Good Catholics Use Condoms
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Condoms4Life Public Education Campaign Greets Pilgrims at Catholic World Youth Day
COLOGNE—Today the Condoms4Life Campaign unveiled the newest phase of its public education effort to raise public awareness about the HIV/AIDS pandemic and the devastating effect of the bishops’ ban on condoms as giant billboards went up in the Dom (Cathedral) metro station in Cologne, Germany, proclaiming in German, English and Spanish that “Good Catholics Use Condoms.” Eye-catching posters will appear throughout the public transit system starting Friday, 12 August.
The ads (which can be viewed at www.condoms4life.org) will run for the duration of Catholic World Youth Day, to be celebrated in Cologne from 16-21 August. The Cologne Cathedral is a central location for next week’s events. Organizers anticipate 800,000 attendees, many of whom will use the city’s public transit system.
“Young people, both Catholic and not, are facing a worldwide pandemic,” stated Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice, an advocacy organization of Catholics who disagree with Vatican positions on sexuality and reproduction and who launched the Condoms4Life Campaign. “This virus has already contributed to an enormous and tragic loss of life. The Condoms4Life Campaign is necessary because we need to raise awareness about how individuals can protect themselves and their partners. There will be thousands of young people from all over the globe in Cologne for Catholic World Youth Day, and they need to know that good Catholics protect themselves and their loved ones. Good Catholics use condoms.”
“The Vatican’s ban on condoms is a both a social justice issue and a matter of consequence for Catholics and non-Catholics at risk of HIV/AIDS,” added Kissling.
“Using condoms saves lives—and using a condom to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS promotes the culture of life that the Vatican calls for. It is time for the Vatican to issue a sound, ethical and compassionate policy on the prevention of HIV/AIDS.”
About the Campaign
Condoms4Life is an unprecedented worldwide public education effort initiated to challenge the bishops’ misinformation campaign against condoms. It works to promote healthy sexuality, insisting that in the ABC (Abstain, Be Faithful, Use Condoms) approach to preventing the transmission of HIV and AIDS, condoms cannot be ignored and responsible expressions of sexuality cannot be dismissed as immoral.
The campaign was launched by Catholics for a Free Choice on World AIDS Day 2001 with the display of billboards and ads in subways and newspapers around the world saying, “Banning Condoms Kills.” Since its inception, Condoms4Life has developed newspaper and billboard advertisements, internet action alerts and educational materials geared to reach Catholics at risk of HIV/AIDS that have appeared in Latin America, North America, Europe and Africa.
Condoms4Life has also honored bishops who have promoted sensible and compassionate policies on condom use through its “Good Shepherd” awards, and it has mobilized activists throughout the world to encourage bishops to promote a culture of life by lifting the ban on condoms to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Gute KatholikInnen verwenden Kondome • Buenos católicos y católicas usan condones • Good Catholics use condoms.
The Catholic World Youth Day ads focus on young Catholics, gay and straight, and present a positive message of sexuality, responsibility and caring for others. The campaign acknowledges that sexually active gay Catholics are in as much need of information, support and messages about responsibility as the sexually active heterosexual population. This attitude is particularly necessary since the Vatican has come out so vehemently against same-sex relationships.
The ads also appeal to people of faith noting that: “We believe in God. We believe that sex is sacred. We believe in caring for each other. We believe in using condoms.” The campaign aims to counter the message sent by the Catholic bishops worldwide that condoms are immoral and unsafe and is a direct challenge to the cardinals and bishops who recently claimed that condoms were helping to spread HIV/AIDS.
“The ads send a message to young people about their responsibilities to one another,” said Kissling. “And the campaign respectfully reminds the church of its moral obligation to promote life.”
For more information about the campaign, or to view the ads, please visit www.condoms4life.org
—end—Catholics for Choice shapes and advances sexual and reproductive ethics that are based on justice, reflect a commitment to women's well-being and respect and affirm the capacity of women and men to make moral decisions about their lives.