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Catholics Coo-Coo About Condoms

Graffiti by a Namibian schoolchild (Michel Piccaya / Shutterstock.com)

Some things only make sense to writers at Slate and their ideological confrères, I reckon. Here’s a passage from a column by Justin Lynch on the HIV situation in Africa, and why Pope Francis should reverse the Catholic Church’s ban on condoms in order to fight the virus’s spread:

Some local practices contribute to the spread of HIV. In Homa Bay, it’s tradition that when a woman is widowed, she is shunned from society until she is cleansed. She can’t fetch water or talk to anyone until she has sex with a family member or someone whose specific role is to sleep with widows. And if she’s Catholic, the man can’t use a condom.

“The church says there are no use of condoms, I feel very disturbed and pained because the woman will continue spreading HIV/AIDS,” says Sister Caroline Osogo.

Osogo used to be a nun, but she left the Catholic Church 12 years ago for its stance on condoms and its other regressive policies. She is tall and wiry, like a lightning bolt that rises from the ground. Osogo hopes that Pope Francis will relax the Catholic church’s ban on condoms when he comes to Africa, just as he has been more accepting of the LGBTQ community. Osogo says that there have been priests and nuns who have died of AIDS; it’s lonely in the church, and they sleep together.

“It is high time the church should face this issue of condoms [and] protection in the Catholic Church from the human side of their feelings.” Osogo said.

Okay. This is stupidity on stilts.

Might it be the case that the way to stop HIV from being spread by the sicko practice of “cleansing” is to stop the sicko practice of cleansing? In what insane world do people who engage in that thoroughly un-Christian practice, which the Catholic Church would never, ever sanction, allow themselves to be guided by the Church’s rules on condom use? I mean, if you’re bound and determined to plug your dead brother’s widow, you’ve already on the way to committing a grave sin. Why should observing the Church’s teachings about condoms matter to you? This column is like armed robbers faulting the bank for making it harder for them to steal, forcing them to shoot tellers to get what they want.

Second, priests and nuns get lonely and want to canoodle, so it’s the Catholic Church’s fault that they might pass HIV between themselves? What kind of crackpot nun argues this? I think this Osogo dame is angling for a position on the theological faculty at an American Catholic university.

There may be good reasons for the Church to change its policy on condom use, but this Slate column does not offer them.


about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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