“The campaign is vital,” said CFC president and campaign coordinator Jon O’Brien, “because the bishops’ recent activities are not representative of Catholic teachings or beliefs. Catholics do support the use of condoms, and they do use them to protect themselves and their partners.”
In recent weeks, the Kenya Episcopal Conference spearheaded a campaign to pull a television ad promoting HIV prevention, including the use of condoms. “The ad was based on good science,” said O’Brien; “more than 1.6 million people are living with HIV in Kenya, and condoms are an evidence-based method for preventing the spread of HIV.
“There are a billion Catholic around the world, and here in Kenya we represent a third of the population. On the issue of condom use the Kenyan bishops don’t speak for Catholics here in Nairobi, or anywhere else,” O’Brien said, referring to a recent international poll that found that Catholics in Ghana, Ireland, Mexico, the US and the Philippines believe using condoms for HIV prevention is prolife because they help save lives. Further, six in ten Catholics from these countries believe Catholic hospitals that receive public funding should be required to provide condoms.”