Brazil's Bishops Take Lula to Task

Insist Church Is Not Hypocritical Regarding Condoms

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BRASILIA, Brazil, MARCH 13, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Brazil's bishops disputed a claim by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva that the Church is hypocritical regarding sex.



In a note sent out by the episcopate's commission on life and family on Saturday, the bishops clarified their disagreement with the president. Lula had defended the use of condoms and insinuated that the Church and families are hypocritical on this subject.

The bishops' note states: "The Church does not agree with the way the president of the republic, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, discussed the problem of using condoms in a speech in Rio de Janeiro.

"The position of the Church is clear. It always has been. Nor will it ever change.

"We will not continuously repeat our thoughts on this. The way to teach our adolescents and our young people cannot be based on permissive attitudes, inciting them to unbalanced behavior."

Parents' rights

The bishops' commission urged teaching youth "on the basis of good and consistent principles" and underlined that this duty belongs to parents in the first place.

"The child finds their first and most important source of information on these human principles and values in the family," the commission said. "When parents act in this way, they are not hypocritical. And the Church defends the primordial rights of parents."

The bishops' message adds: "We are not hypocrites. Nor will we ever be. We are coherent."

On March 7, Lula accused the Church of hypocrisy regarding topics concerning sex and the use of condoms. He suggested that it is meaningless to stop young people from having sexual relations because "sex is something liked by all and a necessity."

Brazil has a policy of free distribution of condoms as well as providing other contraceptives. There was a massive distribution of free condoms in Rio de Janeiro during the Carnival period.