Sunday 18 February 2018

Matt Cooper challenges Bishop Cullinan on his ‘highly dangerous’ views on the HPV Vaccine

"Is this the Catholic Church returning to try and control the sexual behaviour of the Irish people?” 

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

On last night's The Tonight Show, host Matt Cooper challenged Bishop Cullinan's controversial views on the HPV cervical cancer vaccine.

Bishop Phonsie Cullinan, Bishop of Waterford and Lismore has spoken out against the Gardasil vaccine.

Speaking to Independent.ie on Thursday, he said the vaccine offers “no absolute guarantee” of “full protection” against cervical cancer.

His views were challenged by Matt Cooper when Bishop Cullinan was invited to speak on TV3's Tonight Show on Thursday.

Defending his views, Bishop Callinan said: "I am very concerned about women's health. I have nieces, I have nephews, I care about that generation. I am meeting them all the time and lads, Ivan and Matt, I am meeting young people who are pressurised by peer pressure into sexual activity in their early teens. Now, here we are vaccinating young girls with the vaccine against a sexually transmitted disease. It is a sexually transmitted disease."

Cooper said that his anti-vaccination campaign is "highly dangerous".

He said: “This is a conspiracy theory that you have subscribed to and is highly dangerous and I’m also worried that you have done so for another reason and that reason seems to be that you think that then girls are going to have sex as teenagers because they have had a vaccination against a disease that might kill them”.

He added: "The World Health Organisation and the HSE, you quote small numbers of people who have concerns, I can quote to you all sorts of people who have major issues, who have scientific backing.

"Now, for example, this campaign that you mentioned, the regret campaign. Yes it is true that there are parents who believe, and we have every sympathy for them, that the chronic fatigue syndrome that was suffered by their daughters, came about soon after they had this particular vaccination. But the truth is, as many teenage girls were coming down with chronic fatigue syndrome, before we ever started the vaccination”.

Questioning whether the Bishop should be commenting on the matter Matt went on to say; “This vaccine has been administered to hundreds of millions of women around the world. It has been an overwhelming success in dealing with cervical cancer. Is this the Catholic Church returning to try and control the sexual behaviour of the Irish people?”  

Speaking to Independent.ie on Thursday, Bishop Cullinan said that he has "serious concerns" about the HPV vaccine.

He said that it is a "lifestyle issue" and that "we should be doing more to protect young girls".

"We're giving 12-year-olds an injection against something that is sexually transmitted. What kind of message is that to give a 12-year-old girl?

"Can we not do better than throwing condoms at young boys and throwing the HPV vaccine at young girls?"

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