A letter from the presidents of four area Catholic post-secondary schools assuring compliance with Church doctrine regarding condom distribution is "insufficient," said Scranton Bishop Joseph F. Martino and Auxiliary Bishop John M. Dougherty. Earlier this month, the Scranton Diocese leaders requested information about the schools' provision of condoms or encouragement of their use.
On April 6, the schools issued a joint letter to diocesan officials stating that none of the schools or campus health centers offered condoms. "Condoms are not available on our campuses and our student health services and centers do not provide oral and other forms of contraception," wrote the presidents of Marywood University, the University of Scranton, Misericordia University, and King's College. "We are, therefore, confident in assuring you that our health centers practice in ways that respect and do not violate Catholic teaching."
In Thursday's edition of the diocesan newspaper, the Catholic Light, the bishops noted the response "does not answer [our previous] request for 'documents available which will indicate policies, procedures or practices authorized by' the schools." The bishops cited two "practical examples for their concern." The Marywood University Web site advised international students to "bring contraceptives and condoms to campus," the bishops said. Bishops also cited a "Be Safe" pamphlet mentioning birth control options available at the King's College student center. University officials had not responded as of press time.
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.