As part of the widespread outcry against the Vatican in the wake of Pope Benedict's Africa trip -- where the Pontiff made official his position on condom use with the claim that it "aggravates" the spread of HIV/AIDS -- a new Italian Facebook group has emerged. The group's goal is to send hundreds of thousands of condoms to the Pope, and it hopes that similar groups in other countries will arise to do the same. From Telegraph:
Organisers have claimed that 60,000 have pledged to send prophylactics to the Pontiff as a result of the call on the social networking site. The Italians behind the initiative hope they will be joined by Facebook groups around the world, including from Britain and the United States: "The campaign is spreading across Europe, with thousands of supporters in France, England, Germany, Austria and Bulgaria."
Those who stand behind the Pope, however, are criticizing the effort as overkill. Indeed, there has been a constant barrage of excoriation against the Vatican for almost two weeks now. Again from Telegraph:
Senior Catholics rallied to the Pope's defence this week, with the head of the Italian Bishops Conference, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, saying the depth of opprobrium directed towards the pontiff had "been prolonged beyond good reason."
Though the Telegraph story gives a number of 60,000 pledged participants, it does not give the name of the group. This group looks like a likely candidate, but it only has 26,674 members and is in Italian. If any Italian readers out there can tell us more, let us know!