.- In a joint statement released yesterday, Cardinal Edward Egan, head of the Archdiocese of New York, and Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn sharply criticized Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration for distributing free condoms last Wednesday.
The launch of the subway-themed condom handout took place on Valentine's Day. New York officials explained their hope that a distinctive design - featuring the words "NYC Condom" in the fonts and colors used in the subway system - will let them track usage with their annual community health survey.
The bishops described the initiative as "tragic and misguided,” and said that "our political leaders fail to protect the moral tone of our community when they encourage inappropriate sexual activity by blanketing our neighborhoods with condoms," the statement said.
Cardinal Egan and Bishop DiMarzio also accused Bloomberg's administration of hypocrisy, by encouraging condom usage while also acknowledging abstinence is the only fail-safe method.
"By their actions, they ignore that truth and degrade societal standards," the leaders said.
"The taxpayer money that is being spent to distribute condoms and promote the attitude that 'anything goes' would be far better spent in fostering what is true and what is decent," their statement said.