London, Dec. 4, 2006 (CWNews.com) - After British Prime Minister Tony Blair said that Church leaders need to “face up to reality” regarding condoms and AIDS, the country’s ranking Catholic prelate has fired back.
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor of Westminster told a BBC interviewer that the distribution of condoms has failed to stem the spread of AIDS in Africa. He disclosed that some African bishops have complained to him that “their dioceses are flooded with condoms,” yet the disease continues to spread.
In an earlier interview broadcast by MTV, Prime Minister Blair-- who is widely believed to be considering conversion to the Catholic Church-- said that it is “silly” to believe that moralistic solutions will curb the epidemic in Africa, and argued that, rather than “being prissy about it,” world leaders should encourage people who are sexually active to use condoms. That approach is endangered, he said, “if we have a sort of blanket ban from the religious hierarchy saying it’s wrong to do it.”
Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor argued that the approach suggested by Blair has already been tried, without producing positive results. The public advocacy of condoms, he said, has “meant more promiscuity, and more AIDS.”