Catholics hang condom ban on Fulda pharmacy

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18 Mar, 2008 Updated Tue 18 Mar 2008 16:29 CEST
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A pharmacy in the centre of the German city Fulda has been forbidden from selling condoms since the local Catholic diocese owns the building and does not want to soil the Church’s image.

The drugstore has opted to rent space in a building belonging to the local St. Blasius congregation. A clause in the rental agreement forbids tenants from selling anything that might portray the Catholic Church in an unfavourable light, Fulda Diocese spokesman Christof Ohnesorge said on Tuesday.

Since the Catholic Church rejects all types of artificial birth control, the congregation demanded the local branch of drugstore chain Schlecker agree to keep items such as condoms off its shelves.

“I don’t know what’s so strange about the whole thing,” Ohnesorge told the news agency DPA. “The Church can’t on one hand reject mechanical birth control and on the other hand tolerate that condoms are being sold in a building belonging to the Church.”

He said the drugstore had no problem with the special contractual restrictions on its selection of goods when it signed the lease. However, store manager Monika Michel believes the ban is outdated and complains she constantly has to send customers to the competition when they ask for condoms.

“We can’t sell condoms because the house belongs to the Catholic Church,” has become Michel’s frequent refrain for randy shoppers annoyed they can’t find any prophylactics in the store.

But the issue has at least made the store something of a local novelty – one Fulda tour guide told DPA that some tourists even take pictures of the drugstore while being shown around.




2008/03/18 16:29

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