Condemning condoms splits Church

Despite the proven success of condoms in preventing the spread of HIV, the Catholic Church continues to ban their use among its followers. Now the Brazilian Bishops Conference has agreed to uphold the Vatican’s position in a country that has the world’s largest Catholic population and hundreds of thousands of people already infected with HIV.

INTER PRESS SERVICE reports that the condom ban is dividing Brazil’s Catholic hierarchy, pitting a conservative new archbishop against a renegade priest. Father Valeriano Paitoni, an Italian priest who runs shelters for AIDS patients in São Paulo and has printed pamphlets recommending the use of condoms, has been threatened with Church-imposed sanctions for his defiance of its policy.