Is it moral to pass out condoms and other such items to prostitutes?

Excluding contraception and other infanticide items.

I may be mistaken, but I believe Pope Benedict XVI stated that it is moral to pass out condoms on the basis to keep the spread of HIV under control and to keep the spreading of other diseases…

I know the Church promotes abstinence above all things, and in any case, should be the number 1 priority…

Could a faithful Catholic, who in the likes helps to reach out to prostitutes to minister to them, give out condoms to those and offer help and aid? Or would that be a sin and instead, hand out abstinence pamphlets which will be thrown away. (Not really sarcastic, but it could be taken that way)

Does the same go for drug addicts, giving out clean needles with the intentions of aiding them through charity… Of course this would not be a scheme every night just to aid them… of course their would be prayer and other methods to help them, including one on one counseling if be…

Is this moral?

I guess another moral issue would arise… In buying condoms to give out (If the case was moral in the first place), we would be directly aiding the condom companies… Or would our intentions be moral and therefore it would be okay to purchase?

I just think of how Christ handled the woman caught in adultery. He told her to go and sin no more.

I think that’s the approach we need to take.

your’e mistaken

I heard that, as well, guess it must have been a rumor.

Me: Go and sin no more!
Prostitute: Screw you! (Insert vulgar language too inappropriate for CAF forums here)
Me: :frowning:

Sarcastic as it is… that is probably would what happen.

I’m DEFINITELY not trying to support immorality here. If it is immoral, then I will forget the idea. I’m completely Loyal to the Church… But on a realistic approach… Its pretty much the way to engage people like that, with realism, but introducing Christ and the Church.

Regardless of how that exchange would go, it’s better than facilitating someone’s sins by providing them with condoms, the use of which is completely against Church teaching. See Humanae Vitae.

Similarly excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation—whether as an end or as a means.

I had a friend who tried to get a friend of hers out of prostitution. The strategy used was to try to give the prostitute another alternative, another job. Don’t laugh, because for at least a time, it worked! Then, the lady went back into prostitution, not sure where the situation is now.

As to condoms, I think most prostitutes already use those, anyway.

I think if one’s going to try that approach, offering them an alternative to other work would be a stronger option. I saw that, for at least a time, it WAS working. I think at least some women get into prostitution, because they have no other job to pay the rent. If you help them get another viable alternative, at least some, who are a little more reasonable, not so far gone, might be willing to listen.

Hi all, and Merry Christmas…

I’d say “helping” a prostitute by giving her condoms is like helping a heroin addict by giving him clean syringes. Certainly, it will minimise damage done to one’s body to some degree but (I) it certainly does not eliminate the damage done to one’s body and (II) it does nothing to soothe the damage done to one’s soul.

If we really want to help prostitutes, we should do what Jesus did: help expel the demons of their lives (sin) by offering them a better life - a hand-up not a hand-out. Perhaps you could help such a person find safe, reliable and affordable accommodation, means of better education and alternative employment. There are lots of agencies (both Christian and otherwise) that assist in this area and this is what I would suggest. Moreover, if you really want to help this person, get to know him or her and develop a relationship based on Christ’s love.

It’s actually the hardest thing to do.

Handing out condoms, like money, is easy…

So no, I don’t think it’s moral to hand out condoms to prostitutes. It goes against the Catechism of the Catholic Church and Bible. We are not to promote fornication.

If we are in any way complicent, we are guilty, as well.

Pope Benedict XVI said that it was a turn for the better if a practicing homosexual started using condoms in order to protect the partner from disease. He was not suggesting that Catholics give out condoms.

If that is true, and why can’t it bee, it still does not mean it is OK for a Catholic to use or give free condoms.

What make wonder is one of my [stupid] threads where I had give a OK that was against what The RCC teach and that was a ordeal I don’t want to go thru again, but I only keep thinking that IF that is what our Holy Father have said, it make my action sinless because I am sure The Holy Father did not mean Catholics but Christians from other Churches, and if so, my sin was after all not a sin because the one I said OK to was a Lutheran. (But I am not The Pope so…)

To hand out condoms is in fact to say “yes, go ahead and keep up the good job and take these so you will not get any VD:s”, and that is not right. About syringes, we have that system in Finland and it seem to work, but it would be better if we could make people stop taking drugs, alas, that is impossible I am afraid.

They say that prostituting is the oldest trade in the world, not sure if it is true though, but that is a business we really could live without, but…

Pope Benedict did NOT say that and no it is NOT moral to hand out condoms to prostitutes.

I was hoping to support a charity that helps the homeless. They do a lot of good work in providing living quarters.

Then on the news I heard that a big part of their outreach is providing needles/drugs for on-the-street addicts.


Well stated and correct.:thumbsup:

Good. For a while I was a bit confused, again.

JD, I think you are referring to something which Pope Benedict wrote in his book Light of the World. Because it was widely misinterpreted, the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith issued a clarification. The pope was not endorsing the concept of "harm reduction. Providing condoms to a prostitute is cooperation with a moral evil, namely the sin of fornication. We should focus our efforts at helping prostitutes escape from that lifestyle.

A prostitute who is already infected with HIV may use condoms to avoid harming others. However, this should merely be the first step to quitting prostitution. It can not be a means of avoiding HIV to continue working as a prostitute.

I am going to provide a lengthy quote from the CDF article, but there is more at the link:

*On the pages in question, the Holy Father refers to the completely different case of prostitution, a type of behaviour which Christian morality has always considered gravely immoral (cf. Vatican II, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes, n. 27; Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2355). The response of the entire Christian tradition – and indeed not only of the Christian tradition – to the practice of prostitution can be summed up in the words of St. Paul: “Flee from fornication” (1 Cor 6:18). The practice of prostitution should be shunned, and it is the duty of the agencies of the Church, of civil society and of the State to do all they can to liberate those involved from this practice.

In this regard, it must be noted that the situation created by the spread of AIDS in many areas of the world has made the problem of prostitution even more serious. Those who know themselves to be infected with HIV and who therefore run the risk of infecting others, apart from committing a sin against the sixth commandment are also committing a sin against the fifth commandment – because they are consciously putting the lives of others at risk through behaviour which has repercussions on public health. In this situation, the Holy Father clearly affirms that the provision of condoms does not constitute “the real or moral solution” to the problem of AIDS and also that “the sheer fixation on the condom implies a banalization of sexuality” in that it refuses to address the mistaken human behaviour which is the root cause of the spread of the virus. In this context, however, it cannot be denied that anyone who uses a condom in order to diminish the risk posed to another person is intending to reduce the evil connected with his or her immoral activity. In this sense the Holy Father points out that the use of a condom “with the intention of reducing the risk of infection, can be a first step in a movement towards a different way, a more human way, of living sexuality.” This affirmation is clearly compatible with the Holy Father’s previous statement that this is “not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection.”

Some commentators have interpreted the words of Benedict XVI according to the so-called theory of the “lesser evil”. This theory is, however, susceptible to proportionalistic misinterpretation (cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Veritatis splendor, n. 75-77). An action which is objectively evil, even if a lesser evil, can never be licitly willed. The Holy Father did not say – as some people have claimed – that prostitution with the use of a condom can be chosen as a lesser evil. The Church teaches that prostitution is immoral and should be shunned. However, those involved in prostitution who are HIV positive and who seek to diminish the risk of contagion by the use of a condom may be taking the first step in respecting the life of another – even if the evil of prostitution remains in all its gravity. This understanding is in full conformity with the moral theological tradition of the Church.*

In short:

All of this, what you mentioned is the result of losing Believe or not having Believe in the first place. The only cure is to believe again in God.

:thumbsup: that’s what I also understood.

Benedict said so, only under certain circumstances for male prostitutes but not to give a free ride for all now to do so. It’s bad enough male prostitution and a sin. It is merely to make their sins “safer without getting more into harms way as it already is” and putting other sinners into danger. He said so because he does care for all of us. But also he made clear, that it is a sin and a catch 22… Honestly? I would have done and said the same.

One would be encouraging the prostitutes to continue having sex outside of marriage and love by now having sex without the possible worry of illness or death. At best, one is perpetuating the sinful behavior and at worst, increasing it by sanctioning it. OTOH one may be saving lives (physically, if not spiritually) in the process. Still, I cannot see that the Church would condone this behavior. Judaism, however, might though I’m sure the issue is controversial. The distribution of condoms (or needles) would have to be accompanied by something more, as you suggest, such as counseling and rehabilitation in an effort to get prostitutes and drug addicts to turn their lives around. This action is not a permanent solution to the larger problem of both the individual and society.

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