Sex and the Holy City coincides with celebrations of 25 years of the papacy of John Paul II, who used to be seen as a caring and compassionate man with progressive views about sex. Now critics argue his campaign against contraception and abortion deprived millions of women of the right to control their fertility, which many see as key to development. They claim that withholding birth control from women who face death from unwanted pregnancy, or advising people with AIDS not to use condoms, is both immoral and inhumane. The Vatican has counter-attacked, arguing it is trying to prevent a “culture of death”, a “contraceptive mentality”, and promiscuity that breaks up families and causes the spread of HIV-AIDS. Life travels to Asia, Africa and Latin America to talk to ordinary men and women about how their own lives have been affected, and to Church leaders about the Church’s doctrine.
Films in this series