Bishop Henry said the Catholic bishops of Alberta are concerned not only about the harmful side-effects associated with the vaccine, but very particularly about the conflicting message the vaccination program sends to young girls about chastity and sexual promiscuity and about putting schools in a position of "grave moral compromise."
"Catholic teaching is that sexuality is a God-given gift that should be reserved to marriage," they said in a press release in June, warning parents that consenting to this vaccination was condoning pre-marital sex.
I do not believe these people. Dogma rules all for them, reality be damned.
This vacant claim that providing HPV protection (even if it is incomplete) has nothing to do with "conflicting messages" about chastity - it is about PREVENTING DISEASE. No more, and no less.
This so-called "moral" stance is nothing more than an extension of the usual RC Church's view of female sexuality (namely that it should never be seen, heard or thought of, lest it lead one into "sin" - of course, we'll ignore the fact that the whole perspective is so male-focused it's pathetic)
While I agree that there are long term questions around the HPV vaccine in terms of effectiveness and potential side effects, that's quite a different discussion, and strikes me as little more than an attempt to make an irrational decision sound like it is based on something rational.
What is offensive here is that Bishop Henry - a man who will never have or raise children by his own vows - thinks he can decide for all Catholic parents what to do in this matter.
But then again, one only has to look at the kind of moralizing idiocy around female dress to understand how clueless these people can actually be:
Many women hope that in dressing provocatively men will find them attractive and desirable, with a view to a lasting relationship. In reality, however, few, if any, men view a scantily clad young woman walking down the street and gape after her with thoughts like, "What a beautiful girl, I wish I could marry her."
A paragraph that could only be written by a man - and one who is obviously quite clueless about women ... a state which he seems to share with Bishop Henry.