American Papist has coverage of the coverage of Cardinal Martini’s comments on the legitimacy of condom use by a spouse infected with HIV/AIDS.

American Papist also has an mp3 of a debate between Janet Smith and Charles Curran on the topic of contraception.

(Found via Amy.)

UPDATE: Amy has a little more info on the matter.


  1. Anonymous says

    okay…i went to american papist…but i will put this question to the readers of matts blog, the la times quoted the cardinal as calling condom use by people infected with aids “the lesser of two evils…” was this an incorrect quote? it seems the cardinal is admitting that it is indeed a sin to use a condom-the article in the la times went on to say as much, so, what is the problem with saying, okay, condom use isn’t great, but certainly if a couple is dealing with someone with such an illness as aids, it’s the lesser of two evils? i am wondering what is wrong with this arguement.

  2. Dorian Speed says

    Well, the basic problem, as I understand it, is that we’re never allowed to choose an inherently evil action, even if we have a good intention. So this idea of “the lesser of two evils” presupposes that it would be okay, in that situation, to do something evil.

  3. Anonteaper hits the ol’ nail on the head.

    There’s always a third option for the Christian, of course – which is why the “lesser of two evils” argument must remain specious for all eternity….

    Don’t do a blessed thing. Suffer.

    Yes, suffer whatever comes from lack of action, and join that suffering with Christ’s.

    The holy martyrs know all about this option, after all…


    p.s. Of course, to suggest this in this day when action is being and fulfillment (even if that action is murder and death) and all that Heidegerian skulduggery is a white sort of martyrdom for the Church militant – ah, but it is an actively participating sort of martydom. The best kind!

  4. aren’t there times though, especially in christian life, when action is defined in some ways by intention-take for example the difference between venial and mortal sin-and isn’t martyrdom a perfect example of intention being the key to the meaning of the death of the person,one must intend his or her death or suffering to be for christ, otherwise it is just a death. also in the case of war, couldn’t one argue that in order to rid the world of an evil person (hitler) for example, we must allow a necessary evil, the death of the men who would fight for the good of the cause? and even further, the killing of the men who defend the evil?

  5. Mark Lickona says

    For What It’s Worth:

    Donation of the husband’s ejaculate is a necessary (though not sufficient) condition for the marital act to be marital, i.e., unitive. (It must also be donated in a pro-creative sort of way–cf. the mini-treatise found in here somewhere–which is not to say it must contain seed, BTW.)

    To choose a condom is to choose to subtract this donation from the marital act (whether because one intends to prevent the donation of one’s seed or the transmission of a virus).

    In other words, to use a condom is to choose to render a would-be marital act non-marital.

    That’s why it’s always wrong.

  6. Mark Lickona says

    P.S.: I’m not presuming to know which way the study will go. I’m mainly drawing from what I recall was Luke Gormally’s reasoning on the subject when he spoke about it at AMSL last year (Gormally is with the Linacre Center in London and is one of the experts that AP–that’s American Papist, the “Catholic AP”–links to here.)

    If I’m not recalling correctly though, and if the study ends up saying something like this, then hey, you heard it here first (sort of–cuz if the above is right, it was there in the tradition to begin with).

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