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The Pope Vs Condoms - Avaaz.Org Petition

World  (tags: Pope Benedict XVI, condoms, public health, AIDS, AIDS prevention, Catholic Church, HIV, petition children, freedoms, society, humans, world )

- 3772 days ago -
Pope Benedict said that "[AIDS] cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems". We may not be able to ask the Catholic Church to change its broader position, but we are asking the Pope to stop actively speaki


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Madalena Lobaotello (448)
Monday March 23, 2009, 9:04 am
This week, on his first visit to Africa, Pope Benedict said that "[AIDS] cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems".

The Pope's statement is at odds with the research on AIDS prevention, and a setback to decades of hard work on AIDS education and awareness. With powerful moral influence over more than 1.1 billion Catholics in the world, and 22 million HIV positive Africans, these words could dramatically affect the AIDS pandemic and put millions of lives at risk. Worldwide concern is starting to show results and a willingness by the Vatican to revise the statement - sign our urgent petition asking the Pope to take care not to undermine proven AIDS prevention strategies:

The personal beliefs of Catholics and all people should be respected, and the Pope does advocate for other AIDS prevention methods such as abstinence and fidelity that can be effective when combined with condom use. The Catholic Church engages in a vast amount of social service work, including the care of those living with AIDS. But the Pope's claim that condom distribution is not an effective AIDS prevention mechanism is not supported by research. It's untrue, and if it diminishes condom use, it will be deadly.

The fact is, HIV and AIDS are prevented by condom use. There is no easy solution to the spread of this tragic disease, but condoms and education are the best known prevention combination and have not been found to increase risky sexual behaviour. That is why even priests and nuns working in Africa have questioned the Pope's statements.

We may not be able to ask the Catholic Church to change its broader position, but we are asking the Pope to stop actively speaking out against prevention strategies that work. It's important that people of all beliefs, especially Catholics, call on the Pope to exercise care in his leadership on this issue. Sign below then spread the word to your friends and family - this petition could actually save lives:

25 million people worldwide have already died of AIDS, and 12 million children have been left without parents. If enough of us join this outcry, we will win an important battle in the struggle for a world without AIDS.

With hope,

Ricken, Alice, Ben, Graziela, Iain, Brett, Paula, Pascal, Luis, Paul, Veronique, Milena and the whole Avaaz team


Madalena Lobaotello (448)
Monday March 23, 2009, 9:04 am
To His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI: We appeal to your compassion to consider the men, women, children - and the poor - who are at grave risk from the spread of HIV/AIDS. We urge you to exercise care in your public statements, and refrain from undermining life-saving public education and AIDS prevention programs on the use of condoms.

Sign the petition

Carolyn T (234)
Monday March 23, 2009, 9:14 am
Noted. "Thanks for signing the petition to Pope Benedict XVI! Millions of people in the world's most vulnerable communities in Africa and Latin America - mostly women - could be at great risk if we don't correct the Pope's statements against condoms." Thank you for this important post and link to petition.

. (0)
Monday March 23, 2009, 9:19 am
While I do not agree with the Catholic Church's view on birth control, I agree with the writer that they have the right to promulgate their belief. However, as the article points out, that should not include issuing false claims against condom use as a weapon against the spread of HIV.

And the use of condoms for the purpose of protection against disease would not, to my mind, be incompatible with Catholic teachings. I believe that so long as their use is solely for the purpose of disease prevention, the user's intent would be moral under Catholic doctrine. Just as a Catholic woman may quite morally obtain a hysterectomy for the purpose of checking the spread of cancer, even though the procedure also is an unintended means of birth control.

Surely intent should be taken into account when deciding on this issue for religionists.

Simon W (207)
Thursday March 26, 2009, 8:15 pm
I signed the petition, thanks Mada : )

Simon W (207)
Thursday March 26, 2009, 8:22 pm
Lindsey, when the Catholic Church preaches against condoms (even if they don't lie about condom effectiveness), it has the effect of discouraging men in Africa from using condoms, and making it more difficult for women to insist on condom-use. The result is that more wives, girlfriends and women who have sex for money (because they are poor) get diseases and become pregnant against their will. The poverty and gender power inequality in Africa makes this anti-condom preaching a serious life-or-death issue for many women and their children, and this is very different to the effect of anti-condom preaching in first world countries.

Simon W (207)
Thursday March 26, 2009, 9:02 pm
Now, I have an article for you all:

Mother Teresa, John Paul II, and the Fast-Track Saints

Teresa's "hospitals" kept the poor in deplorable conditions, but she went to the best private hospitals when ill. She journeyed the globe to wage campaigns against divorce, abortion & birth control. Her soup kitchens fed 150, but she claimed up to 9,000.

Michael A (58)
Friday April 10, 2009, 10:43 pm

Message: 1
Date: Sat, 11 Apr 2009 08:01:51 +1000
From: Lee Rhiannon
Subject: [Greens-Media] Call for Aust political leaders to condemn Sydney Cardinal Pell's anti-condom stance


11 April 2009

Call for Aust political leaders to condemn Pell’s anti-condom stance

Greens MP and health spokesperson has said that Cardinal George Pell’s
criticism of the use of condoms in the fight against AIDS puts lives
at risk. Ms Rhiannon has called on Premier Nathan Rees and Prime
Minister Kevin Rudd to publicly distance their governments from the
Cardinal’s comments.

“When Pope Benedict XVI made a similar outlandish statement about
condoms last month European political leaders were quick to condemn
his action,” Ms Rhiannon said.

“Australian political leaders should speak out against the Cardinal’s
statement on AIDS and condoms. Coming from a man of authority his
comments compromise the work of those committed to preventing loss of
life from AIDS and endanger public health.

“In Spain, a traditionally Catholic country, the government responded
by donating one million condoms to Africa, to emphasise its opposition
to the Pope’s statement.

“Australia’s AusAID program should take similar action. This would be
a most effective way to rebuff the Cardinal’s dangerous comments.

“As well as Spain the governments of Belgium, France, Germany,
Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Portugal rejected the Pope’s comments.
The United Nations Joint Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has also voiced
its concerns.

“Australian religious leaders have not publicly supported Cardinal
Pell’s comments.

“When the Pope was in Cameroon, referring to the distribution of
condoms in the fight against AIDS, he went so far as to state that ‘on
the contrary, it increases the problem’.

“Cameroon’s AIDS infection rate is 5.5 per cent. Australia’s is 0.1
per cent thanks to courageous health professionals who won government
support for programs involving the distribution of condoms and clean

”Australian political leaders need to speak out against Cardinal
Pell’s position on condoms and AIDS.

“It appears that Cardinal Pell may be the highest profile Catholic to
publicly back the widely condemned comments of Pope Benedict.

“The Cardinal’s comments would please the Catholic hierarchy and may
assist a Vatican promotion that Cardinal Pell is rumoured to be

“The Greens condemn a policy that puts human lives at risk,” Ms Rhiannon said.

For more information: Lee Rhiannon 9230 3551, 0427 861 568


Iago C. (0)
Wednesday May 19, 2010, 9:36 am
"Dr. Edward Green is Director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at the Harvard School of Public Health and Center for Population and Development Studies. He is a medical anthropologist with 30 years of experience in developing countries and in the fight against AIDS."
"I am a liberal on social issues and it’s difficult to admit, but the Pope is indeed right. The best evidence we have shows that condoms do not work as an intervention intended to reduce HIV infection rates, in Africa. "
AFRICA/ Green (Harvard): as a liberal, I say the Pope is right
Other links:
From Saint Peter’s Square to Harvard Square / Media coverage of papal comments on AIDS in Africa is March madness
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