Sunday, December 03, 2006

Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor

Via Antonia, some plain common sense from the Archbishop of Westminster.
ANDREW MARR: OK. Let me turn to what the Prime Minister said, on the subject of condoms. Because World Aids Day coming up and the United Nations have produced some pretty horrific figures about the number of people infected with HIV. Is there any chance that the Catholic Church is going to move its teaching a little bit, at least to the use of condoms inside marriage where, for instance, one of the partners is already HIV positive?

CARDINAL CORMAC: Before I answer that question can I say this, that over a quarter, worldwide, but especially in Africa, over a quarter of healthcare particularly for Aids victims, is given by the Catholic Church and its agencies.

Now that's very important. And let me also say that the way to combat Aids is primarily, as everybody should know, you know, behavioural change, monogamous partnerships between a man and a woman. And...

ANDREW MARR: But out there in the real world as you very well know, that's not how many people behave and condoms do stop people getting Aids.

CARDINAL CORMAC: Well I'll say two things. The Pope has had a vast report on the particular case that you mention within a very restrictive area of marriage. But I have to say, the pouring the Prime Minister has said, you know, in the...

ANDREW MARR: ...face up to reality.

CARDINAL CORMAC: ...he's also saying I've got to give more and more aid including more condoms into Africa. You know, I think what I'd like to say to the Prime Minister, it'd be much better if we used that money to provide more anti-retroviral drugs, medicines, for the millions of children and women who are affected. Now ..

ANDREW MARR: Where are you going to use your money?

CARDINAL CORMAC: I mean I speak to bishops in Africa and they told me, they told me that their dioceses are flooded with condoms and they said, and I asked them, well has it affected, said well, sad to say it's meant more promiscuity, and more Aids.

So I think you've got to look at this I think within the whole context of the African culture.

ANDREW MARR: Any rethinking though going on inside the church on this?

CARDINAL CORMAC: Well, as I've said, in a particular restrictive case, I think Pope Benedict asked for a report. But in general I think that the church stands by what it says.

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