WASHINGTON (CNS) — Father Robert J. Vitillo, executive director of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development for the past eight years, will take up a new post with Caritas Internationalis in Geneva, Switzerland, in February.
He will serve as full-time special adviser on HIV and AIDS to Caritas, the Vatican-based global confederation of national Catholic social service and development organizations that operate in some 200 countries.
Sometime it would be nice to be wrong in my skepticism. Unfortunately it did not take me long to verify what I already suspected – that Fr. Vitillo would support the use of condoms for preventing HIV and also support modern sex education.
I am convinced that the pandemic of HIV/AIDS will force theologians to grapple more seriously with the fundamental theological premises related to human nature, and, more specifically, related to human sexuality. Notice that I have placed the need for theological reflection related to sexuality within the fundamental rather than the moral order. It seems to me that theologians have not yet faced the daunting task of elaborating a substantive theology of human sexuality as a creation of God who willed this to be such a strong, dominant, and constitutive element of human nature. Nor have we sufficiently considered how God’s grace has elevated the totality of the human person (including his/her sexuality) to a level which is different from the rest of animal or plant life. [Source]
Traditional Catholic teaching in itself if followed would eliminate HIV, but if you want a deeper theology on sexuality we don’t have to go far to find the Pope’s Theology of the Body to start that deeper understanding. What most progressives want in not a deeper theological understanding of human sexuality, but instead a white flag to surrender to our concupiscence.
In a related story for what appears to be an approach more in line with Church teaching:
VATICAN CITY – The Vatican established a foundation Friday to fund Catholic organizations assisting AIDS victims, urging people to contribute even if they object to the Church’s opposition to the use of condoms to fight the spread of the disease.
Pope John Paul II has set aside $132,000 for the Good Samaritan Foundation and is asking "all people of good will, particularly those in the economically advanced nations, to contribute," said Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan.
The Catholic Church has repeatedly rebuffed campaigns for it to endorse the use of condoms in the fight against AIDS. The Vatican holds that condoms cannot be used to help prevent the spread of the disease because they are a form of artificial birth control.
The pope repeated the Vatican position in a message for the Church’s World Day of the Sick in September, saying cases of AIDS spread via intercourse "are best avoided above all through responsible conduct and the observance of the virtue of chastity."
Barragan, head of the pontifical council on health issues, said discussions of the moral issues around AIDS should not prevent people from contributing to the fund.
"Another thing is to help those who are sick, who are dying, while one is discussing condoms yes, condoms no. I don’t care, what matters to me is that people are dying and we must help them," he said.