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Discordant married couples
Oct 28, 2000

Father;

I was infected 15 years ago when I was working as an EMT. I am married and by the grace of god we have one heathy child. My question is that the churches teaching on birth control is very clear. It is not clear on the use of condoms as a means of preventing infection between married partners. Sex is a sacrament, when it is a part of marriage. My question is it a sin to use a condom in this case, or should we abstain and continue our marriage living as brother and sister.

Peace

S.M.

BTW I tried to find the collection of essays mentioned earlier... No luck.

Response from Father DeMartini

Dear Friend, Thank you for your letter. I first of all want to assure you, your wife and baby of my prayers that your health, love and well-being will perdure. The Church's teaching on birth control as set forth in Humane Vitae is not the issue in your case. There have been a number of articles written about the use of a barrier (condom) in the sexual relations between a husband and wife. While there are some who would argue for the prevention method of abstaining from sexual relations, I agree with those Catholic ethicists and theologians who argue that in your case, the barrier (condom) is there to reduce the risk of transmission of a virus which is life-threatening. Therefore it is appropriate and respectful of life and respecting life between you and your wife. Of course, you do understand that there is still some risk involved in condom use which cannot be ignored. I know that many other married couples struggle with this dilemma and I hope that my response is helpful to you and to them. Blessings, Fr. Rod



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