“Pontiff's remarks on first visit to continent outrage health agencies trying to halt spread of HIV and Aids"
The Pope today reignited the controversy over the Catholic church's stance on condom use as he made his first trip to Africa.
The pontiff said condoms were not the answer to the continent's fight against HIV and Aids and could make the problem worse.
Benedict XVI made his comments as he flew to Cameroon for the first leg of a six-day trip that will also see him travelling to Angola.
The Roman Catholic church encourages sexual abstinence and fidelity to prevent the disease from spreading, but it is a policy that has divided some clergy working with Aids patients.
The pontiff, speaking to journalists on his flight, said the condition was "a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems".
…It is not the first time the Pope has made public remarks on the HIV/Aids outbreak ravaging the continent.
Shortly after becoming pontiff in 2005, he told senior Catholic clergy from Africa that, while the disease was a "cruel epidemic", it could not be cured through using condoms.
Addressing bishops from South Africa, Botswana, Swaziland, Namibia and Lesotho who had travelled to the Vatican for papal audience, he said: "The traditional teaching of the church has proven to be the only failsafe way to prevent the spread of HIV/Aids."
…More than two-thirds – 67% – of the global total of 32.9 million people with HIV live in sub-Saharan Africa.
Three-quarters of all Aids deaths in 2007 happened there.
There are no words.....