Apparently Catholics for a Free Choice made a major blunder by trying to use Cardinal Danneels’ words to their advantage. Read on and enjoy it,
Cardinal rebukes “deplorable” pro-abortion group
Brussels, Jul. 20 (Culture of Life Foundation/CWNews.com) - Efforts by “Catholics for a Free Choice” at making Cardinal Godfried Danneels into a symbolic figure for their pro-condom campaign were thwarted when the Belgian prelate strongly rebuked the dissident group’s attempt at making him a spokesman for their cause.
In late June “Catholics for a Free Choice” (CFFC) called on Catholics and other Christians to send letters of support to Cardinal Danneels. The letters praised Cardinal Danneels, archbishop of Brussels-Mechelen, for comments he made in January that seemed to promote using condoms to prevent AIDS. In an interview on a Dutch Catholic television station, Daneels said a person with AIDS ought to abstain from sex but if such a person decides to have sex there is a moral obligation to use a condom.
The televised statement put Cardinal Danneels at odds with the Vatican’s teaching and CFFC thought it could exploit the perceived rift. They sent a letter thanking him for his comments and asked him to lead a campaign against Catholic bishops who uphold Church teaching on the immorality of condom use. Cardinal Danneels rebuffed CFFC’s advances, calling the organization “deplorable.” He said his comments were misused by CFFC to serve its own objectives. The cardinal also said the only long-term solution to ending the spread of AIDS is a moral education that teaches chastity and fidelity to one’s husband or wife.
The letter to Cardinal Danneels was part of larger campaign sponsored by CFFC called Condoms4Life. According to their website, Condoms4Life was begun in 2001 as an “unprecedented worldwide public education effort to raise public awareness about the devastating effect of the bishops’ ban on condoms.” The website encourages visitors to send a letter to Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, asking him to “lift the ban on condoms as a moral and humanitarian matter.”
Ads for the campaign have appeared on billboards, subway stations, and newspapers in seven countries including the US, Chili, Mexico, and the Philippines. One ad displays a picture of a couple sitting on a couch in an embrace with expressions of surprise on their faces. Below the photo are the words, “Abstinence has a high failure rate.” Another ad features a close up of two men caressing one another’s cheeks. The text for the ad reads, “We believe in God. We believe that sex is sacred. We believe in caring for each other. We believe in using condoms.” Several of the ads make vulgar comparisons between a bishop’s mitre and a condom. Featured prominently on each ad is Condoms4Life’s slogan, “Good Catholics Wear Condoms.”
The cardinal’s rebuff of CFFC is the second major defeat for CFFC in the month of June. Just two weeks ago the UN General Assembly unanimously endorsed and expanded the role of the Holy See at the United Nations. For many years CFFC has sought the ouster of the Holy See from its observer role at the United Nations. CFFC has run a global campaign for that purpose and has at various times hired full-time staff to direct the campaign. Not a single nation ever joined the campaign and now the General Assembly’s action should close the door on the CFFC campaign. So far, the usually media hungry president of CFFC, Frances Kissling, has remained silent.