Why is rape a serious sin?
Someone who rapes another person thoroughly and completely debases that person. He violently breaks into the deepest intimacy of another and wounds the victim at the core of his ability to love. The rapist commits an outrage against the very nature of love. An essential part of sexual union is the fact that it is a gift that can only be given freely within the context of love. And so it is possible for rape to occur even within a marriage. The most despicable is rape within social, hierarchical, professional, or familial relationships of dependence, for instance, between parents and children or between teachers, educators, pastors, and those who are entrusted to their protection.
What does the Church say about using condoms to fight AIDS?
Apart from the fact that condoms provide no absolutely safe protection against contagion, the Church rejects their use as a one-sided, mechanical method of fighting AIDS epidemics and advocates above all a new culture of human relationships and a change in social consciousness. Only practicing fidelity and refraining from casual sexual contacts can provide lasting protection from AIDS and teach a holistic approach to love. Respect for the equal dignity of women and men, concern about the health of the family, responsibility in dealing with one’s urges and desires, and also refraining (at appropriate times) from sexual union are all part of it. In the countries of Africa where societal campaigns have promoted such behavior, the rates of infection have decreased significantly. Besides that the Catholic Church does all she can to help people who are afflicted with AIDS.