Vatican conference focusing on “the centrality of care” in HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, the Vatican’s official newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, on Tuesday printed a piece by Spanish theologian Juan Jose Perez-Soba arguing that married couples with one HIV-positive partner “should abstain from sex, because intercourse performed with a condom is, ‘from the moral point of view, not a fully conjugal act,'” RNS/Beliefnet News reports (Rocca, 5/24). 

Perez-Soba “said that although use of a condom may have some effectiveness against HIV/AIDS contagion in single acts, it cannot guarantee safety – especially throughout the sexual life of a couple. It is wrong, therefore, to say that condom use can prevent infection, he said,” according to the Catholic News Service. CNS writes that Perez-Soba’s article “said that, on a practical level, condom campaigns increase the possibility of AIDS infection by promoting a false sense of security” (Thavis, 5/24).

Last year, Pope Benedict XVI addressed condom use for HIV prevention in an interview published in November 2010 that “touched off worldwide controversy. … The Vatican’s doctrinal office later insisted that the pope’s words did not mark a change in Catholic moral teaching or ‘pastoral practice’ against the use of condoms for AIDS prevention or contraception,” according to RNS/Beliefnet News (5/24).