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Members of the European Parliament Back Catholic Condom Campaign

April 25, 2002

Advertisement in the European Voice newspaper decries Vatican’s ban on condoms to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS

Political leaders from Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Scotland, Spain and the United Kingdom gave their support today to the first global campaign to end the Catholic bishops’ ban on condoms. In an advertisement appearing today April 25th in the European Voice newspaper, 29 political leaders signed their support for the condoms4life campaign. The advertisement states, “Catholic bishops preach sanctity of life. But their ban on condoms contributes to the tragedy of AIDS and death around the world. Most Catholics disagree with this policy.”

The advertisement is part of an unprecedented worldwide public education effort, aimed at Catholics and non-Catholics alike, to raise public awareness about the devastating effect of the bishops’ ban on condoms in preventing new infections of HIV/AIDS. The campaign, entitled Condoms4Life, is sponsored by the international movement Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC), including CFFC-Europe, based in Paris.

Roadside panels stating, “Catholic People Care—Do The Bishops? Banning Condoms Kills” are now up in prominent locations throughout Brussels.

“Like the current scandals on pedophilia and rape of nuns by priests, the Vatican’s position on condoms puts Catholic bishops on the defensive,” stated Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice. “Our campaign message is hard hitting and hard for the bishops to take, but the message is true. The bishops do ban condoms and education about them in over 100,000 hospitals and Catholic AIDS treatment programs worldwide. Many bishops disagree with the church policy and are sympathetic to people living with AIDS. We hope that the campaign will touch their hearts and get them to speak out within the church for a change in policy.” 

Elfriede Harth, European representative for CFFC-Europe, stated, “We cannot stand by and allow the Catholic bishops’ ban on condoms to go unchallenged. The EU is a major provider of funds to help developing countries fight HIV/AIDS. It must ensure that charities receiving EU funds are acting responsibly in preventing HIV and are adhering to a policy that includes condoms, not a policy that bans condoms and puts lives at risk.”

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–Statement Ends–