Here's the latest Friday Fax from the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute:
- Dear Colleague,
Today we report on the anniversary greetings the BBC sent to the Pope in the form of a vicious "documentary." It appears the Catholic Church must be persecuted, because it has little faith in condoms.
Spread the word.
Action Item: To get the complete transcript of the documentary, go here.
To complain to the BBC, write to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or
October 17, 2003
Volume 6, Number 43
BBC Accuses Church of Worldwide Condom Misinformation Campaign
To mark the 25th anniversary of the pontificate of Pope John Paul II, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) aired a television documentary Sunday night roundly criticizing Catholic moral teaching on sexuality, even accusing the Catholic Church of engaging in a worldwide conspiracy to misinform people about condoms' effectiveness in preventing HIV infections.
Stephen Bradshaw, the reporter of the documentary, entitled "Sex and the Holy City," said that "The Catholic Church is telling people in countries stricken by AIDS not to use condoms because they have tiny holes in them through which the HIV virus can pass - potentially exposing thousands of people to risk. The Church is making the claims across four continents despite widespread scientific consensus that condoms are impermeable to the HIV virus."
Ideological opponents of the Vatican's promotion of traditional sexual morality have seized upon these reported statements doubting condom effectiveness. The UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the world's largest distributor of condoms, said in a press release that it "deplored" the actions of the Church. A UNAIDS scientific advisor said that the Church is "totally incorrect. Latex condoms are impermeable. They do prevent HIV
transmission." A World Health Organization (WHO) spokesperson claimed that the "Catholic Church's incorrect statements about condoms and HIV are dangerous," since "consistent and correct" condom use is 90% effective in stopping infection.
Many observers charge the BBC and its allies with attemeting to smear the Catholic Church. Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Birmingham, England, said that the BBC was exhibiting "hostility" towards the Church and that "the Catholic Community is fed up." C-FAM president Austin Ruse, who was interviewed for the documentary, said, "my interview with the BBC was among the most biased, aggressive and deceptive I have ever participated in. it was shockingly clear that their conclusions were drawn against the Church long ago."
Cardinal Lopez Trujillo, who was quoted in the documentary, later said that he "was surprised with some of the reactions" to his questions about condoms and "safe sex." "I simply wished to remind the public, seconding the opinion of a good number of experts, that when the condom is employed as a contraceptive, it is not totally dependable, and that the cases of pregnancy is not rare. In the case of the AIDS virus, which is around 450 times smaller than the sperm cell, the condom's latex material
obviously gives much less security. Some studies reveal permeability of condoms in 15% or even up to 20% of cases. Thus, to talk of condoms as 'safe sex' is a form of Russian Roulette," he said.
The Cardinal also cited US government research that has found that condoms do not protect their users from a number of sexually transmitted diseases, including genital herpes, human papillomavirus (HPV), chlamydia, syphilis, chanchroid and trichomonas.
Critics of the international response to the AIDS epidemic have long doubted the efficacy of condoms, as well as the morality of telling people in the developing world that they are "safe" from infection when condoms admittedly fail 10% of the time, even when used "consistently and correctly."
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