HIV Testing in the context of admission to the priesthood and religious life

Sr Alison Munro, OP

Introduction

The discussion that follows is a consequence of a question asked by religious formators about the validity or otherwise of the HIV testing of candidates for the priesthood and religious life.  Clearly the Church and the religious orders are presented with a highly controversial issue in that civil law takes a position somewhat in opposition to that of canon law.  The constitution of the country is binding on everyone, and at the same time the Church has its own code of law.  The discussion does not claim to present all the arguments, and is not presented by a lawyer.  However the points presented emanate from discussions held with two South African constitutional lawyers, and from discussions and correspondence involving three canon lawyers, two here and one in Canada.

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