OSLO, Norway, AUG. 26, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Though he helped end the Cold War, John Paul II will not receive the Nobel Peace Prize, in part because the Church opposes the use of condoms to fight AIDS, a Nobel panel member said.
Gunnar Staalseth, the Lutheran bishop of Oslo and a member of the select committee responsible for awarding the honor instituted by Alfred Nobel, publicly addressed the Pope´s positions on Aug. 21. Staalseth was attending a meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who was on a two-day visit to the Norwegian capital.
“The current Roman Catholic theology is one that favors death rather than life,” Staalseth said, in statements published by Reuters.
“I challenge the Vatican to redefine its attitude to condoms,” the Lutheran religious leader continued. “Condom use should be tolerated as a way to stop the spreads of AIDS.”
John Paul II´s name appears every year on the list of candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize. This year´s winner will be announced in October.
In addition to making a unique contribution to the end of the Cold War, John Paul II has moved to end all kinds of conflicts. His direct mediation in 1979 helped Argentina and Chile avoid certain war over the Beagle Channel border dispute.
Ever since AIDS first appeared, John Paul II instructed the Catholic Church to assist people infected by the HIV virus. One out of every three AIDS patients is cared for in a hospital or clinic administered by a Catholic institution.
In February the Pope allocated $435,000, received from contributions of the faithful, to help AIDS orphans in Uganda.