Letter: Contraception, sexual abuse not related topics for Church


This letter is in response to “Catholics must preach the truth” (Lima News, July 28).

It is unfortunate that the author conflates the issue of contraception with that of the crisis of sexual abuse by members of the clergy and the failure of the Church to deal with it promptly and adequately. The latter has been a great tragedy, first of all for the victims of abuse, but also for the Church at large. As a recent statement from the Leadership Conference of Women Religious states, it is a tragedy with which the Church will need to continue to deal.

The issue of contraception is a very contentious issue for the Church but unrelated to the sexual abuse crisis. Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae, in its total ban on artificial means of contraception (e.g. use of a condom) caused a great deal of negative reaction and is still a cause of contention today, the 50th anniversary of its issuance.

A number of bishops, in countries seriously affected by the Zika virus, and the AIDS epidemic, made an exception for the use of the condom as one means of helping to avoid the spread of the diseases. If exceptions could be made in these instances, then one needs to ask why other exceptions might not be made.

For example, if a pregnancy would be potentially fatal for the mother, would it be possible to use a condom to prevent such an event? Perhaps it is time to talk about the possibility of other exceptional situations. Or perhaps it simply time to talk seriously about a change to the regulation. Many people think it is.

Al O’Dell

Kalida

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