Toronto Catholic hospital raises money for condoms

Toronto Catholic hospital raises money for condoms

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.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
4 comments
  • Some interesting proposals here. You connect the dots well. But I doubt anything will happen.

    1. The Cardinal-Archbishop is on his way out, and appears uninterested in addressing controversy.

    2. St. Mikes has a history of supporting causes that are even more questionable. A few years ago the hospital was a corporate sponsor for the annual Gay Pride Parade. The reasoning: the hospital is in a gay district, so it’s important to support the neighbours (not kidding).

    3. Even the CCCB’s own Development and Peace is on record saying it will support condom-distributing organizations, if this means it can participate in social justice ventures that address issues like poverty and AIDS (the link is not working right now). Will someone now ask that the Canadian bishops not be allowed to call themselves ‘Catholic’? I doubt that. The point is even the bishops don’t see condoms as that serious, as long as the social justice project has morally acceptable goals that ‘outweigh’ the harm of condom-use.

    4. Given the history of such disputes between pro-lifers and church organizations in Canada, it is possible that the hospital first consulted with the Archbishop, so as to pre-empt any controversy.

    5. Pro-life activists need to ask to what extent this kind of dispute is worth taking on. Chancery officials and the social justice crowd hate the pro-life movement. This would be another opportunity to paint pro-lifers as eternal antagonists.

  • If only DN could have heard the public school Health sex educators who appeared before the Mass. State Legislators committee on education hearing on Thurs. at the State House, I think he/she would have a change of heart and mind regarding the gravity of the use of condoms. These young girls who are now teachers, barely out of college(one was a grad. of Boston College), were representing Planned Parenthood which obviously is firmly entrenched in the Mass. Public schools, both as teachers and promoters of text books and materials that are published by Planned Parenthood. They explained how they teach the boys and girls how to “negotiate” in how they will perform acts of sex. They emphasize that the students need to feel “comfortable” when engaging in sex acts and they need to know how to do it safely-which means with condoms, dental dams, lubricants, etc.  One of the sex ed. teachers (the one who had graduated from B.C.) told of the great concern she had for a student who was shocked to find out that she had herpes. The student said that she didn’t know that you could get herpes from performing oral sex. The sex ed. teacher blamed the girl’s mother for her daughter getting herpes because the mother had not given her daughter permission to attend the sex ed, training sessions on how to use safe sex methods while engaging in oral sex.
    Rather than teach the students the need to develop integrity by being able to master their sexualuality through living in a chaste manner so that if they married they could give of themselves freely and without the sexual infections that come from promiscuity, they were actually encouraging the students to act out sexually, always using condoms, as though the students had every right to engage in such acts as much as they desired to do this.
    It was heartbreaking to realize that this is the kind of Health curriculum sex education that our students are receiving in the Mass. public schools. In fact, in Nov. House Bill 1641 will be proposed under the direction of Alice Wolf(Cambridge), to make this kind of Health education part of the mandatory curriculum for all students under the jurisdiction of the Mass.  Dept. of Education. If this is passed, then there will be no right of parents to say they do not want their child to be indoctrinated into this Planned Parenthood sex education. This is the first time that I have seen Planned Parenthood so openly show how much they have become embedded in the Health sex ed. curriculum for Mass. students. They also had representatives of the Mass. Teachers Association there to support their program and to insist that any parents who object to this training are neglecting the health of their child! I expect that in Canada, this is already the case.

  • You misunderstood me. I am not suggesting that condom promotion is not sinful and evil.

    What I did say, is that certain church officials see condom use in AIDS prevention as something that is not important. That does not represent my position—I’m saying it to make people aware of the way some chancery officials think.

    Whatever decisions are made by agencies of the CCCB are entirely their own, and having nothing to do with my position on the issue.

  • The divorce between the Catholic understanding on (in particular) human sexuality and bioethics and the practices of “Catholic” hospitals is incredibly disturbing to me.  Not only do individual Catholics give in good faith to these institutions, but dioceses do as well.  While the degree to which these dioceses know the goings-on at these hospitals is debatable, there is no question that there is a *great* need for an inquiry (perhaps similar to the ongoing apostolic visitations of US seminaries) into the conformity of Catholic hospitals with Catholic teaching.  While we’re at it, Catholic universities could sure use them as well…

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