Papal contender: condom use a 'duty' in some circumstances6 March 2013
An African cardinal who is considered a possible contender for next pope has said that he believed condom use is not only a right "but in some circumstances even a sort of duty" for couples where one partner is HIV-positive, in order to protect the other.
Nigerian Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja, told the US-based National Catholic Reporter that it was important to distinguish between using a condom in the context of HIV/AIDS and condoms as contraceptives, and said moral questions regarding their use depended on what they were used for.
An estimated 3.5m Nigerians have HIV, according to the UN.
Acknowledging this viewpoint was not the Church's official view, he added: "I believe this situation is different than the reason for which Humanae Vitae condemned artificial contraception. To cite Humanae Vitae in this case, I think, is inappropriate."
He added that governments and agencies nowadays relied less on condom use alone to stop the spread of HIV and that the Church's education work warning against promiscuity had proved very successful.
For other recent bulletins, select from the list here: