Our Lady of the Wayside

Our Lady of the Wayside
Protect Expectant Mothers and Their Babies


Monday 29 November 2010

If I Were Not Catholic, I Would Still Oppose Condoms.

It’s been a heady and confusing week. Many rumours have surrounded a remark made by Fr Lombardi, purportedly saying that Pope Benedict may be in favour of female prostitutes using condoms. (Editor's note: Let's not be led astray by hearsay remarks with no real authority behind them, and for our comment on the Holy Father's words, see here) This remains to be clarified. But it does seem rather unusual for a Pope who has, over many years, been so outspoken against condoms. Many Catholics are in a quandary about what to think and do; many are asking themselves if they should be in favour of condoms. After all, all the media outlets have bombarded us with reports that the Pope has ‘permitted’ use of condoms, complete with lots of opportunistic ‘arguments’ about why the Pope would be in favour of condoms. The media doth protest too much.
There will always be groups and individuals who will try and twist a priest’s or a Pope’s words to fit an agenda. But we need to hold true to the facts. Nothing has changed in Church teaching. We cannot promote condoms, OK, well maybe as a wet suit for a mouse, poor mouse!
Much as I loathe The Guardian, their motto is ‘comment is free, facts are sacrosanct.’ Telling people that they will be ‘safe’ if they use condoms is a comment, but factually it is leading them into a fool’s paradise.
From an objective viewpoint, were I not Catholic, I would still be against condoms for social as well as scientific reasons. Anyone, from any religion, and any culture, should be aware of the ineffectiveness of condoms. One study found that the AIDS virus was several times small than the holes in the latex, allowing it easily to pass through. In fact the comparison was that the AIRS virus could slip through a hole in the latex as easily as a dime through a basketball hoop.
Just this week, in our centre, we were helping a young teenager, let’s call her ‘Reena’. Reena has been a child prostitute and is now pregnant. She told me that she used condoms ‘every time’. Now, I’m not very bright, but if she got pregnant, did her ‘clients’ give her any diseases? Have her ‘clients’ got any diseases from her, of which they are unaware?
The emotional cost of Reena’s time on the street is untold. When I first met her, I thought she was over thirty, her face has such a lined, weary look of shame and indignity. Was a condom meant to save her from this? She was never told there’s no condom for the heart.

Mary O'Regan

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