TORONTO, April 8, 2009 – The Catholic Civil Rights League today commended Calgary’s Catholic Teachers’ Association for ending its support of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, one of the world’s leading promoters of condoms in the fight against AIDS.
For the past several years Calgary Catholic teachers have been raising money during Lent to support the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s AIDS work in sub-Saharan Africa. Lewis has always been outspoken in his defense of condom distribution, which is in conflict with Church teaching.
His comments during the recent controversy over the Pope’s support for a much wider-ranging, life-enhancing approach to the AIDS crisis were both disrespectful in tone and at variance with what many researchers have found. For example, Edward C. Green, director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at the Harvard Centre for Population and Development Studies, says that measurable declines in transmission can be traced not to condom programs, but to programs encouraging behaviour change.
Concerns about the Calgary fundraising effort pre-date the recent controversy, but were followed up recently by a letter to the teachers from Bishop Fred Henry of Calgary, and news coverage in The Calgary Herald.“If you have two businesses or organizations, one that doesn’t support your values and mission statement and another that does, which one are you going to support? I think that the answer is obvious,” Bishop Henry told the newspaper.
More information: A Critique of the angry Responses to Pope Benedict, Catholic Insight, by John Shea, MD, May, 2009.
Catholic Civil Rights League (www.ccrl.ca) assists in creating conditions within which Catholic teachings can be better understood, cooperates with other organizations in defending civil rights in Canada, and opposes defamation and discrimination against Catholics on the basis of their beliefs. CCRL was founded in 1985 as an independent lay organization and has chapters across Canada. The Catholic Civil Rights League is a Canadian non-profit organization entirely supported by the generosity of its members.
For further information: Joanne McGarry, Executive Director, 416-466-8244; firstname.lastname@example.org