Sydney, Australia, Jul 31, 2007 / 11:02 am (CNA) .- Catholic Church officials said they will not cooperate with a safe-sex campaign directed at the 500,000 pilgrims expected to attend World Youth Day in Sydney next year, reported The Sydney Morning Herald.
The NSW (New South Wales) Department of Health has run safe-sex campaigns, including information on HIV and sexually transmittable diseases, for the Sydney Olympics in 2000, the Gay Games and the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
But the Church has refused to promote a campaign that contradicts its teachings on sex and contraception. The Church said it encourages young people to have a high level of self-esteem and respect for their bodies, sexuality, relationships, marriage and family life. It also pointed to the "extraordinary low level of indiscretion" at previous World Youth Days.
A spokesman for the Health Minister, Reba Meagher, told The Sydney Morning Herald that a fact sheet was being prepared containing various health messages.
However, her department would say only that it was working closely with the organizers of WYD 2008 regarding the logistics for health care for pilgrims.