This house believes that the Catholic Church is justified in forbidding the use of barrier methods of contraception.

The Catholic Church forbids the use of barrier methods of contraception, such as condoms. Unlike other forms of contraception, barrier methods not only protect against unwanted pregnancy but also against sexually transmitted diseases, such as AIDS and HIV. In many African and South American countries, AIDS and HIV are huge problems but people continue to have sex without condoms in order to follow the teachings of the Catholic Church. In this debate, the proposition believe that the Catholic Church's position of forbidding barrier methods of contraception, such as condoms, is justified.

Edit it should be noted that this debate is partially out of date as there is no longer a complete ban: ‘There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute [in this connection, the Holy See Press Secretary specifically stated that the Pope was not singling out “male” prostitutes; the same argument, he said, is valid also for female prostitutes] uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants. But it is not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection. That can really lie only in a humanization of sexuality’ (Benedict XVI, 2010)

Title 
Radical changes risk the stability of the Catholic Church.
Point 

Whenever a Church makes a radical change to its doctrines and teachings it causes a huge amount of tension within the Church. An excellent example of this is the Church of England allowing women to become bishops; a huge number of people left the Church over the controversy.
Since the Catholic Church's ban over contraception of all kinds is something that it has stood fast over for a great number of years, as well as something that sets it apart from most other denominations and faiths, the proposition believes that a change in this would result in a huge amount of tension within the Church. This tension would inevitably bring about a considerable risk of large parts of the Church collapsing altogether. This would be much the same as the tensions over gay priests in the Anglican church that have led to fears of a schism1.
Therefore, in the interests of its own stability, the sensible course of action for the Catholic Church to take is to maintain its ban on contraception.
Brown, Andrew. "Jeffrey John and the global Anglican schism: a potted history." Guardian.co.uk, 8 July 2010

Counterpoint 

The Catholic Church already has huge numbers of people leaving, this could help stop that. The Catholic Church is already becoming increasingly unpopular because of its refusal to compromise on any issue and its inability to adapt and change to keep up with an ever changing world. Rather than damage the stability of the Church, allowing barrier contraception would show that the Church is capable of change when change is necessary.
Importantly, when the Church of England allowed women to become bishops, it caused some tension at the time but had no long term negative impact on the stability of the Church.

Title 
Going back on this rule would promote casual sex
Point 

Condoning the use of barrier methods of contraception would be implicitly condoning casual sex since their primary function is within that context. This is particularly important since the Catholic Church's teachings on casual sex are not taken particularly seriously already.
Any action, such as the Catholic Church allowing the use of barrier contraception, that would promote casual sex in countries with severe AIDS/HIV problems, would be an incredibly irresponsible one. Pope Paul VI argued that when considering "the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards." The Church's current stance on barrier contraception, therefore, is the most responsible one1.
Pope Paul VI. "Humanae Vitae." 1968.

Counterpoint 

More casual sex with barrier contraception is preferable to the current amount without contraception. The amount of consensual sex is not going to change no matter what the church teaches. As long as the use of barrier contraception was promoted along with this promotion of casual sex, it would be a huge net reduction in the cases of contraction of HIV.
Therefore, condoning the use of barrier contraception would be the more responsible stand to take on the part of the Catholic Church.

Title 
In context of other teachings, does not promote the spread of AIDS/HIV.
Point 

The Catholic Church does not only forbid the use of barrier contraception but also of casual sex. The issue is not that the Church is being irresponsible by banning the use of barrier contraception but that people are choosing to follow some of the Church's teachings but not others. Pope Benedict XVI argues AIDS is "a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems"1.
If people followed the Church's teachings on casual sex as well as their teachings on barrier contraception, the AIDS epidemic would be dramatically decreased. Given, therefore, that it also forbids any sex outside of marriage, the Catholic Church is totally justified in forbidding barrier methods of contraception2.
Wynne-Jones, Jonathan. "The Pope drops Catholic ban on condoms in historic shift." The Telegraph, 20 November 2010, 
Pope John Paul II. "Evangelium Vitae." 1995.

Counterpoint 

AIDS/HIV can be spread outside of having casual sex. The HIV epidemic is spread not just through people having casual sex. In many cases, wives contract HIV after their husband being unfaithful or having had premarital sex.
There are also many cases where a woman has little choice in being sold off to a man and is forced to have sex with him. There are also a huge number of cases of rape where HIV is contracted.
In all of these cases, if the Catholic Church had condoned barrier contraception, the likelihood of HIV being contracted as a result would have been dramatically reduced; whether that is through contraception being used in that particular instance of intercourse or through the man not contracting HIV in the first place.

Title 
The Catholic Church believes that any limitation of procreation is against God.
Point 

Catholics consider the first commandment given to them by God to be to 'multiply'1. In light of this, anything that limits procreation, be it the use of contraception or even condoning the use of contraception, is against God.
It is important to remember that the Catholic Church's primary obligation is not to its people but to God. The Church is, therefore, justified in any action where the alternative is going against what they believe to be the wishes of God, even if it is harmful to the people of the Church.
11:28, The Book of Genesis, The Bible.

Counterpoint 

The commandment given is to 'go forth and multiply', not to multiply as much as possible with no thought for sustainability. Contraception can help monogamous couples control the amount of children they have and when so that they can ensure they don't have more children than they can sustainably provide for.
The idea that any limitation of procreation is against God is a single interpretation of a very ambiguous passage. The Catholic Church has the freedom to choose the interpretation that is best for humanity.

Title 
Protects people from spending eternity in Hell.
Point 

It is important to remember that the Catholic Church believe that barrier contraception is against God and that using it will condemn people to Hell. Therefore, even if the Church's stance on condoms is harmful, which the proposition does not accept that it is, it is less harmful than people spending an eternity suffering.
In this context, therefore, the most responsible thing for the Catholic Church to do is to forbid the use of condoms and, thereby, save people from Hell1.
Pope Paul VI. "Humanae Vitae." 1968.

Counterpoint 

This is a wilful interpretation of a highly ambiguous passage. The Church's belief that barrier contraception is against God is based entirely on a single passage of the Bible where Onan is condemned for wilfully 'spilling his seed.'1Importantly, the fact that he spilled his seed alone was not even the main reason that he was condemned.
It is well within the power of the Catholic Church to officially change their belief that using barrier contraception will send people to Hell and allow its use. Since the passage is ambiguous, the decision should be made based on what is best for society and the Church as a whole. The opposition believes that in their main case they have proved that the Church lifting their ban on barrier methods of contraception would be better for society and therefore they believe they have won the debate.
138:9-10, The Book of Genesis, The Bible.

Title 
Opposed by much of the Church
Point 

In spite of the Catholic Church's ruling, a huge number of people who identify as Catholic do not adhere to the Church's teachings on contraception. Additionally, many Catholic priests and nuns openly support non-abortive forms of contraception, including barrier contraception. In 2003 a poll found 43% of catholic priests in England and wales were against the church's stance and a further 19% were unsure1. The Church should listen to the requests and opinions of those who are part of it 2.
Day, Elizabeth. "Most Catholic priests 'do not support Rome over contraception'." The Telegraph, 6 April 2003, 
2 Short, Claire. "HIV/AIDS

Counterpoint 

The Catholic Church is not a democracy. The opposition makes no mention of the huge numbers of Catholics who actually support the Church's decision to forbid barrier contraception. There is by no means a clear majority either way.
Even if there was a clear majority of Catholics in favour of barrier contraception, the Church is under no obligation to change its official stances or any part of the way it works based on the opinions of members of the Church. The Church is founded on the basis that it is doing God's bidding and changing its working based on the demand of the people would undermine that.

Title 
In contradiction to the Catholic Church's responsibility to promote life.
Point 

Many Catholic countries in Africa and South America have huge problems with AIDS and HIV with thousands of people dying as a result. In a survey carried out in 20091, it was found that in sub-Saharan Africa 22.5 million people were living with HIV/AIDS and 1.3 million people died of AIDS. An enormous number of these people contracted HIV because they did not use a condom during intercourse, under the advice of the Catholic Church. It is clear, then, that the Catholic Church's stance on barrier contraception promotes the spread of AIDS.
The opposition also believes that since the Catholic Church are in a position of power over a colossal number of people, they have a responsibility to ensure the welfare of those people. They must, therefore, reduce the likelihood that the people that they have power over will die as much as they can. Their ban over the use of barrier contraception is not in line with this responsibility.
UNAIDS global report.

Counterpoint 

The Catholic Church also forbids sex outside of marriage. The opposition has tried to ignore the fact that the Catholic Church actually does not allow sex outside of marriage either. It is not a case of the Church saying it is acceptable to have casual sex as long as contraception is not used but saying that neither is acceptable.
If abstinence were practised, there would be no HIV epidemic. Since the Church preaches abstinence outside of marriage it cannot be held accountable for the HIV epidemic.

Title 
Barrier contraception can protect women from husbands with AIDS/HIV.
Point 

There are many cases, particularly in South America and Africa, of men contracting HIV from sexual partners outside their marriage, be it from before they were married or from an extramarital affair and passing it on to their wives.
In cases such as these, the wife may follow all of the teachings of the Catholic Church and still contract HIV. If the Church did not forbid the use of barrier contraception then the frequency of occurrences such as these would be severely limited. Since, as discussed above, the Catholic Church, has a responsibility to promote life in its people, their ban of barrier contraception is unjustified.

Counterpoint 

This would not protect wives. In these situations the wife would be expected to have unprotected sex, so that the couple could conceive a child, even if the Church condoned the use of contraception. If a husband contracts HIV, the Catholic Church condoning or forbidding the use of condoms makes absolutely no difference to the fact that his wife is very likely to contract it also.
The only action by the Church that would affect this would be to try and highlight the fact that sex outside of marriage is also forbidden to a greater degree and allowing the use of contraception would only weaken this message.

Title 
Promotes image of Catholic Church as uncaring and stubborn.
Point 

Organised religious groups, such as the Catholic Church, around the world, regardless of faith and denomination, change their official stances in an effort to keep up with a changing world. For example, the Church of England allowing women to become bishops. In doing this, these groups show that they are able to be reactive and can fit into a world that changes every day.
Even the Catholic church has begun to realise that by stubbornly refusing to change its stance, the Catholic Church presents itself as unable to adapt and stuck in its ways 1. As a result, it finds that it will lose a lot of its influence and, by extension, its propensity to do good. Since its stance on contraception limits the Church's ability to do good, then it is clearly a stance that generally causes harm and, therefore, is an unjustified one.

1.Wynne-Jones 2010

Counterpoint 

Radical changes risk stability of the Catholic Church. As outlined in the main proposition case, rather than making the Catholic Church seem as if it can move with the times, suddenly changing its stance on barrier contraception would make the Church seem weak and would lose a lot of its support.
Since their stance on barrier contraception is something that the Catholic Church has stood by for a huge number of years suddenly moving on it would throw their conviction on everything into question and would have a severe negative effect on the stability of the Church.

Title 
Birth control within monogamous relationships.
Point 

Contraception is not just used in casual sex but within monogamous couples who want to control when they have children. The reason for this could be so they ensure that they don’t have more children than they can afford to reasonably look after.

Contraception can help monogamous couples to give more to the children they do decide to have and to the community, since less of their time and money will be used in maintaining a family which is larger than they can reasonably afford to control. The current cost of raising a child in Britain is calculated to be over £210,000, a very substantial sum that any responsible parent must think about before having more children 1.

Since, in this case, contraception promotes a good in the community, as well as more responsible reproduction, the Catholic Church is unjustified in its blanket ban over barrier contraception.

1. Insley 2011

Counterpoint 

The Catholic Church does not forbid all methods of contraception which could be used as alternatives. The Catholic Church actually condones the use of natural contraceptive methods, which essentially amount to only having intercourse at times of the month when the woman is not fertile. It is not unreasonable of the Catholic Church to expect married couples to just withhold from sex at certain times of the month if they do not wish to conceive another child. This situation gives no reason to make an exception.

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