Yesterday the spokesman of the Spanish Catholic Church spoke out in favour of using condoms to prevent the spread of Aids, in what is the first ever declaration of a representative of the Catholic church in Spain to condone the use of condoms in this sense. His declarations were, understandably, headline news today, but the Vatican reacted quickly and this evening other members of the Spanish Catholic church have been quick to deny that the spokesman’s opinion coincides with the official doctrine of the Spanish Catholic church.
Yesterday Juan Antonio Martinez Camino, spokesman for the Spanish Bishops Conference, speaking after a meeting with the Spanish Health Minister Elena Salgado told the Spanish press “Condoms have a place in the context of the integral and global prevention of AIDS”. The media here could hardly believe what they were hearing, given that Spanish Catholic bishops are hardly known for their liberal views about sexuality neither for encouraging the use of barrier contraception to combat sexually transmitted deadly diseases.
Sure enough, this morning the Vatican made known its disagreement with the much publicised declarations of the spokesman yesterday, and this evening, after holding a long crisis meeting, the Spanish Bishops Conference have issued a press release which reads as follows:
“Contrary to what some have said, it is not true that the Church has changed its position on condoms…. the use of a condom implies immoral sexual behaviour…. It is not possible to advise people to use condoms, if it goes against their private morality…,The only conduct to advise is the responsible exercise of sexuality, in line with the moral norm”.
The spokesman of the Bishops Conference who made the pro-condom statement yesterday has made no comment today.