An effort by a Catholic hospital in conjunction with the local diocese to raise funds for children suffering from AIDS in Africa would normally be a praiseworthy event. Normally. But as is all too often the case, the good end has been tainted by a recourse to evil means.
St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto is raising funds in conjunction with a group called Dignitas International, including a concert at St. Michael Cathedral called Angels in Africa. It all sounds so good until you download the Dignitas brochure (Warning: PDF), and see under the large bullet point “1: Treatment, Care and Support” the following: “Community-based care programming at the local level, along the entire ‘continuum of care’: ...Treatment and prevention of Opportunistic Infections and Sexually Transmitted Infections, including the distribution of condoms.”
In other words, the Catholic hospital and Catholic cathedral, part of the Catholic archdiocese of Toronto, are working hand-in-hand with an organization that seeks to help people by afflicting them with a moral evil that endangers their very souls. As we’ve seen in Uganda, it is the promotion of abstinence that makes a truly successful AIDS prevention program, not handing out condoms and a pat on the head. Even so, it is the moral danger to the soul that is even more important than the physical danger. Stay well and live longer, this ideology says, and you’ll live longer here, but imperil your everlasting life.