Why does the Vatican still prohibit the use of condoms when AIDS in Africa costs countless lives?
Answer: The question regarding the use of condoms has its place in Catholic moral teaching in the context of the permitted use of artificial contraception. As is generally known, the Church’s Magisterium rejects the use of artificial contraceptives because this violates the link between loving union and conception. For the Magisterium, the use of condoms to prevent an HIV infection merely presents a particular application of this teaching.
The Church is agreed that marital fidelity and sexual abstinence remain the safest way to prevent an infection. However, it must be borne in mind here that this is not a realistic option for many people or that they feel that too much is being asked of them. For this reason, there are repeated attempts by theologians and also bishops for the moral tolerance of the use of condoms to prevent an HIV infection as the minimum responsibility towards ones partner and oneself. So far the Magisterium has not accepted such attempts as a just interpretation under this particular circumstance.