In December of 1989, ACT UP made history with a massive protest at St.Patrick's Cathedral. Five thousand people protested the Roman Catholic Archdiocese's public stand against AIDS education and condom distribution, and its opposition to a women's right to abortion. On Sunday, December 12, 1999 at 9:45am, ACT UP went back at St. Patrick's for a press conference to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the demonstration and hand out condoms and safer sex literature to passer-bys. We returned to St. Patrick's because so little has changed in ten years. The issues are still the same.


NEW YORK CITY - Members of ACT UP returned to St. Patrick's Cathedral on Sunday, December 12, 1999 at 9:45am to observe the tenth anniversary of the controversial December, 1989 ACT UP demonstration "Stop The Church". Activists distributed condoms and safer-sex information to teens and passer-bys at the Church because they are denied access to such information and materials in schools due to Church interference.

In December, 1989, more than 5,000 people protested at St. Patrick's against Cardinal John O'Connor and the Catholic Archdiocese which meddle in public affairs, preventing access to lifesaving AIDS prevention information by students and abortion access by women. One hundred protesters also disrupted mass in a religious protest that brought the issue international recognition.

"We came to St. Patrick's in 1989 to repel the church's destructive intrusion into public policies concerning AIDS education, gay civil rights and women's reproductive rights," said Michael Petrelis, an original member of ACT UP. "Ten years later, church policy continues to cause the infections and deaths of hundreds of New York teens who don,t have access to lifesaving condoms and safer-sex information. The Archdiocese should restrict its propaganda to its congregation, rather than playing politics with human lives." Petrelis was one of the arrested in the Cathedral.

"The message we send to the Catholic hierarchy is simple: curb your dogmatic crusade against the truth: condoms and safer-sex information save lives ... the lives of children and young people!"

The press conference and distribution of condoms commenced at 9:45 AM directly across from the St. Patrick's Cathedral. No arrests were planned. 

.b(but not in New York City Public Schools because of church political influence)

Every half hour* one person under the age of 21 gets infected with HIV. AIDS is a leading cause of death for people ages 25-44 (the same people who were infected as teenagers). But New York City students still are being denied access to safer-sex education. In fact, it is illegal for a teacher to show their classes how to use a condom safely.
* World Health Organization 2003 update: one youth infected every 14 seconds!

While the mayor and the Board of Education are behind these murderous policies,
.they would not have succeeded without the backing of the Catholic Church, which has funded advertising campaigns denouncing condom use and has been a staunch opponent of merely acknowledging, let alone protecting, gay kids in our schools. The Church supported efforts to gag safer-sex educators, severely restrict condom access, and censor materials that discuss sex and sexuality honestly, and helped to repeal the best safer-sex education program New York City schools have ever had.

We helped ACT UP storm St. Patrick's Cathedral 10 years ago because the Church was standing in the way of young people getting the life-saving information they deserve.

The Youth Education LifeLine (YELL) was formed in 1989 by educators, parents, students, and members of the community involved in ACT UP and who were concerned about the safety and health of our young people. Twenty years into the epidemic, why do we still have to fight just to get students basic information to students about how they can stay safe?

Tell the Mayor   Tell the Church    TEACH SAFER SEX



The cardinal, who led the New York Archdiocese for 16 years, was the "Vatican's most forceful spokesman in the United States," voicing strong opposition to abortion and gay rights, but at the same time expressing compassion for the plight of AIDS patients, the New York Times reports (Steinfels, New York Times, 5/4/2000).

O'Connor often made unannounced visits to Catholic hospitals, where he ministered to AIDS patients (AP/Worcester Telegram & Gazette, 5/4).

The Los Angeles Times reports that he "emptied bedpans while working in a hospice bathing AIDS patients" (Goldman, Los Angeles Times, 5/4).

And according to the New York Times, he appealed to Catholic medical workers to help "in the days when AIDS patients had trouble getting medical care" (New York Times, 5/4).

O'Connor is dead one day and already the historical revisionism has begun.
O'Connor was a rabid right-winger whose grip on political power in New York City kept condoms and effective AIDS education out of the city's schools and youth homeless shelters; denied drug users access to clean needles; condoned homophobic violence by the police and the public at large; encouraged US war-mongering and violent assaults on women and their doctors by anti-abortionists; and bolstered the Giuliani Regime, possibly the most repressive, heartless, culturally destructive administration New York City has ever experienced. No amount of harassing unfortunate people dying of AIDS in Catholic-controlled hospitals can make up for all that evil -- and he was greatly to blame why they were in the hospitals in the first place.

             poster by GRAN FURY

  text in the poster:

The Catholic Church has long taught men and women to loathe their bodies and to fear their sexual natures. This particular vision of good and evil continues to bring suffering and even death. By holding medicine hostage to Catholic morality and withholding information which allows people to protect themselves and each other from acquiring the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, the Church seeks to punish all who do not share in its peculiar version of human experience and makes clear its preference for living saints and dead sinners. It is immoral to practice bad medicine. It is bad medicine to deny people information that can help end the AIDS crisis. Condoms and clean needles save lives as surely as the earth revolves around the sun. AIDS is caused by a virus and a virus has no morals.

text in the middle panel  quoting Cardinal O'Connor, representative of Pope John Paul II :

"The truth is not in condoms or clean needles.  These are lies…good morality is good medicine." 

There are many things to be said against condoms...

But at least they work.  Not perfectly -- they slip, they break, they require more forethought and finesse and cooperation and trust than is easy to bring to sex every single time, and, a major drawback in this fallen world, they place women's safety in the hands of men.  But, for protection from sexually transmitted diseases they are all we have.

It's bad enough to argue that condoms are against God's will while millions die. But to maintain, falsely, that they are ineffective in order to discourage their use is truly immoral. If not insane.

                                Katha Pollitt  Is the Pope Crazy  The Nation, 2003

Regarding the Pope's death, we are sorry Karol Wojtyla did not live long enough to have changed the repressive unreasonable Church Dogma responsible for unnecessary suffering and premature death from HIV/AIDS in people around the world.

a harsher remembrance  

I can't help but think of his legacy: This is the man who watched millions die from AIDS while actively preventing them from accessing condoms which would have saved their lives..    buggery blog

see recent dogma

Pope John Paul II this week reiterated the Catholic Church’s policy barring the use of condoms even to prevent transmission of the virus that causes AIDS. (Photo by Plinio Lepri/AP)

Pope reiterates Vatican policy against condom use
Friday, January 28, 2005

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Education, chastity and sexual fidelity are the responsible methods to combat AIDS, Pope John Paul II said Saturday, reiterating Vatican policy days after Spanish bishops supported condom use to fight the disease but then quickly reversed their position. The Vatican has come under fire from AIDS activists because it forbids the use of condoms, even to prevent transmission of HIV. “The Holy See ... considers that it is necessary above all to combat this disease in a responsible way by increasing prevention, notably through education about respect of the sacred value of life and formation about the correct practice of sexuality, which presupposes chastity and fidelity,” John Paul said. The pope’s comments came days after Spanish Bishop Juan Antonio Martinez Camino, spokesperson for the Spanish Bishops Conference, said “condoms have a place in the global prevention of AIDS.” But the next day, the conference issued a statement saying the bishop’s comments “must be understood in the context of Catholic doctrine, which holds that use of condoms is immoral sexual conduct.”

BBC World News   Thursday, October 9th, 2003

Vatican in HIV condom row

The Catholic Church has been accused of telling people in countries with high rates of HIV
that condoms do not protect against the deadly virus

The claims are made in a Panorama programme called Sex and the Holy City to be screened on BBC One on Sunday. It says cardinals, bishops, priests and nuns in four continents are saying HIV can pass through tiny holes in condoms.

The World Health Organization has condemned the comments and warned the Vatican it is putting lives at risk. The claims come just a day after a report revealed that a young person is now infected with HIV every 14 seconds.

" The statements are totally incorrect.
  Latex condoms are impermeable.
  They do prevent HIV transmission.
.          -- Catherine Hankins, Chief Scientific Advisor to UNAids
According to the United Nations Population Fund, around 6,000 people between the ages of 15 and 24 catch the virus every day. Half of all new infections are now in people under the age of 25 and most of these are young women living in the developing world.

Condom advice

Health experts around the world urge people to use condoms to protect themselves from HIV and a host of sexually transmitted infections. However, the Catholic Church has consistently refused to back such calls. The Vatican is opposed to contraception and has advocated that people change their behaviour instead. But according to Panorama, the Church is now telling people that condoms do not work. In an interview, one of the Vatican's most senior cardinals Alfonso Lopez Trujillo suggested HIV could even pass through condoms. "The Aids virus is roughly 450 times smaller than the spermatozoon. The spermatozoon can easily pass through the 'net' that is formed by the condom," he says.

The cardinal, who is president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for the Family, suggests that governments should urge people not to use condoms. "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." The programme includes a Catholic nun advising her HIV-infected choir master not to use condoms with his wife because "the virus can pass through". The Archbishop of Nairobi Raphael Ndingi Nzeki told Panaroma that condoms were helping to spread the virus. "Aids...has grown so fast because of the availability of condoms," he said.

In Kenya, one in five people are HIV positive

"Some priests have even been
saying  that condoms are
laced with HIV/Aids"

.-- Gordon Wambi, Aids activist
Gordon Wambi, director of an Aids testing programme in Lwak, near Lake Victoria, told the programme that he could not distribute condoms because of opposition from the Catholic Church. "Some priests have even been saying that condoms are laced with HIV/Aids," he said. According to Panaroma, the claims about condoms are repeated by Catholics as far apart as Asia and Latin America.

Claims condemned

Catherine Hankins, chief scientific advisor to UNAids, condemned the Church's comments. "It is very unfortunate to have this type of misinformation being broadcast," she told BBC News Online. "It is a concern. From a technical point of view, the statements are totally incorrect. "Latex condoms are impermeable. They do prevent HIV transmission."

The WHO also attacked the Catholic Church's comments. "Statements like this are quite dangerous, " a spokeswoman told BBC News Online. "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."

The aid agency Christian Aid also attacked the Vatican's attitude. "Condoms are a straightforward and effective way of preventing HIV transmission and to suggest otherwise is dangerous," said Dr Rachel Baggaley, head of its HIV unit.

  Using a condom
  significantly reduces
  the risk of contracting HIV


HIV/AIDS: Catholic Church in condom palaver
Vanguard, Nigeria

By Chioma Obinna
Tuesday, October 14, 2003

The Catholic Church has been accused of warning people in African, Asian and other countries with high rates of HIV infection that condoms do not protect against the transmission of the virus, the claims come just a day after a report revealed that a young person is now infected with HIV every 14 seconds.

According to BBC report, "cardinals, bishops, priests and nuns in four continents of the church have been quoted as saying HIV can pass through tiny holes in condoms but latest warnings were made in a Panorama programme called ‘Sex and the Holy City’ by one of the Vatican’s most senior cardinals Alfonso Lopez Trujillo who allegedly suggests that the AIDS virus is roughly 450 times smaller than the spermatozoon and could pass through net formed by the condom.

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."

Also reacting, Catherine Hankins, Chief Scientific Advisor to UNAIDS, argued that the statements by Catholic Church are totally incorrect saying that Latex condoms are impermeable. She added that latex condoms are not only good but can perfectly prevent HIV transmission from one person to another during sex.

According to her, " "It is very unfortunate to have this type of misinformation being broadcast, "It is a concern. From a technical point of view, the statements are totally incorrect. "Latex condoms are impermeable. They do prevent HIV transmission."

Meanwhile, several anti - AIDS campaigns have also condemned the call by the Vatican arguing that condoms are straightforward and effective way of preventing HIV transmission and to suggest otherwise is dangerous.

However, the claim by the Catholic Church is already having effect on the condom distribution activities of some anti HIV/AIDS programmes.

Efforts to get a reaction from Catholic Secretariat in Lagos were unsuccessful as at press time.

The Nation  | October 16, 2003
SUBJECT TO DEBATE  by Katha Pollitt    Is the Pope Crazy?

There are many things to be said against condoms, and most people reading this have probably said them all. But at least they work. Not perfectly--they slip, they break, they require more forethought and finesse and cooperation and trust than is easy to bring to sex every single time, and, a major drawback in this fallen world, they place women's safety in the hands of men. But for birth control they are a whole lot better than the rhythm method or prayer or nothing, and for protection from sexually transmitted diseases they are all we have. This is not exactly a controversial statement; people have been using condoms as a barrier against disease as long as rubber has been around (indeed, before--as readers of James Boswell's journals know). You could ask a thousand doctors--ten thousand doctors--before you'd find one who said, Condoms? Don't bother.

But what do doctors know? Or the Centers for Disease Control, or the World Health Organization, or the American Foundation for AIDS Research (Amfar)? These days, the experts on condoms are politicians, preachers and priests, and the word from above is: Condoms don't work. That is what students are being taught in the abstinence-only sex ed favored by the religious right and funded by the Bush Administration--$117 million of your annual tax dollars at work. The theory is that even mentioning condoms, much less admitting that they dramatically reduce the chances of pregnancy or HIV infection, sends a "mixed message" about the value of total abstinence until marriage. How absurd--it's like saying that seat belts send a mixed message about the speed limit or vitamin pills send a mixed message about vegetables. Anti-condom propaganda can backfire, too: True, some kids may be scared away from sex although probably not until marriage; others, though, hear only a reason to throw caution to the winds. According to a 2002 Human Rights Watch report on abstinence-only sex ed in Texas, a condoms-don't-work ad campaign led sexually active teens to have unprotected sex: "My boyfriend says they don't work. He heard it on the radio." Why is the Bush Administration giving horny teenage boys an excuse to be sexually selfish? You might as well have high school teachers telling them using a condom during sex is like taking a shower in a raincoat.

Now it seems the Vatican is joining fundamentalist Protestants to spread the word against condoms around the globe. "To talk of condoms as 'safe sex' is a form of Russian roulette," said Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, head of the Vatican's office on the family. On the BBC Panorama program "Sex and the Holy City," Lopez Trujillo explained, "The AIDS virus is roughly 450 times smaller than the spermatozoon. The spermatozoon can easily pass through the 'net' that is formed by the condom." That latex has holes or pores through which HIV (or sperm) can pass is a total canard. A National Institutes of Health panel that included anti-condom advocates examined the effectiveness of condoms from just about every perspective, including strength and porosity; according to its report, released in July 2001, latex condoms are impermeable to even the smallest pathogen. Among STDs, HIV is actually the one condoms work best against. "We're all a bit stunned by Lopez Trujillo's lack of respect for scientific consensus," Dr. Judith Auerbach of Amfar, who sat on the NIH panel, told me. "Where do his numbers come from?" Is Lopez Trujillo, who even suggests putting warnings on condoms like those on cigarettes, a loose cannon such as can be found in even the best regulated bureaucracies? According to "Sex and the Holy City," in Africa, where HIV infects millions--20 percent in Kenya, 40 percent in Botswana, 34 percent in Zimbabwe--Catholic clergy, who oppose condoms as they do all contraception, are actively promoting the myth that condoms don't prevent transmission of the virus and may even spread it. The Guardian quotes the archbishop of Nairobi, Raphael Ndingi Nzeki, as saying: "AIDS...has grown so fast because of the availability of condoms." Thus is a decade of painstaking work to mainstream and normalize condom use undone by the conscious promotion of an urban legend.

When the Nobel Prize for Peace was awarded to Shirin Ebadi, the first ever to a Muslim woman, an Iranian and a crusader for women's rights, not everyone was thrilled. What about Pope John Paul II, now celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of his election, and possibly near death? "This...was his year," wrote David Brooks in his New York Times column, a hymn of praise for the Pope as the defender of "the whole and the indivisible dignity of each person." A few pages over, Peter Steinfels said much the same in his religion column: "Is there any other leader who has so reshaped the political world for the better and done it peacefully?" More knowledgeable people than I can debate how much credit the Pope should get for the fall of Communism--I always thought it was Ronald Reagan with an unintentional assist from Gorbachev plus the internal collapse of the system itself. With the crucial exception of Poland, the countries in the old Soviet bloc aren't even Roman Catholic, or are so only partially. Whatever his contribution to that historic set of events, though, the Pope is on the wrong side of history now. Women's equality, sexual rights for all, the struggle of the individual against authoritarian religion and of course the global AIDS epidemic--the Pope has been a disaster on all these crucial issues of our new century. It's all very well for David Brooks to mock those who critique the Pope for his "unfashionable views on abortion," as if 78,000 women a year dying in illegal procedures around the world was just something to chat about over brie and chablis. But add it up: a priesthood as male as the Kuwaiti electorate--even altar girls may be banned soon, according to one recent news story--no divorce, no abortion, no contraception, no condom use even within a faithful marriage to prevent a deadly infection.

It's bad enough to argue that condoms are against God's will while millions die. But to maintain, falsely, that they are ineffective in order to discourage their use is truly immoral. If not insane.

  October 16, 2003   THE NATION

November 2003  (with update)    Liberated Christians

Vatican Continues Lies About Condoms

"Relying on condoms is like betting on your own death," said Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, the Vatican's spokesperson on family affairs, last week. He reiterated his opinion that condoms are too permeable to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS, an opinion that Bishops and Cardinals are repeating across four continents.

The World Health Organization immediately denounced this view, saying it was particularly dangerous while the world faces a pandemic that has already killed 20 million people. Scientific research by groups such as the U.S. National Institutes of Health has found "intact condoms... are essentially impermeable" to HIV, and that "condoms provide a highly effective barrier to transmission" of HIV. The Vatican's Trujillo responded: "They are wrong about that... this is an easily recognizable fact."

Ironically--and disastrously--the Catholic Church is growing fastest in Africa, where AIDS is not just killing individuals, but also depopulating entire towns and destroying the demographic balance of a half-dozen countries. In Kenya, for example, where an estimated 20% of people have HIV, the Church condemns condoms for promoting promiscuity and repeats the absurd claim about permeability. Nairobi Archbishop Raphael Ndingi Nzeki says "AIDS... has grown so fast because of the availability of condoms." Mistrusting condoms, many infected Africans are still trying to cure AIDS by having sex with virgins, further fueling the epidemic.

Once again, the Catholic Church has set itself in opposition to science. It is a too-straight line from the torture of Galileo, forced to retract his discoveries before the Inquisition, to this latest rejection of scientific truth.

But ultimate responsibility for Cardinal Trujillo's death-inviting manifesto lies not with him, but with his supervisor--Pope John Paul II. And in this, the Pope's hands are very, very dirty.

While the Pope's impending death has inspired an international outburst of sentimental tunnel vision (including the demonic idea of awarding him the Nobel Peace Prize), let's focus on reality. This is a Pope who took an emerging, liberalizing institution and sent it reeling backwards by centuries--not accidentally, and not once or twice, but meticulously, in hundreds of ways small and large. Whether by divine inspiration or more earthly design, this man has undone the work of his predecessors, ushering in a totalitarian Papal regime.

Recall that after Pope John XXIII assumed the papacy in 1958, he convened a Vatican Council to end centuries of what he called "holy isolation," exhorting the church to participate in humanity's struggle for peace and justice. He died shortly after, but by the 1970s, Catholics were playing a leading role in resistance to apartheid. "Liberation theology" was reconnecting the church with the impoverished peasants of Latin America. In Europe and North America, archaic ideas about gender and sexuality were under challenge.

The future John Paul II attended the Vatican Council meetings in the 1960s and opposed the changes. Upon taking office he undertook to reverse them. For twenty-five years, the Pope has refused to recognize the role that contraception could play in reducing the world's poverty and hunger he claims to care so much about. Now near death, he stubbornly refuses to support the many non-monogamous members of his flock in battling the disease that is destroying them.

According to Time Magazine, John Paul II has "steadfastly held the line against those...who saw in Vatican II an opening to democratize the Church... inside the Church his own rule will be remembered as nothing if not authoritarian."

Lamentably, the Pope's death will not rescue the Church or its followers, because he has appointed 96% of the Cardinals who will choose his successor. He has, in effect, picked his replacement.

By resorting to lies about condoms, the Vatican reveals its mistrust in the faith of its own flock; fearing that people won't abstain from condoms for theological reasons, the Church provides pseudo-scientific ones. And in resorting to autocracy, it shows it doesn't trust its own future.

Source: "Reprinted from Sexual Intelligence, ©Marty Klein, Ph.D. ("

The Scientific FACTS about condoms and HIV

The is lots of false information regarding condom protection. The biggest myth is that because HIV is much smaller than the pores of a condom designed to stop seamen. BUT the HIV needs a carrier it can not transfer by itself. This myth has absolutely no medical basis but the lie is being spread by the religious right bend on sexual repression rather than meaningful education..

HIV lives INSIDE cells, specifically the T4 cells of the immune system which are found in large volumes in semen and pre-ejac. fluids. These cells do not leak from high quality latex condoms. However, lambskin condoms should be avoided since they are much more porous. Tests have put latex condoms through much more stress than a man can without breaking. Armed with lots of scientific proof of effectiveness, the Centers for Disease Control says "The biggest failure to take the condom out of the wrapper and use it. We need to shift our focus from the product, which is reliable, to the user."

Condom critics are spreading myths, the CDC says. It says two new studies, the largest ever, show that latex condoms are HIGHLY EFFECTIVE in stopping HIV. "Condoms aren't 100 percent (effective), but they can be very, very close if used consistently," Dr. Kay Stone of the CDC states. When they fail, its usually because people do dumb things, like lubricate them with baby oil or petroleum jelly, or just plain don't use them.

In one study, NONE of 124 healthy Europeans who used condoms every time they had sex with an AIDS infected partner became infected over a two year period. 12 of another 121 Europeans (10%) who didn't use condoms consistently became HIV infected. The highest risk was when one partner had full-blown AIDS, rather than just HIV positive. This led reserchers to put the risk of infection at 5% with unprotected sex with an AIDS infected partner. Over 300 other studies consistently show clearly the effectiveness of condom use. Another Italian study also confirms the lack of HIV transmission in the highest possible risk group (HIV infected having sex with spouse). The infection rate was only 9.7 per 100 YEARS in the group that DID NOT use condoms, and 1.1 per 100 YEARS in group that used condoms. Most of the transmission was when the male was the infected partner to the female spouse. Withdrawing before ejaculation reduced to risk of spreading HIV from an infected male to his female partner (as would be expected).

It is also interesting that the risk of HIV from a one night stand or from a prostitute is much lower than in a long term relationship since repeated exposure is usually needed and it is so difficult to transmit vaginally. This is because the vagina acids usually kill the HIV. Of course, it is almost impossible to transmit female to male unless other factors are involved such as open lesions from STDs etc. But a women is at more risk than a man. Homosexually it is very easy to pass, but the gay community has been on the forefront of teaching and mostly using condoms and seeking more monogamous relationships, than in the pre AIDS days. The big question is do we teach safer sex knowing it is natural and not going to go away, or do we insist on abstinence and be laughed at or ignored by most.

(RENO)- Two of Nevada's legal brothels are making national headlines in a study of condom use conducted jointly by Princton and Emory Universities. The results of the study were made public in the American Journal of Public Health. 41 Nevada prostitutes averaging six clients per day showed that when put on correctly, few condoms break and they work well in preventing disease when used properly and consistently.

Taken from the CDC web site:  BREAKAGE AND SLIPPAGE
"Although users often fear that the condom will break or fall off during intercourse, studies show that these events rarely occur when condoms are used properly. Many studies conducted in economically developed countries have shown that the incidence of condom breakage and slip-page during vaginal intercourse can be very low. Typical studies indicate that the rate of breakage for good quality condoms is less than 3 or 4 condoms per 100 condoms used, although rates as low as 1% to 2% have been reported in studies from Zambia, Ghana, and Mali.

Guidelines for Education within the Family   website

 Paragraph 139
"Another abuse occurs whenever sex education is given to children
by teaching them all the intimate details of genital relationships, even in a
graphic way. Today this is often motivated by wanting to provide education
for 'safe sex', above all in relation to the spread of AIDS. In this
situation, parents must also reject the promotion of so-called 'safe sex'
or 'safer sex', a dangerous and immoral policy based on the deluded theory
that the condom can provide adequate protection against AIDS. Parents must
insist on continence outside marriage and fidelity in marriage as the only
true and secure education for the prevention of this contagious disease."

Vatican City, December 8, 1995

Catholic Archdiocese Fights Posters For Condoms Group in Metro Ads
by Bill Broadway, Washington Post Staff Writer, January 3, 2002

The Archdiocese of Washington has condemned as "false and misleading" an advertising campaign inside Metro trains and bus shelters that features posters critical of Roman Catholic teaching against the use of condoms.

The ads posted at 50 bus shelters in the District include such statements as "Because the bishops ban condoms, innocent people die" and "Catholic people care. Do our bishops?" Similar ads are running in 134 Metrorail cars. They are part of an international campaign sponsored by Catholics for a Free Choice, a Washington-based religious advocacy group. The campaign was launched Dec. 1, World AIDS Day, to promote the distribution of condoms among sexually active teenagers and adults as a means of helping prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, said Frances Kissling, president of the group.

Beginning this month, the organization will post ads in Belgium, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Bolivia, Chile, Mexico and other countries. Locally, it has extended the bus shelter advertising, which began Nov. 28, through Jan. 28; the Metrorail ads, which started Dec. 7, will come down next week when that contract expires. A similar ad appeared Nov. 30 in The Washington Post.

Archdiocese officials said Metro should not have run the ads because they contain false information. Catholic bishops oppose the use of condoms because they present a barrier to the "full openness to life and unity between [married] couples," said archdiocese spokeswoman Susan Gibbs. But, Gibbs said, "the fact is the bishops do not have the authority to 'ban' condoms." She added that the ads "accuse bishops of killing people when in fact the bishops advocate the only lifestyle to protect against HIV/AIDS: a lifestyle of abstinence outside a monogamous marriage."

Metro spokesman Ray Feldmann said the transit authority's legal office, after reviewing the ads, "essentially determined that people may disagree with the content and portrayal of bishops" but that there was "nothing obscene, pornographic, lewd or offensive" to prevent them from running. "To us, it came down to a First Amendment issue," Feldmann said. "We're simply providing a vehicle, literally and figuratively, for the group to present its point of view." Those who oppose that view "have the same right" to take out an ad, he said. "We're not the referees making sure these ads are 100 percent accurate," he added.

Gibbs said the archdiocese became involved after receiving "dozens and dozens of complaints" from parishioners who saw the ads. It has not asked Metro to remove the ads, but it has put out an "advocacy alert" that urges parishioners to contact Metro officials and politicians who have influence over transportation funding.

Metro has received "about 25 e-mails or phone calls from people objecting to these ads," said Feldmann, who noted that the transit authority controls advertising on buses and trains and in Metro stations but not at bus shelters. That responsibility falls to the District division of the U.S. Department of Transportation, said Alex Eckmann, administrator of the office of mass transit. Eckmann said he has received one complaint from a caller who found the ads "objectionable to Catholics."

"We have to be sensitive both to bigotry and to [the freedom] of commercial speech," Eckmann said he told the caller. The department will not approve advertising that is "blatantly untruthful or false," he said. He said it also cannot be deceptive, obscene or in violation of the D.C. Consumer Protection Act. Eckmann said the ads submitted by Catholics for a Free Choice fell within the department's guidelines.

Feldmann said the ads running in Metro trains cost $13,000 for a month of display and are similar to other ads Metro has accepted that present political, philosophical or religious positions. Last January, Metro ran ads from an organization promoting the decriminalization of marijuana. That campaign generated far more complaints, he said.


ACT UP DEMONSTRATION    October 29, 2003   New York City

[South Africa] Sunday Times, 8 July 2001

Bishop Kevin Dowling is proposing that the church's total ban on condoms be lifted

A Catholic bishop wants his church to allow the use of condoms in a desperate bid to halt AIDS deaths. The proposal is likely to cause an uproar in the Catholic Church, which has been implacably opposed to the use of condoms, believing that they interfere with the creation of life. But Bishop Kevin Dowling of Rustenburg, North West, who is investigating a possible new policy on combating HIV-AIDS on behalf of his fellow SA bishops, is now proposing that the church's total ban on condoms be lifted. If accepted at their meeting later this month, a document containing the policy bombshell will be published as an official pastoral statement on HIV-AIDS by the bishops of Southern Africa.

Explaining his support for the document, now in the post to all the bishops for consideration before their July 24 meeting, Dowling said AIDS was killing so many people that he felt he could not "duck the issue" of condoms. Dowling's comments follow the recent UN Special Assembly debate on AIDS at which Mozambique Prime Minister Pascoal Mocumbi explained that abstinence was not always a solution to the spread of AIDS. He added that all parents should talk frankly about sex with their children, and "provide them with information, communication skills and, yes, condoms".

The draft to be considered by the bishops restates the traditional Catholic view that sex should take place only within marriage, but adds that condoms should be seen in the context that many people do not accept this value. Dowling said the church should challenge such people to act responsibly by not infecting themselves and by "not transmitting death". He said the statement would seek to give the "full picture", spelling out the failure rate of condoms and the fact that their use raised many sensitive cultural difficulties. But he added that the AIDS crisis posed "stark choices" for many people.

According to statistics from the local Catholic clinic, the only one in the area, the infection rate there is now about 50%. He added that there was a perception among many that the Catholic Church's response to AIDS was a simple ban on condoms and insistence on abstinence. People were unaware that the church ran the largest network of AIDS programmes after the government.

Statement by Bishop Kevin Dowling of Rustenburg
issued before the bishops' meeting at the end of July 2001, explaining his position on condoms

Bishops reject condoms in battle against AIDS
Wednesday 1 August 2001

Condoms are an "immoral and misguided weapon" in the fight against AIDS and could be one of the main reasons for the spread of the disease, the Catholic Church in southern Africa has proclaimed.

According to a statement released late on Monday by a conference of bishops from South Africa, Botswana and Swaziland, the use of condoms fuels the HIV epidemic by contributing to "the breaking down of self-control and mutual respect".

It concludes: "Abstain and be faithful is the human and Christian way of overcoming HIV-AIDS."

The strong reaffirmation of the church's ban on artificial contraceptives has dashed hopes that the bishops would reopen debate in light of the region's massive epidemic of HIV-AIDS.

Before the seven-day Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference in Pretoria, Bishop Kevin Dowling of Rustenburg had made several public appeals to the church to reconsider its position.

Bishop Dowling believes the church could approve condoms for "preventing the transmission of death, and therefore not as a contraceptive to prevent the transmission of life".

His views are believed to have the tacit support of many priests and nuns dealing with HIV-AIDS in communities, and received editorial backing from the main Catholic newspaper in South Africa, the Southern Cross. Bishop Dowling is reported to have left the conference early on Monday and has not been contactable since.

The bishops' hardline stance has been criticised by HIV activists and by South Africa's Health Department, which said it was "sad that one of the few methods of preventing the transmission of HIV, and thus saving the lives of millions of our people, has been characterised as immoral and misguided".

The department also rejected the bishops' claim that condoms were a major contributor to the epidemic, saying there was overwhelming scientific evidence that condom usage was preventive and protective.

Ironically, one passage in the bishops' statement seemed to unwittingly endorse the protective role of condoms. It said that married couples can use condoms when one or both of them is HIV-positive, and provided they abstain from sex while the woman is ovulating. In this way there would be no artificial barrier to the propagation of life.

Speaking last week, Bishop Dowling said he had been moved to question the status quo by his own personal experience of the AIDS epidemic in his diocese.

The mining region around Rustenburg is one of the hot-spots in a country in which up to five million people, or more than one in 10, now carry the HIV virus. Around 1500 people are infected with the virus each day in South Africa and it is estimated that the continent will have 28 million AIDS orphans by 2010.

Some leading Catholics have warned that the church's continuing insistence on abstinence as the only weapon against HIV-AIDS risks undermining its moral authority in the face of reality.

Bishop Dowling wrote last month: "If we simply proclaim a message that condoms cannot be used under any circumstances, either directly or through not trying to articulate a proper response to the crisis we face, then I believe people will find difficulty in believing that we are committed as a church to a compassionate and caring response to people who are suffering, often in appalling living conditions."

Don't Tell the Pope

New York Times Op-Ed   November 26, 2003

Pope John Paul II would be scandalized if he came to the Roman Catholic hospital here in the poor southwestern part of El Salvador.

Thank God!

The Vatican is increasingly out of touch and exerts a reactionary — even, in this world of AIDS, deadly — influence on health policy in the developing world. Here in El Salvador, church leaders in 1998 helped ban abortions even when necessary to save the life of a woman, and, much worse, helped pass a law, which took effect last month, requiring condoms to carry warnings that they do not protect against AIDS.

In El Salvador, where only 4 percent of women use contraceptives the first time they have sex, this law will mean more kids dying of AIDS. The reality is that condoms no more cause sex than umbrellas cause rain.

Here at the grass roots, the Catholic Church is a vibrant, flexible organization enormously different from the out-of-touch Vatican. At the Catholic-run hospital here in Sonsonate, doctors tell women about IUD's and the pill — and especially about using condoms to protect against AIDS. Their humanitarian work is a reminder that the Catholic Church is much greater than the Vatican: local priests and nuns often ignore the troglodytes in Rome and quietly do what they can to save parishioners from AIDS.

"The bishop is in San Salvador and never comes here," explains Dr. Martha Alica De Regalada. "So we never get in trouble."

The Vatican has consistently opposed condoms and safe-sex education, even claiming falsely that condoms don't protect against AIDS. That's on par with the church under Pope Urban VIII putting Galileo under house arrest — except that this will have more deadly results.

Yet I take my hat off to the much broader Catholic Church that is toiling in the barrios of Latin America and the slums of Africa and Asia. Catholic Relief Services, one of the most vigorous aid organizations in the third world, is an example of humanitarianism at its noblest.

At ground level, priests apply doctrine with a flexibility that must drive the pope wild. In the desperately poor Salvadoran hillside village of Chucita, where campesinos live in shacks without water or electricity, a teacher explained how his fifth-grade class learns about dealing with AIDS.

"A social worker comes in with a banana and puts a condom on it," said the teacher, Eduardo Antonio Ascencio Mata. The priests, he says, have no objection.

In the remote Guatemalan town of Coatepeque, Maryknoll sisters run a first-rate AIDS clinic and prevention program, saving lives on a vast scale. They work with prostitutes and school children and explain how condoms can protect against AIDS.

So what about Vatican teachings?

"Certainly, God does not want us to kill each other," responded Marlene Condon, who works with AIDS patients. "You've got to do something."

Elsewhere in Coatepeque, some priests hold meetings where young people preparing for confirmation learn about AIDS — and condoms.

The Vatican has appointed hard-line bishops to eviscerate liberation theology and bring parishes back into line. Still, the French and German bishops' conferences have urged that condoms be permitted to fight AIDS, and Bishop Kevin Dowling of South Africa is pushing hard for the church to change policy to save lives.

Just this month, Catholics for a Free Choice and 20 other Catholic organizations called on bishops to accept condoms as a way to fight AIDS.

The irony is that no organization does more to help AIDS victims and their orphans than the Catholic Church. Some 25 percent of AIDS care worldwide is provided by church- related groups. Yet the Vatican blindly opposes condoms, even within a marriage when a husband or wife is infected with H.I.V. A member of the Kenyan Parliament has called the church "the greatest impediment in the fight against H.I.V./AIDS."

Let's hope the Vatican will learn from its priests and nuns on the ground, who do so much heroic work fighting the disease. In Coatepeque, I spoke with Father Mario Adolfo Dominguez, who sighed as I grilled him on the theology of condoms.

"We don't recommend the use of condoms, but we're not opposed to their use because we know they prevent AIDS," he said, looking nervous as I wrote down his words. "There is no contradiction between Christianity and a piece of rubber."


     more Dirty Lying Distortions :       

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Want To Know a Dirty Little Secret?


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             see more by the Catholic League President William Donohue

and for more ridiculous ecumenical display of farce...

Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson
blames pagans, abortionists, feminists & gays and lesbians
for bringing on the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.
September 13, 2001. ~ see transcript



see also:

ACT UP DEMONSTRATION    October 29, 2003   New York City

Church blows it again for AIDS prevention efforts in Africa
Washington Post, August 13, 2001

Roman Catholic priests in the United States are dying from AIDS-related illnesses at a rate four times higher than the general population and the cause is often concealed on their death certificates1-31-2000


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