While I respect the church for recommending abstaining, to say that latex condoms are ineffectual against spreading AIDS is a bold faced lie. Condoms may be only ~2% effective; but seatbelts are far less effective in saving lives; yet only a fool would recommend never using one.
Trujillo, President of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for the Family, called on governments to urge people not to use condoms.
His words "These margins of uncertainty, should represent an obligation on the part of the health ministries and all these campaigns to act in the same way as they do, with regard to cigarettes, which they state to be a danger."
In swift reaction to this claim, the World Health Organization (WHO) has condemned the comments and warned the Vatican to desist from putting lives at risk with such utterances.
A spokeswoman to WHO was quoted as saying that" Statements like this are quite dangerous"We are facing a global pandemic which has already killed more than 20 million people and currently affects around 42 million. "There is so much evidence to show that condoms don't let sexually transmitted infections like HIV through. "Anyone who says otherwise is just wrong."
I went through the first two links and got a pretty clear picture of what theyr'e about. The first is a left wing hit peice opinion column published in the S.F. Chronicle. The author - a left wing idiot - makes one accusation after another without substantiating even one of them.
The itacized text is from the second article. Please notice the words "allegedly suggested." That is hardly a pronouncement of Catholic doctrine. What the good Cardinal actually said is in quotes in the article. His words "These margins of uncertainty, should represent an obligation on the part of the health ministries and all these campaigns to act in the same way as they do, with regard to cigarettes, which they state to be a danger" may be cause for controversy, but it is bad public policy to permit people to believe that use of a condom insures protection from contracting diseases.
As for your analogy to seatbelts it is based on a false premise. Use of seat belts is only a redundancy to driving a car. So, a small percentage of road trips result in an accident. An even smaller percentage result in a life threatening accident and finally, seat belts reduce the risk of deat even further. If your chance of any given road trip resulting in a life threatening accident is much less that 2% and sealt belts only reduce this further.
If you had a 2% chance of dying, each time you got in an automobile - I can assure you driving would be prohibited. It would also be a pretty unpopular activity.
A better analogy would be the flying of bomber missions to Germany in WWII. On each mission there was a 3% (I beleive) mortality rate. After only 20 missions 60% of the original 60% of the original group was dead. For this reason, crews were limited to 25 missions. This gave them at least some chance of survival.