Catholic Condom Ads Banned in Spain


World Youth Day, a “great worldwide encounter with the Pope,” is starting tomorrow in Madrid.  Catholic youth from around the world will gather to attend concerts, tour museums, have catechesis sessions with bishops and celebrate Mass with the Pope.  For the past few years, the U.S.-based organization Catholics for Choice has run advertisements on billboards and in subway stations as part of their campaign, Condoms4Life, in the cities where World Youth Day is held.  This year, however, the ads were banned.

Catholics for Choice, an organization which “strive[s] to be an expression of Catholicism as it is lived by ordinary people,” had put together a series of ads thanking Pope Benedict XVI for acknowledging, however bizarrely, that condoms can do good.  The ads, which were intended to run in the Madrid transit system, were rejected by Publimedia, a Madrid-based advertising agency.

In a press release, CFC president Jon O’Brien defended the ads.  ”As Catholics, we were supporting Pope Benedict’s claim that condoms can save lives,” he said. “This was a major breakthrough in the hierarchy’s position on the use of condoms. How can it be offensive for Catholics to support the position of the pope?”

The anti-choice website LifeSiteNews, however, had a different spin.  ”The efforts of the U.S.-based pro-abortion group ‘Catholics for Choice’ to subvert Catholic sexual teaching,” writes Patrick Craine, “at next month’s World Youth Day in Madrid experienced a major setback this week when their ads were rejected by a local advertising company.”

The debate hinges on the Pope’s confusing comments last November, when he declared that condom use, which has long been condemned by the Catholic Church, was sometimes morally acceptable, if it was used to avert a greater moral evil (i.e. the transmission of HIV). The comment was confusing and ultimately inconclusive, but it doesn’t detract from the power of Catholics for Choice’s message, which underscores the fact that many devout Catholics use contraceptives, regardless of the church hierarchy’s position on the issue.

It’s unclear why Madrid is rejecting the ads when they have run successfully during other World Youth Day celebrations.  But one thing is certain: good Catholics do use condoms (at least in the United States), and Catholic youth should know it.

Related Stories:

Spanish Priests Join Protest Against Pope’s Costly Visit

Female Catholic Priests Defy the Vatican

Most Religious Women Use Contraceptives, Despite Church Prohibitions

Photo from Catholics for Choice.


Edvanir L.
Edvanir L.3 years ago

I didn't see anything wrong with the title...

Edvanir L.
Edvanir L.3 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Richard E Cooley
Richard E Cooley3 years ago

Why would you wish to ban ads that help with family planning, cut down on STD's and hopefully lead to less need of abortions! These ads are win, win, win!!!

bob m.
bob m.5 years ago

Mexico...a fine testamonial to the "church" in the resume of responsibility.
Where is boasting ...indeed.

David Noiret
David N.5 years ago

Great ads - sad to see them banned.

Julimar C.
Julimar C.5 years ago

As a quick side note, I am referring to the title in the newsletter when I received it. The title here is appropriate.

Julimar C.
Julimar C.5 years ago

That is certainly unusual. I did not expect these ads to be created by a religious organization. As an ex-Catholic, I am happy to see a group of people who are thinking for themselves. I also agree with Barbara, the title is misleading. Care2 is not meant to be about sensationalism, please be more careful with titles in the future. Thank you for this piece of information.

Asiatic Lion
Asiatic Lion5 years ago

how stupid...dont these people see that the earth cannot handle the fricking population anymore???

Miranda Lyon
Miranda Lyon5 years ago

There are always regressive forces pushing against every step forward, such as against the perspective espressed in this clear, simple, thoughtful ad.

Monica D.
M D.5 years ago

These ads are right and humane, and they should be allowed.