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AIDS groups condemn Pope's condom comments

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AIDS groups condemn Pope's condom comments


Pope Benedict has re-affirmed the Catholic Church’s opposition to the use of condoms in the fight against AIDS.

He made the statement as he started a visit to Cameroon in Africa – a continent where millions have succumbed to the disease and where 22 million are infected. The Pope spoke out against the availabilty of condoms and said fidelity in marriage and abstinence were the ways to prevent infection. The Pope’s statement has been roundly condemned by AIDS groups who campaign relentlessly for condom use. Bertrand Audoin, Directeur General du Sidaction said: “For us this is a hard blow, frankly. We need people behind us who can say from from the medical and scientific point of view that condoms are the best way of protecting against HIV infection and there is no other way of protecting against HIV.” Benedict’s words were some of the strongest against the use of condoms since his election as Pope in 2005. The Vatican has never approved of condoms but some within the Catholic church have been calling for their use where one partner is infected with HIV One senior bishop defended The Pope and tried to explain what he meant. Monseigneur Jean-Michel Di Falco, Eveque de Gap said: “We all know very well that men cannot always find a condom and the same one is used several times over or men share condoms. That’s what The Pope was referring to.” With the number of practising Catholics dwindling in the developed world, Africa is seen as vital to the Church’s future But the relationship is not without controversy, mainly over the condoms issue, in a continent which has been ravaged by HIV

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