Thursday, January 12, 2006

Why oppose condoms?

The Catholic bishops' conference of Tanzania has voiced its opposition to a primary-school curriculum that introduces young students to the use of condoms.

"We reject the section of the curriculum that allows the teaching on condom use, with the aim of protecting the erosion family values and protecting God's plan," said Cardinal Polycarp Pengo of Dar es Salaam, in a statement released to the media on January 9.

The cardinal added that the Church recognizes the need to protect people from infection with AIDS and other diseases, but any approach to the spread of disease must respect human dignity and protect the family as well. Cardinal Pengo added that reliance on condoms to prevent disease is a mistaken approach, since condoms are not always effective in preventing the transmission of the HIV virus.

"It is wrong to tell people to board a ship that is has 15 or 20 percent likelihood of failing," he said. The cardinal said the Church would insist that children should be taught abstinence and marital fidelity, rather than condom use, as the truly reliable means of preventing AIDS.


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