“Realism and responsibility”

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To the Editor;

“Realism and responsibility” raised some interesting questions about Villanova’s stance on barrier contraception. However, the policy advocated by the editorial ultimately fails because of defects in both theory and practice.

It is clear that the author wishes the University to make condoms available on campus to decrease the chances of students contracting sexually transmitted diseases (“STDs”). A physically healthy student body is admittedly a good. However, were Villanova to embrace such a policy, it would be acting in contravention of two well-established Catholic moral principles: the contraceptive act is never morally permissible; it’s always morally unacceptable to do evil so that good results. John Finnis, Moral Absolutes: Tradition, Revision, and Truth (1991). Were the University to adopt the scheme advocated, it would be acting contrary to its Catholic nature, presumably something a Catholic school cannot and ought not do.

If Villanova enacted the provisions suggested, it would violate its fiduciary duty to the students. While condoms may prevent pregnancies in the majority of cases, they do little to prevent a host of STDs. It would be patently pernicious to promote condoms to the student body as a guarantor of completely “safe sex,” when in reality condoms provide no such guarantee.


Mattei RaduSchool of LawClass of 2006