Something worse than AIDS

In November 1987, Archbishop Fiorenzo Angelini, pro-president of the Pontifical Commission for Health Care Workers, speaking at the first worldwide conference on AIDS, said efforts to stop the spreading disease must be based on “the safeguarding of ethical principles which cannot be renounced.”

A policy, he said, that looks only at short-term prevention measures, outside of ethical considerations, risks causing “greater damage” than the disease itself.


“A Condom is not safe any more than it is moral.”

Mario Conti, Bishop of Aberdeen, Scotland, 1987.

“Volunteering information about the use of condoms in an educational setting implies at least partial, if not complete, approval of a practice which is both ineffective and immoral.”

Msgr. Elio Sgrechia, Director, Bioethics Centre

Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome,

A consultant to Pope John Paul II, November 1987.

“Abstinence is the only morally acceptable way to avoid the sexual transmission of AIDS.  Apart from the fact that the use of condoms does not guarantee protection from AIDS, their use is morally unacceptable.”

Bishops (16) of the Ecclesiastical Province of Boston, December 1987.

Condoms Not Christian

“To seek the solution to the disease in the promotion of the use of prophylactics (Editor: measures tending to prevent disease such as some claim the condom’s) is to take a path that is not only unreliable from a technical point of view, but also and above all, unacceptable from a moral point of  view.”

L’Osservatore Romano, Italian edition, March 10, 1988.  English edition, March 24.

Pontius Pilate

Confronting the spread of AIDS by promoting condoms if a “form of betrayal” of young people.”

“The authorities and doctors who should give (proper) advice are acting like the man who once washed his hands as he sent Christ to death.”

“The use of prophylactics is a…simplistic method that science and practice have shown to be anything but safe…”

Archbishop Fiorenzo Angelini, Vatican radio, October 16, 1988.

Love betrayed

“At a moment when young people are rediscovering the beauty of love and mutual respect, the value of tenderness and of faithfulness, it would be extraordinary to have publicity which encourages promiscuity and kills love.”

Archbishop James Hayes, Then president of the CCCB, Toronto Star, April 18, 1989.

“Not only is the use of prophylactics in an attempt to halt the spread of AIDS  technically unreliable; promoting this approach means in effect, promoting behaviour which is morally unacceptable.”

Statement on AIDS, from the U.S. Bishops, October 1989.

No to condoms

A schools education program on AIDS “must convey as persuasively as possible the deadly nature of the disease.  It must also emphasize the potentially fatal consequences of the abuse of sex or drugs.”

But “the only adequate response lies in the promotion of responsible attitudes and behaviour among our people…we do not accept the use of condoms.”

Bishop Joseph Duffy, Speaking on behalf of the Irish bishops, March 1990.

Appeal to teachers

“To teachers and educators: I appeal to you to become promoters, in close contact with the families, of suitable and serious formation of adolescents and youth.  Especially in Catholic schools, prepare an organic programming of health education in which preventive measures are in harmony with moral values in the development and formation of a just and authentic lifestyle, fundamental guarantee of the protection of one’s own health and that of others.

“Educators, you have been confided the responsibility to guide the young generations toward an authentic culture of love, offering yourselves as tutor and model of faithfulness to the ideal values, which give meaning to life.”

Pope John Paul II, November 1989.