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Ask Pope Benedict XVI to Overturn the Ban on Condoms

Catholics For a Free Choice, a Catholic Organization for Renewal, currently has a program underway, known as Condoms4Life, which includes a petition to Pope Benedict XVI to overturn the ban on condoms as a stand for life amidst the worldwide AIDS pandemic.

The project encourages people of faith to sign on to the petition. Opening paragraphs of the petitioning letter are excerpted below:

Your Holiness:

Today, we are writing to you in solidarity with the approximately 40 million people living with HIV and AIDS and out of concern for the more than 15 million children who have been orphaned.

We know you share our concern and have supported the many Catholic health and social service agencies, who have treated those with HIV and AIDS. In so many ways, the Catholic community has been an international leader in providing compassionate, nondiscriminatory treatment to those living with HIV and AIDS, and we applaud those efforts.

We write to you today to express our support for your decision announced 23 April 2006 for senior theologians and scientists to prepare a document discussing the use of condoms as a means of preventing the transmission of HIV. But we urge you to move forward quickly to set new guidelines for the prevention of this disease that would enable all agencies that collaborate with the Catholic community to educate those at risk of the option of using condoms to prevent the transmission of HIV and AIDS and to actually provide condoms to those it serves whose conscience leads them to choose to use them.

For years, Vatican spokespersons and other church officials have made clear the church's moral objections to condoms as a contraceptive. However, the extension of this position to HIV and AIDS prevention has resulted in dangerous practices that have contributed to the spread of HIV and AIDS. There have been public burnings of condoms, gross distortions of the statistics on the efficacy of condoms as a preventive and disregard of the very real human toll of this pandemic by some whose ecclesiastical objections outweigh concern for the common good and the promotion of a culture of life.

Indeed, since you became pope on 19 April 2005, 5.5 million people have acquired the HIV virus. And 3.7 million people have died of AIDS-related causes.

As people of faith, both Catholic and not, we urge you to pay special attention to those bishops and health care workers who have witnessed the devastation firsthand and who have courageously spoken out in support of the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV as a stand for life.

The full document may be viewed athttp://h1.ripway.com/activists/LettertoBXVI.pdf.
To sign onto the letter one, please go to http://actionstudio.org/?Go=2387.

DignityUSA’s Executive Committee endorses the petition letter and invites our members and friends to sign on.

Further information about the Condoms4Life project will be found athttp://www.condoms4life.org.

Further information about Catholics For A Free Choice will be found athttp://www.catholicsforchoice.org.