A new multinational poll has shown that many Catholics around the world believe that using condoms is 'pro-life' because it prevents the spread of HIV and AIDS.
The findings come ahead of World AIDS Day tomorrow (Saturday 1 December 2007).
According to the four-continent poll by Belden Russonello & Stewart, Catholics in Ghana, Ireland, Mexico, the Philippines and the United States support condom use overwhelmingly. When asked if "using condoms is prolife because it helps save lives by preventing the spread of AIDS," 90% of Catholics in Mexico, 86% in Ireland, 79% in the US, 77% in the Philippines and 59% in Ghana agreed.
When questioned about the church's responsibility to help prevent the spread of AIDS in a health care context, 87% of Irish Catholics; 86% of Mexican Catholics; 73% of US Catholics; 65% of Filipino Catholics and 60% of Ghanaian Catholics believe "Catholic hospitals and clinics that the government funds should be required to include condoms as parts of AIDS prevention."
Jon O'Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, commented: "From Mexico City to Manila and Accra to Los Angeles, Catholics know that using condoms is pro-life. More and more bishops and priests have been speaking out against the Vatican's opposition to condoms.
"This is a battle with very high stakes. Every day, more people are infected and die. While Catholics recognize that the hierarchy's position is wrong, it would help significantly if the Vatican came out and supported the use of condoms. There are substantial theological grounds - and even more humanitarian and compassionate grounds - to change this policy. It is high time for that change to happen."