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Religion News Service

Cardinal Targeted for AIDS Statement


As US Catholic bishops prepare to reinforce church prohibitions against birth control, some Catholic groups are asking church leaders to denounce statements by a Vatican official that condoms are ineffective in preventing sexual transmission of the AIDS virus.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops voted last week to issue a new statement against contraceptives. “It’s the constant teaching of the Catholic Church that contraception is wrong, sinful and contrary to the meaning of married life,” Denver Archbishop Charles J. Chaput said.

Activists, meanwhile, have petitioned the bishops to work to “lift the ban on condoms as a moral and humanitarian matter.”

A coalition led by Catholics for a Free Choice said the church should reject assertions made last month by Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, president of the Vatican’s Council for the Family, that the HIV virus, which causes AIDS, can “easily pass through the ‘net’ that is formed by the condom.”

The World Health Organization denounced Trujillo’s claims as “incorrect” and “dangerous” and said condoms are 90 percent effective in stopping the spread of HIV.

“It is one thing for church officials to state their moral objections; it is quite another . . . to make false claims about the effectiveness of condoms, endangering at-risk communities,” says a joint letter to Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, president of the bishops conference.

This article courtesy of Religion News Service.

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