Condoms not on for WYD

The Church will not cooperate if the NSW government wishes to promote "safe sex" messages among World Youth Day pilgrims citing an "extraordinary low level of indiscretion" at previous WYD events.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the church has refused to promote health advice that contradicts its position on contraception.

It has reasserted its opposition to condom use, argued that Catholics should postpone sex until marriage, and pointed to an "extraordinary low level of indiscretion" at previous events, the paper says.

A spokesman for the Health Minister, Reba Meagher, said a fact sheet was being prepared containing various health messages.

However, her department would say only that it was working closely with the organisers of the World Youth Day 2008 regarding logistical arrangements for health care for pilgrims and guests "should it be required".

"At this stage in planning there has been no decision made on the nature of other support required from NSW Health by the organisers," the department said.

The church's "head in the sand approach" has drawn criticism from the Greens MP Lee Rhiannon, who described its position as dangerous and said it missed an important opportunity to send a message of lifelong safe practices to young participants.

The church said it encouraged young people to have a high level of self-esteem and respect for their bodies, sexuality, relationships, marriage and family life: "Organisers of previous World Youth Days testify to the extraordinarily high level of idealism amongst the young people who attend and the extraordinarily low level of indiscretion."

Row over youth day safe-sex message (Sydney Morning Herald, 29/7/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
World Youth Day 2008
Health NSW

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30 Jul 2007