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Czech bishop wants 'lesser evil' prostitution legalised

The Catholic archbishop of Prague has called for prostitution to be made legal, warning that the sex trade is invading the country and causing a crisis in moral values.

Archbishop Vaclav Maly said it was no longer enough to moralise about prostitution. While there's no doubt prostutition is a sin, the Czech bishops regret that it is blighting and destroying so many lives, with hundreds of babies are abandoned by the prostitutes.

Bishop Maly, who played a prominent role in the revolution that toppled the communist regime in Prague, has decided that allowing prostitution to continue in a legal grey area is a greater evil that legalising it and bringing it under control.

"Even the church doesn't like us to touch this problem, but one must see this problem, one must be aware of this problem, and it isn't enough simply to moralise, to judge, but it is necessary to do something," he said.

Fr Daniel Herman, spokesman for the Czech Bishops' Council, says the Church must accept that prostitution is its problem as well as the state's, and legalising it may simply be to choose the lesser of two evils.

"It doesn't mean we don't believe what the bible says, or what the church says, but we have today different problems today, than for instance the people of the Church had three hundred years ago," he said.

Archbishop of Prague


5 Apr 2002