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I WAS appalled to read Sr Annunciate Forde’s letter (September 9) complaining about the publication of a photo of a condom on your front page.
I take issue with her assertion that it was “an insult to many of your readers and very poor example to our young people”. Condoms are proven to be an effective measure against the spread of infections and against unwanted pregnancy.
The fact that a member of the Catholic Church can publicly suggest that informing teenagers about safe sex is setting a bad example shows just how out of touch and hopelessly reactionary the clergy really are.
Her suggestion that the story should have been replaced with something more newsworthy is typical of the church’s attitude towards serious social issues in Ireland.
The “sweep it under the carpet” mentality displayed by many members of the clergy (and the Irish public) has, as the Ryan report has graphically illustrated, led to misery and suffering for a great deal of people in this country.
Furthermore, the idea that sex education erodes “standards of morality and decency” in Ireland is something that belongs in the past.
The denial and suppression of information about sex and sexuality – the placing of taboos on the human body – only adds to the social problems this country is facing.
The Catholic Church in Ireland forfeited the right to sermonise about moral and spiritual issues the moment it allowed vulnerable children to be mistreated in its institutions. If it has nothing more than out-of-date ideas and backward-looking advice to offer us, then it is time for the church to confine itself to religious issues.
Leave social concerns to those who have positive and constructive suggestions to make.
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