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Roman Catholic Bishops of England & Wales



Letters to All Roman Catholic Bishops



November 21, 2004

Re: CAFOD & The Catechism of the Catholic Church

Your lordship

In July 2004 CAFOD attended the 15th International AIDS Conference in Bangkok.

CAFOD's website provides the downloadable text of CAFOD's presentation at the AIDS Conference written by Ann Smith and others entitled: 'CAFOD - HIV Prevention From the Perspective of a Faith-Based Development Agency' .  You have probably already read the full text of CAFOD's HIV Policy presented at the Bangkok AIDS Conference.  However, if you have not read the full text I encourage you do so as a matter of urgency.

The article published in the Tablet, September 25, 2004, by Ann Smith was a shortened version of the Bangkok presentation and as a consequence left out some controversial sentences.  When read in the light of the Catechism of the Catholic Church you will find that CAFOD's HIV policy conflicts with several sections of the Catechism.

For example, in reference to behaviour change on page 6 it reads,

'The term behaviour change is also occasionally invested with judgmental overtones implying fixed notions of what constitutes "good" and "bad" behaviour.  This can sometimes be the case for programmes inspired by a specific culture or religious ideal'.

I therefore ask your lordship the following question.

In the light of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Magisterium, and other Encyclicals, is CAFOD's HIV policy as presented at the International AIDS Conference in Bangkok in July 2004 entitled: 'CAFOD - HIV Prevention From the Perspective of a Faith-Based Development Agency', written by Ann Smith and others and available from CAFOD's website, free from error?


Yours sincerely


Chris Mason,  Co-ordinator,  United for Life