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Support Growing for Pope’s Stance on AIDS/Condoms

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Writer Prominent international pro-life organizations are gathering support from around the world for Pope Benedict XVI whose statement questioning the value of promoting condoms as a way to combat AIDS garnered global condemnation from the press and politicians even while scientists and many African leaders say the Pope is right. According to a report by the Christian Newswire, 45,000 signatures have been collected thus far by four international pro-life organizations in support of the pope’s statement - Kath.net (based in Austria), Human Life International (HLI, Virginia, USA), HLI Europa (Poland), and Vida Humana Internacional (VHI, Miami "What the Holy Father said was absolutely true," said Joseph Meaney, HLI's Director of International Coordination. "It is an embarrassment to all who have so irresponsibly and often hatefully opposed him that what he said is verified by any honest examination of the evidence about what has worked historically to lower AIDS transmission rates in Africa." The organizations were formerly acting independently from one another in gathering support for the pope but discovered each other during Holy Week. It was then that they decided to combine their efforts to maximize the effectiveness of this effort to present the world with the truth about the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa. "The criticism is so dishonest and often shows that the critic has no idea what the Pope said or what has actually worked in stopping AIDS in Africa," said Roland Noé of Kath.net, an Austrian Catholic news organization. The pope's statement, made to reporters on the plane as he was flying to Africa last month, simply stated that promoting condoms as a remedy for AIDS actually risks worsening the problem rather than solving it. "We want to set the record straight and let our beloved German Pontiff know that Catholics around the world support him for speaking the truth," said Johannes Bucher, Regional Coordinator for HLI Austria. "Online campaigns such as these are one small way all Catholics around the world can show their support," said Ewa Kowaleska, Director of Poland's HLI Europa. "Language and distance are no longer barriers to joining our Catholic brothers and sisters in sending a message to the Holy Father." The campaign will continue through May 1, 2009, at which point the letters and all the signatures will be presented to the Holy See. To sign the letters of support for Pope Benedict XVI, visit the following sites: English: www.hli.org/papal_visit_support.html  Spanish: www.hli.org/apoyemos_al_papa.html © All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly/Women of Grace. http://www.womenofgrace.com

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