Not content to impose its own views on the populous regarding abortion and divorce, the catholic church in the form of one of Malta’s bishops has now said that educating children about contraception is “tantamount to child abuse“.
Now pause and let that sink in for a moment.
Yes, he (the bishop of Gozo, Mario Grech) was talking about contraception. It seems to me that there are three blindingly obvious issues here.
The first, of course, is that contraception is a vital component of healthcare and responsible living.
Do you want your child to struggle through their teens and early twenties with an unplanned and unwanted child (don’t forget there is no abortion in Malta)? Would you like your teenage child to contract AIDS or some other sexually-transmitted disease? How much money does the World Health Organisation and assorted charities spend annually on trying to treat and reduce the spread of AIDS, because the catholic church discourages the use of condoms in third world countries?
The second issue is that the way the catholic church demonises sexual activity other than for procreation does nothing to aid its cause. Sex is arguably the most fun any two people can have together. Young people like to have fun. Young people also like to rebel against authority. In Malta the church represents the ultimate authority, and taking such a strict position is pretty much asking young people to do the opposite.
The third issue is the breathtaking hypocrisy of the man. This guy is a mouthpiece of an organisation that not only brainwashes young children with terrifying stories of hell and damnation (surely abuse in itself), but that frequently places them in situations where it knows that its own priests will
sexually abuse rape and torture them (let’s call a spade a spade here).
The head of Malta’s GU clinic, Philip Carabott, has quite rightly called the bishop’s comments “hysterical and unproductive“, and has urged the authorities to ignore the bishop’s words. Let’s hope his efforts in the field of sexual health in Malta over the years are not wasted.