Cardinal Martini has started a bit of a furor by questioning Church teaching on the use of condoms for married couples when one of the spouses has AIDS. This is a familiar scenario it's the compassionate exception which leads to the loophole you can drive a truck through. The article is here.
The issues are abortion, condom use and frozen embryos:
Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, the former archbishop of Milan and the head of the Roman Catholic Church's liberal wing, said in an interview that legal abortions and the use of frozen embyros to produce children were also acceptable.
"Certainly the use of condoms can, in certain circumstances, constitute a lesser evil," Martini told weekly magazine L'Espresso, in reference to the dangers of contracting HIV/AIDS through sex.
The 79-year-old Jesuit cardinal also said the legalisation of abortion was a "positive" development in the sense that it had "contributed to reducing and eliminating illegal abortions".
This change in the Church's teaching on condom use has been denied here.
John Allen, from the NCR claims a "new document" is coming out that will change the teachings. Read here.
All this reminds me of the story that the Church has formed a commission to study the Church's teaching on Limbo and effectively discard the teaching. Of course the report of that Commission has never been released or approved.
I had heard Cardinal Martini described as liberal but I had no idea how liberal he is. Some of the positions he has expressed are advocacy for women deacons, change in the teaching on contraception, abandoning celibacy for priests, a more democratic model for the Church (i.e. that will allow "freedom" from Rome and doctrinal anarchy- well more than we have now).
Maybe it is time for another Suppression of the Jesuits.