MANILA, Philippines?Catholic bishops implored movie stars on Wednesday not to endorse condoms, saying they must remain good examples and should safeguard "the morality of the people."
Iloilo Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, former President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, said actors and actresses are emulated by the public who adore them, and should thus be more responsible in choosing what products to support.
?The Church disagrees with the use of artists to promote condoms. That is why we are appealing to them not to allow themselves to be used by the Department of Health because as artists, they have a public image that is emulated by people,? he said in an interview over Radio Veritas.
?As public figures, they have an obligation to society to safeguard morality, especially that of the youth who admire them,? he added.
Earlier reports said the DOH was planning to use celebrities to promote the use of condoms to curb the spread of HIV-AIDS.
Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes also made the same call over Radio Veritas, and implored celebrities to use their conscience and not allow themselves to be convinced by the DOH to support condom use.
Bastes had harsh words for Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral, whom he described as a ?stubborn woman? leading the innocents to hell."
The Catholic Church has been up in arms against the DOH's promotion of the prophylactics, saying the act was tantamount to "advocating immorality."
But women's and workers' groups have thrown their support behind the DOH and Cabral, saying the distribution of condoms was beneficial to women's reproductive health.