A Catholic youth group is quoting the Bible's "Song of Solomon" in a pro-condom campaign at the world AIDS Conference in Mexico. The local archdiocese, however, is not amused.
"Love your neighbour as you love yourself. Use a condom." That’s one of the slogans adopted by two Catholic youth groups who are taking advantage of the world AIDS conference in Mexico to distribute pamphlets and hang posters in subways and buses with their message.
The ads also include other quotes from the Bible's "Song of Solomon" such as "Under your tongue you will find milk and honey," and "Your breasts are like clusters of grapes and your breath as sweet as the scent of apples."
"These sayings show that the Bible has not always condemned sexuality and, even that it has allowed for pleasure," Minerva Santamaria, spokeswoman for Catholic Women in Favour of the Right to Decide (CPDD), told the Argentinian daily Pagina 12.
"Misinterpretation!," responded theologian Fray Julian Cruzalta at a press conference, adding that, for the Church, the Song of Solomon is "an allegory of the love between God and his Church."
At the same press conference, the Archdiocese of Mexico denounced "the desecration of sacred scripture," and added that "the Bible makes no mention of condoms."
"The position of the conservative Catholic hierarchy," Santamaria told the Argentine newspaper, "has had a devastating effect on the youth. You cannot proclaim a culture of life while at the same time prohibiting the use of condoms and advocating abstinence only instead."
Mexico has the second-highest rate of HIV infection in Latin America, after Brazil, with more than 200,000 Mexicans infected with the virus, according to the UN programme on AIDS. Every year, some 8,000 new cases of infection are detected.
Date created : 2008-08-05