Vatican Drill

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Message of the Day:
Deep-six the condoms (see jump). Deep-six the nuns (see NCR).


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    Vatican drops
condoms-AIDS study

    VATICAN CITY
(RNS) The Vatican office responsible for health care matters said Friday (Feb.
5) that it had stopped work on a long-expected study of condoms and AIDS, and
that “nothing serious” had been done on the project.

    “There was
a project, there was, but nothing serious was delivered,”

said Bishop Jose Luis Redrado Marchite, secretary of the
Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers, at a Vatican press conference.

    Cardinal Javier
Lozano Barragan, former head of the health care council, said in 2006 that his
staff was preparing a “profound study,”

requested by Pope Benedict XVI, that would consider
“both the scientific and technical aspects linked to the condom, as well
as the moral implications in all their amplitude.”

    Catholic teaching
forbids the use of condoms as a form of contraception, but no pope has
definitively addressed the morality of their use to prevent AIDS and other
infectious diseases.

    Benedict,
however, provoked an international furor last March when he told reporters on a
flight to Africa that “one cannot overcome the problems (of AIDS) with the
distribution of condoms. On the contrary, they increase the problem.”

    Lozano retired
as head of the health care council last April.

    Redrado did not
rule out further study of the condom question.

    “It is in
the air, a study is thought about and talked about,” he said, “but we
are not on that track at this time.”

    — Francis X.
Rocca