CATHOLICS SUPPLY FREE SYRINGES TO ADDICTS

J. Grant Swank, Jr.

The Catholics distributing free syringes to addicts say that it is the lesser of two evils. They state that it is also within their Christian ethic in helping the “poor and vulnerable.”

Others state that it gives the message that drug misuse is a viable option. Also, that the server-giver agencies will be more than pleased to assist those willing to stay addicted. It can in addition invite younger ones to get into the drug misuse, believing that if they cannot handle it, Catholics will be there to walk the mile.

Per RNS’ Daniel Burke, “Catholic Charities of Albany, N.Y., has launched a new program to provide free syringes to intravenous drug users, an unusual move for a church that preaches abstinence for overcoming drug addiction and stanching the spread of HIV/AIDS.

“After five years of studying the program, ‘Project Safe Point’ began in two urban locations on Monday (Feb. 1) in the Upstate New York diocese. The project will be funded by $170,000 in grants from New York State.

“Sister Maureen Joyce, CEO of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany, said in a statement: ‘We view this new direction as an extension of our mission to serve the poor and vulnerable.’”

Question: Should state-funded grant money be used for this? Will it become a never-ending demand/supply? Has Catholic Charities worked its
way into the corner of no way out?

U.S. Bishops, in contradiction to this latest move, stated that sexual abstinence and “avoidance of intravenous drug abuse are the only morally correct and medically sure ways to prevent the spread of AIDS.” The Vatican confirmed this.

Bishops elaborated: “Although some argue that distribution of sterile needles should be promoted, we question this approach for both moral and practical reasons.”

Read “N.Y. Catholic Charities office to offer free needles to drug addicts” at http://www.religionnews.com/index.php?/rnstext/ny_catholic_agency_offers_needles_to_drug_addicts/

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