.- The British organization Catholic Action Group has launched a boycott of the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) Feb. 1. The British development organization has suggested that condoms may be an acceptable way of combating the spread of AIDS in the developing world where the Church’s values of abstinence and fidelity may not be realistic.
Catholic Action Group sent an e-mail to 700 Catholic priests throughout England, informing them of the campaign. It said that it would “quite happy to stop this current campaign when and if CAFOD issues a clear and unambiguous statement … that they do not condone the use of condoms in any circumstances or (only) if the Magisterium officially rules on this issue with a clear statement.”
The e-mail stated that a number of parishes in the country support the campaign, but some bishops are divided on the issue.
CAFOD told the British newspaper the Guardian that it does not distribute condoms and maintains the Church's policy that abstinence is the only way to prevent the spread of the disease.
The boycott could seriously undermine CAFOD’s relief efforts in the 64 countries where it is currently working. Of the £28.2 million it raised last years, nearly £20 million worth were individual donations from Catholics.
The Guardian reported that due to the boycott, about 10 parishes have so far withdrawn their funding.
Catholic Action Group is an independent nonprofit Catholic organization funded by members’ donations and subscriptions. It was established to defend Catholic truth both within the Church and in general society. Membership is open to all mainstream Catholics.