Starting tomorrow, young people will flock to Madrid for World Youth Day, where they'll see concerts, speeches by bishops, and appearances by the Pope. But they won't be seeing ads supporting condom use — because Spanish transit authorities banned them.
Catholics for Choice, which describes itself as "a voice for Catholics who believe that the Catholic tradition supports a woman's moral and legal right to follow her conscience in matters of sexuality and reproductive health," had run the above Condoms4Life ad in a variety of countries. But their bid to run it on Madrid's transit system during World Youth Day was rejected, either by city authorities or by the local billboard company. Says Catholics for Choice president Jon O'Brien,
It's absolutely ludicrous to claim that these ads are offensive. As a result of this arbitrary decision, the young people coming to World Youth Day will not get the opportunity to make up their own minds about whether these ads are appropriate and present an important message. We certainly think they do. This is an international meeting where hundreds of thousands of young people can get the message that using condoms can save lives.
O'Brien also points out that the ads reference Pope Benedict's comments supporting condom use — he asks, "How can it be offensive for Catholics to support the position of the pope?" Turns out, however, not everybody agrees on the Pope's position. Patrick Craine of LifeSiteNews framed the ads' rejection thus: