Catholic Condoms? Swiss Clergy Defy Diocese, Pass Out Protection
The Catholic Church of Lucerne, Switzerland, is flying in the face of church doctrine and accepted practice for clergy by handing out rainbow-colored condoms to coincide with an HIV-AIDS awareness campaign.
The w ebsite swissinfo.ch reports:
The Catholic church of Lucerne set up a stand to coincide with the Aids truck’s stay in the city. As part of its campaign, the church produced 3,000 custom-wrapped condoms to distribute.
Reactions have been mixed, with criticism from other branches of the Swiss Catholic Church.
The condom packaging features a stylised skyline of the city’s Catholic churches under a rainbow-coloured spray of condoms. The motto reads: “Forgetfulness is contagious. Protect your neighbour as you would yourself.” The church’s URL is printed on the back.
While local youth interviewed in the story say the condoms are "cool," and appreciate the church's effort to get with the times Pope Ratzinger and his friends in the Vatican are sure to be displeased. The church's official position remains opposed to contraception, even to stop the spread of AIDS and other deadly diseases in the developing world.
But Catholic laypeople, particularly in Europe and the US, are notoriously lax about this restriction and use birth control with impunity. As Amie Newman reports in a pre-election piece called "Five Myths About Catholic Voters": "Sexually active Catholic women older than 18 are just as likely (98%) to have used some form of contraception banned by the Vatican as women in the general population (99%)."
It would be a fabulous trend if other clergy around the world followed the Lucerne church's lead and defy the Vatican to help their communities with potentialy life-saving condoms.