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Argument: Catholics can support condoms as lesser evil than HIV/AIDS

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Supporting quotations

Anthony T. Padovano, Catholic Theologian. "Catholics, Conscience and Condoms". June, 2001 - "The consistent thinking of the Catholic church has affirmed the lesser of two evils. This approach reasons that the ambiguity of choices sometimes makes it necessary to prefer one evil in order to prevent a greater evil. Thus, a pregnant woman may choose the removal of a cancerous uterus even if it entails the death of the fetus because the intention is the preservation of her life. It accepts the “evil” of the termination of prenatal life as a lesser evil, not intended directly.

A terminally ill patient may choose to forego all surgery and life support systems and permit death long before its biological inevitability as the lesser of evils. The “evil” of choosing one’s own death is seen as the lesser of evils when the alternative is prolonged, painful, and pointless continuation of life, achieved only through extraordinary methods.

The AIDS crisis claims more human lives than Plague or nuclear weapons took in their history. The crisis has the potential to destabilize world financial systems, with consequent malnourishment and the death of millions not infected with AIDS. The economic crisis is as severe as the usury crisis of former centuries. Yet contraception is not condemned in the Bible; usury was explicitly forbidden there. If a biblical prohibition can be set aside when conditions change substantially, a non-biblical prohibition can even more readily be reversed when the consequences of human lives and the lesser evil are weighed in the balance.

The Catholic church cannot and will not promote a “culture of death” if the lives of tens of millions of people can be saved through the moral choices open to the Catholic tradition.

We have reached a point with contraception and AIDS where the intent is no longer the prevention of pregnancy but the prevention of death. Contraception in the context we are considering is not aimed at controlling population but at avoiding a holocaust."

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