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Catholic Charities: Free Needles for Junkies!

Wow. Why not hand out condoms to sex addicts?

Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany, who serves as chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, has approved a proposal by diocesan Catholic Charities to distribute free needles to drug abusers in the hope of preventing the spread of AIDS.

“I understand there will be questions, but this is common sense,” said Sister Maureen Joyce, CEO of Catholic Charities. “I strongly believe in this. It will save lives.”

“From a theological standpoint, we're not being faithful to our mission if we don't reach out to people addicted to drugs, too,” Sister Joyce added.

An $83,000 van filled with syringes will be parked in two neighborhoods and serve as the focal point of Catholic Charities’ needle distribution efforts.
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9 comments:

Paul H said...

Wow, I really hoped that this was a parody. Apparently it isn't.

Anonymous said...

Let's pray they don't go into the abortion business to make sure women have medically safe abortions.

This reminds me of the legend where St Peter bougth new nails when he was crucified upside-down so he wouldn't get tetnus.

Brian Walden said...

I stopped giving to Catholic Charities after the abortion in Richmond.

How can this be morally justified? Giving someone a needle to use drugs which take away their free will is direct participation in evil. Why not use the money to set up clinics to help them kick their addiction and give them support to get back on their feet?

Maureen said...

no surprise...I grew up in the Albany diocese. My niece graduated from one of their Catholic highschools last year and the senior service trip was over Easter break. The sister/guidance counselor leading the trip held a sweet tea and cornbread prayer service/meal instead of going to the trouble of attending Mass. When I registered a complaint the sister and the sister who heads the diocesan school board defended the decision. oy vey

Rick said...

This is justified by the lesser-evil standard i.e. which is worse to spread aids while doing drugs with contaminated needles or to just do drugs with clean needles and not spread aids? While the answer is not to do drugs, the pastoral assessment is that it is unrealistic to prevent it - specially when one is compelled by addiction.

Brian Walden said...

Rick,

If I were to follow your argument, then why shouldn't I think it's ok to hand out condoms to prevent AIDS as well?

I could see the case where if this were some kind of medical treatment to give people smaller and smaller doses of the drug keeping them under supervision while they're under it's influence so that they can wean themselves from the addiction, it may be morally permissible. (I'm not a doctor I don't know if this is effective or not, but it's just an example). I can't see any justification for giving them a needle and sending them on their way to use it as they please.

It's immoral to engage in the marital act with a contraceptive intent - therefore it's immoral to give someone a condom for the purpose of doing so. It's immoral to use a drug to impair your freewill - therefore it's immoral to give someone a needle for the purpose of doing so. It not only hurts the person receiving the needles, but after the needles are used you're putting more dirty needles on the street that may end up in the hands of other addicts or may accidentally injure someone who comes in contact with a discarded needle.

We're all enslaved by our sins to one degree or another. Helping someone to fall further into their enslavement is never charity. We have the virtue of Hope - there is no unconquerable addiction.

Rick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rick said...

Brian: Your points are valid and your conclusion is sound. In fact, some hand out condoms for that very purpose.

I do not agree with the practice. I was simply sharing the justification behind it to understand how religious people end up doing these things.

Anonymous said...

How about giving that money to the catholic hospitals in Arkansas, so they will never have to throw another 3days old newborn out of nursery, into state's custody (before his mom gets a chance to touch or see him)because the baby was born without insurance. For you quick to blame the poor pro-lifers, the mom begged for her own child and to pay the small nursery fee while in ICU near death due to medical errors.


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