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Spanish Congress May Condemn Pope’s Remarks Denouncing Condom Use

Wed May 6, 2009 - 12:15 pm EST

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

MADRID, May 6, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Spanish Congress is considering a measure to condemn Pope Benedict XVI’s recent remarks denouncing condom use.

The proposal, which was made by two small socialist political parties, has been received by the Spanish Congress and submitted to its International Cooperation Committee for consideration. 

It reportedly urges the Congress to express its "consternation and rejection" of Pope Benedict’s anti-condom statements, and to "solemnly" affirm that the condom is the "most effective" means to avoid contracting the HIV virus.  

It also requests the lower chamber of the Congress to ask the government to make an official protest to the Vatican.

The measure has been introduced in response to remarks made by Pope Benedict during his trip to Africa in March, in which he told a reporter, "One cannot overcome the problem with the distribution of condoms. On the contrary, they increase the problem."

The pope’s remarks set off a firestorm of denunciation by European and United Nations officials, who promote condom use fight AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Spain reportedly spends 17 million euros to fight AIDS in Africa, and a substantial portion of those funds are used to purchase condoms, according to the liberal Spanish newspaper El Pais.

However, the Pope’s remarks have been praised by Edward C. Green, Director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies.  Green told National Review Online that "the pope is correct, or put it a better way, the best evidence we have supports the pope’s comments."

"There is a consistent association shown by our best studies, including the U.S.-funded ‘Demographic Health Surveys,’ between greater availability and use of condoms and higher (not lower) HIV-infection rates," Green added.

The pope’s comments were also praised by African AIDS activist Martin Ssempa, who said that "what the Pope is saying is true. It however makes those who are determined to live in a life of promiscuity feel spotlighted."

The Belgian Parliament issued a condemnation of the pope’s remarks last month.  Joan Herrera of the Initiative for Catalonia, who is one of the sponsors of the Spanish measure, says the precedent set by Belgium makes her proposed condemnation "more feasible".

The Spanish Family Forum is denouncing the measure, asking: "From now on, who else will the Congress of Representatives condemn? Those of us who do not defend gender ideology, or Education for Citizenship, or restraint-free abortion, or the legal dismantling of marriage? Are we going to be made illegal simply because we think differently from the promoters of this
attack on freedom?"

"Is it possible to condemn someone for voicing an opinion which happens to coincide with that of most experts on AIDS? And even if the Pope had expressed a scientifically erroneous opinion, is it Congress’s job to condemn opinions and reintroduce censorship?" adds the Forum.

Pro-family activists are joined by Spanish bishops who are also denouncing the legislation.

Related Links:

Embassy of Spain in the United States
2375 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20037
Telephone: (202) 452-0100
Fax: (202) 833-5670
E-mail: [email protected]
URL: http://www.spainemb.org/ingles/indexing.htm

Embassy of Spain in Canada
74 Stanley Avenue, Toronto, Ottawa, K1M 1P4, Canada
Phone: +1-613-7472252, +1-613-7477293, +1-613-7471143, +1-613-7476181
Fax: +1-613-7441224
Email: [email protected]
Website URL: http://www.embaspain.ca

Embassy of Spain in the United Kingdom
39 Chesham Place, SW1X 8SB, London, United Kingdom
Phone: +44-20-72355555
Fax: +44-20-72595392
Email: [email protected]

For a list of Spanish embassies around the world see
http://www.spanish-living.com/info_embassies.htm

To sign letters of support for Pope Benedict XVI, visit the following sites:

English: http://www.hli.org/papal_visit_support.html

Spanish: http://www.hli.org/apoyemos_al_papa.html

Polish, Latvian, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Italian, Russian, French, Czech, and Romanian: http://www.yes-for-benedict.eu/

German: http://www.ja-zu-benedikt.net/


Related LifeSiteNews coverage:

International Organizations Gather 40,000 Signatures So Far in Support of Pope’s Statements on Condoms
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/apr/09041602.html

Harvard AIDS Expert Says Pope is Correct on Condom Distribution Making AIDS Worse
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/mar/09031906.html

Prominent Ugandan AIDS Activist Thanks Pope for Opposition to Condoms
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/mar/09032003.html

Belgian Parliament Votes 95-18 to Declare Pope’s Condom Remarks "Unacceptable"
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/apr/09040601.html

World Leaders, Condom-Promoting Forces Attack Pope Over Condom AIDS Remarks
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/mar/09031902.html

Prominent Ugandan AIDS Activist Thanks Pope for Opposition to Condoms
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/mar/09032003.html

Tony and Cherie Blair Attack Pope on Homosexuality and Condoms
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/apr/09040803.html

Pope Says Condoms Not Solution to AIDS
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/mar/09031704.html


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