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Press Release

The Pope Is Wrong on Condoms

March 17, 2009

Washington, D.C. -- Jon O'Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued a response to Pope Benedict's statement on condom use.

"As the pope traveled to Africa, he chose this moment to make what appears to be his first unequivocal statement opposing condom use. In an interview on the papal plane to Cameroon, the pope acknowledged the HIV/AIDS crisis but claimed that the distribution of condoms would not resolve the problem. In fact, he said, condom use "increases the problem."

"The pope will find that few Catholics and even fewer medical personnel agree with his stance. Several bishops in Africa, including especially Bishop Kevin Dowling of Rustenburg in South Africa, have been outspoken in their support of the use of condoms. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that many people who work with Catholic relief agencies distribute condoms to those at risk of infection.

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See Also
Condom Distribution Not Answer to Curbing Spread of HIV in Africa, Pope Benedict Says
More on Roman Catholicism and HIV/AIDS
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Reader Comments:

Comment by: Margaret Mwaila (Kenya, East Africa) Thu., Mar. 19, 2009 at 5:52 am EDT
I totally agree with the author. I am a Catholic but there are some things I disagree with -- the criminalization of condom use. Health research has enormous evidence on the importance of condoms in prevention of unplanned pregnancies and STIs/HIV. Let's for once stop moralizing, let's not talk about condoms only in cases of pre- and extra-marital sex. In Kenya, a recent study by the government indicates that 70% of new HIV incidence in 2007 occured in marriage (heterosexual) and that 44% of married couples are discordant (one partner is HIV+ and the other HIV-). I would be interested to know what kind of advice our beloved Pope will give such couples -- to continue being faithful? They are married so abstinence is not an option.
I also hope that he changes his position upon visiting more parts of subSaharan Africa where he will come face to face with the humanitarian crisis that is the devastation of HIV and AIDS.

Thank you
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Comment by: Del Martinis (Houston, TX 77003) Wed., Mar. 18, 2009 at 11:53 pm EDT
No surprise here, and it's why the church has, for a long time now, become extinct!
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