CARDINAL HUME, you report, stated at the Bishops' Conference that the Catholic Church could not support the free public, distribution of condoms in order to prevent the spread of AIDS, but did not go so far as to say that the Bishops would actively campaign against such distribution.
The Cardinal's judgment in this matter may well be sound: it is pointless to spend one's energies campaigning against something that one feels one has no chance of defeating, and moral arguments are not going to prevail in this matter.
There are, however, medical objections to the use of the condom, and one hopes that the Catholic Medical Guild will bring these to the attention of the DHSS. For the fact is that the condom has a failure rate of 20% in its prime purpose of preventing pregnancy, and will have at least that same failure rate in preventing the spread of AIDS. The MP who suggested that all packets of condoms should be inscribed "Promiscuity will endanger your health" had the right idea, though I feel that the package should also be marked with the details of the artefact's failure rate.
Blackburn. James T Hanlon
IT has been alarming to read of the media preparations being made for the "explicit" coverage against the AIDS virus and saddening to be a member of any church and be aware of so little concerted ecumenical effort for a moral approach against it.
This could be a true occasion for the churches to come together and, also, use the media to advertise a truly interdenominational fight against the disease and to offer truly "Samaritan" help for those already suffering.
Sale. M Owens MARTIN Pendergast in his
informative article explains very well our responsibilities to AIDS victims and in the search for a cure. But he seems reluctant to advocate strongly the one preventative measure which would protect future generations in the long term. We didn't have an AIDS crisis in the 30's when life was arguably much more difficult.
What has changed? The present crisis in this and other fields results from one well known cause but which a section of society is unwilling to remove by foregoing its brazen, antilife, promiscuous, deviant, lifestyle.
The clamour is for a "cure" which would permit continuance of such mores but though God forgives, he permits nature to take its course as a warning which we may ignore, but must then prepare for calamitous consequences just beginning to show.
Sale, John Hindmarsh Cheshire