Vatican's Voice on Sexual, Medical Ethics Dies

National Catholic Reporter, May 2, 2008 | Go to article overview

Vatican's Voice on Sexual, Medical Ethics Dies


VATICAN CITY -- Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, a prominent voice of the Vatican on sexual and medical ethics, died April 20 at the Plus XI Clinic in Rome.

He was 72 and died after suffering cardiac arrest, The Associated Press reported. According to Catholic News Service, he had been hospitalized since early April with a respiratory infection.

Pope Benedict XVI presided at Lopez Trujillo's funeral in St. Peter's Basilica April 23.

Benedict called the cardinal a "tireless pastor" who generously served the church and "the Gospel of life."

As president of the Pontifical Council for the Family since 1990, Lopez Trujillo helped to lead campaigns against abortion, artificial birth control, embryonic stem-cell research and same-sex marriage.

The Colombian-born cardinal provoked controversy in 2003 when he stated that condoms did not offer reliable protection against the transmission of HIV, a claim contested by medical authorities, including the World Health Organization.

Outspoken on the political ramifications of church teaching, Lopez Trujillo denounced Spain's recognition of same-sex marriage in 2005, and called on Spanish officials not to perform such marriages, even if that meant losing their jobs.

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