Just don’t do it

Just don’t do it

Perennial mouthpiece of dissident Catholicism James Carroll, writing on the Boston Globe’s op-ed pages has yet another inane article about the Church’s teaching on condoms and AIDS.

Carroll writes that you can’t stop AIDS without condoms and the Church is letting people die by ignoring that.

Catholic hospitals and other ministries threw themselves into caring for those who became infected, and today, across Europe, Africa, and the Americas, much of such care is provided in Catholic settings. But the urgent need for active prevention soon showed itself, and because the disease can be transmitted sexually, that required the advocacy of condom use.

No, it doesn’t require the advocacy of condom use because there is a perfectly fine alternative that is 100 percent effective (as opposed to condoms, which are not): abstinence. Yep, it is 100 percent effective every time you use it.

But you can’t seriously expect people not to have sex. Why, asking people not to have sex could turn them into sexual predators who attack children (at least according to those who think celibacy was the cause of the Scandal).

The Vatican has a special responsibility here, for it not only repeatedly rejected condom use for the sake of HIV prevention, but argued—for example in its 2003 document “Family Values and Safe Sex”—that condoms, instead of inhibiting the spread of HIV/AIDS, promote it.

False sense of security

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
8 comments
  • “Carroll writes that you can’t stop AIDS without condoms and the Church is letting people die by ignoring that.”

    All those faithful good Catholics contracting AIDS because they are obeying the Church’s teaching on birth control (we will ignore that critics and dissenters tell us most Catholics do not follow this difficult teaching).

    It just doesn’t make sense to me that so many Catholics are ignoring Church teachings on promiscuity, drug use, prostitution, etc., thus putting themselves at risk.

    And it is very sad that all of those faithful Catholics in Africa, India and China are at risk because the Vatican is so stubborn.

  • Does anyone else see this flaw in the argument? Insofar as you have to insist, “look it’s not realistic that folks will abstain”—then if we buy that approach, the next step isn’t condoms for intercourse, but non-intercourse sexual satisfaction; precisely because even with a condom, intercourse is risky for infection; whereas, other sorts of sexual activity is not.

    Ah, but here’s the problem—would people even take it seriously if he said: “Because the Church won’t endorse masturbation, it’s killing people!”? Because then, of course, folks will say what they said about Jocelyn Elders: um, do you really need an endorsement for <i>that? Don’t, um, most people figure that out without “lessons”?

    And, if Mr. Carroll has any honesty (I think he does—didn’t he back off his smear on Pope Pius XII?), he knows that if someone comes to a priest, and the priest can’t talk him out of sinful behavior, the priest likely will counsel him to minimize the harm.

  • I’m copying and pasting, but the information is valid.

    http://www.wprc.org/11.19.0.0.1.0.phtml

    Birth Control with Condoms
    Frequently Asked Questions – Condoms

    How effective are condoms in preventing pregnancy?
    For adults, the failure rate is about 14% per year of use. That means every year about 1 in 7 condom users experience an unplanned pregnancy. For persons under the age of 18, condoms were found to have a failure rate of 18% over one year. For unmarried minorities, the condom failure rate is 36% per year, and for unmarried Hispanics, the failure rate is as high as 45% annually. Spermicidal condoms have not been proven more effective than the non-spermicidal type.

    Do condoms protect against sexually transmitted disease?
    Latex or polyurethane (plastic) condoms are useful in helping to prevent certain diseases, such as HIV and gonorrhea. However, they are less effective protecting against herpes, trichomoniasis, and chlamydia. Condoms provide almost no protection against HPV, the cause of genital warts and cervical cancer.

    Are condoms a good way to keep from getting AIDS?
    Although condoms will reduce your chance of infection, compared to having sex without any form of protection, one in three AIDS victims will contract the disease from an infected partner despite 100% use of condoms. One study found that among married couples where one partner was HIV-positive, 17% of the uninfected spouses contracted the disease, despite the use of condoms. The best way to prevent AIDS is abstinence. More about HIV/AIDS…

    Will spermicides containing nonoxynol-9 help prevent AIDS?
    Spermicides containing nonoxynol-9 were once thought to help prevent HIV infection, but newer studies show an increased risk because the chemical can irritate the vagina, facilitating infection. Consequently, spermicides are no longer being recommended for HIV prevention.

    Are latex condoms the best way to practice “safe sex”?
    All brands of condoms have been known to break during use. Breakage can happen even if you do everything right, putting you or your partner at risk for sexually transmitted disease and/or pregnancy. The only safe sex is abstinence (not having sex) or mutual faithfulness to an uninfected partner (marriage).

    How often do condoms break?
    2-6% of condoms break or fall off during intercourse. Polyurethane condoms are more likely to break than latex condoms.

  • Condoms provide almost no protection against HPV, the cause of genital warts and cervical cancer.

    Umm… the topic of cervical cancer was never brought up in my secular safe sex education. It really makes me ill to think they didn’t want to teach women what the consequences of an abnormal papsmear was and how to prevent it with absolute abstinence. Maybe James Carroll really cared about people dying, he would care about women contracting HPV.

  • There is no such thing as a safe cigarette.  But sex is as safe as safe can be.

    Even if every promiscuous person used a condom, it’s only a matter of time before some enterprising organism learns a way around that.

    How much money has been wasted on VD treatment and containment that could have gone to, say, curing cancer or feeding the poor?  Sexual ethics is a social justice issue, but not in the way the lefty fringe thinks it is.

  • I think he Cardinal needs to offer Mr. (previously Father) Carroll the opportunity to recant his errors or excommunicate him.

    The Vichy Catholic incurred a latae setente(sp?) excommunication when he married before being laicized.  It hasn’t stopped his bigotry before—why would it stop him now?

  • Those like Carroll who claim that the use of condomes constitutes the “lesser of two evils” apparently haven’t read the Gospel of Matthew:

    “And fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Mt. 10:28

    The Church exists to save souls, not bodies.  Her merciful care of the sick and dying is only to effect the prime mission, not to make people feel better.

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