Edward Cardinal Egan and Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio yesterday declared a holy war against the city's distribution of 26 million free, subway-themed condoms, calling it an immoral "anything goes" policy that degrades society.
In a rare joint statement attacking Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration, the Catholic leaders said they were particularly disturbed that the "NYC" branded condoms were handed out by city workers to young teens on the streets Wednesday.
"The decision of the City of New York to distribute  million free condoms to the public — and minors as well, according to news reports — is tragic and misguided," Egan and DiMarzio said.
"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 continued.
Egan and DiMarzio warned that the condom plan will "degrade societal standards."
Bloomberg defended the $1.5 million condom program spearheaded by city Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Frieden.
"With all due respect to Cardinal Egan and Bishop DiMarzio, we feel differently," mayoral spokesman Stu Loeser said. "We believe we're saving lives, and it's important to do that."