International Organizations Join Forces, Gather 45,000 Signatures So Far in Support of Pope
Contact: Stephen Phelan, Communications Manager, Human Life International (HLI), 540-551-2547, SPhelan@hli.org
FRONT ROYAL, VA, April 16 /Christian Newswire/ -- As a response to the deluge of unfair and mistaken criticism leveled upon Pope Benedict XVI for his statement about the ineffectiveness of condom promotion in stopping the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa, four prominent international pro-life organizations have gathered 45,000 signatures so far in support of the Holy Father.
Kath.net (based in Austria), Human Life International (HLI, Virginia, USA), HLI Europa (Poland), and Vida Humana Internacional (VHI, Miami) have joined forces and efforts in reaching out around the world to gather support both for the courageous Pontiff, whose statement questioning the value of the promotion of condoms has been attacked by international press and politicians, even as it has been affirmed by scientists, African leaders, and activists who know the history of the AIDS epidemic.
"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 collaboration unfolded during Holy Week, as the organizations discovered each others' independently-initiated campaigns and decided to combine efforts to maximize effectiveness and emphasize unity in support of the truth.
"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 at the onset of his historical first visit to Africa, has been widely misunderstood and criticized. In the statement the Holy Father simply affirmed traditional Catholic teaching in the context of the destructive effect the disease has had on Africa, stating truthfully that promoting condoms as the remedy to 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 campaigns 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:
Polish, Latvian, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Italian, Russian, French, Czech, and Romanian: www.yes-for-benedict.net/?lang_un=en
Human Life International: Creating effective opposition to the culture of death around the world. Founded in 1981, HLI is the world's largest international pro-life organization and has affiliates in over 80 countries on six continents.