US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Montreal cardinal on abortion and AIDS

By Bryan Cones | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

David Gibson's excellent Beliefnet blog, Pontifications, features this post today covering Montreal Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte's comments about two issues of significance: the abortion involving a 9-year-old victim of sexual abuse and the pope remarks on condoms in the fight against HIV in Africa. Read Gibson's comments, which are quite to the point. What I find notable in the Montreal cardinal's freedom to express his own opinion on these matters--showing that even in the difficult matter of abortion there is room for thoughtful conversation, and is a good addition to the conversation we had on this blog about that difficult case.

I have to disagree with both the cardinal and Gibson a bit on their reading of the pope's remarks in Africa. (Both argue that they were taken out of context, and the pope didn't mean to rule out condoms, only argue that more was necessary to combat HIV.) Perhaps that more nuanced approach reflects the pope's thinking on the matter, but if it is, it sure would be helpful if he would say it plain. I do think, however, that forces in the Vatican don't want to admit that condoms are acceptable for fear of the "slippery slope" that would lead to other exceptions to the church's ban on artificial contraception.