Bishop’s cervical cancer vaccine comments expose girls to risk

An Irish bishop’s comments about the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine that prevents cervical cancer are “completely irresponsible” and could put girls’ health at risk, the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) has said.

Bishop Phonsie Cullinan told a news outlet he has “serious concerns” about the vaccine.

He claims it offers “no absolute guarantee” of “full protection” against cervical cancer. He also says it could lead to promiscuity.

The ACP condemned Cullinan’s comment, claiming he has given critics of the Church “a stick to beat us with” and suggested a “nonchalance about women’s health.”

In a statement distancing themselves from Cullinan, the ACP says parents may be convinced Cullinan has some competence in this area and could unwittingly put their children at risk by following his advice.

The association say his comments brought the Catholic Church “into further disrepute.”

“I think he was completely irresponsible in saying what he said,” one of the ACP, Fr Brendan Hoban, says.

“If hundreds of girls don’t get this vaccine the repercussions in later years could be horrific, so it’s a very dangerous road to take.

The ACP says while the bishop’s comments could be considered idiosyncratic, they are both ill-informed and dangerous.

It is asking Irish bishops to disassociate themselves from Cullinan’s comments and to support the medical and scientific evidence that makes the vaccine a vital protection against cervical cancer.


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News category: World.

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