Thursday, December 2, 2010

"Catholic AIDS Workers: Pope Echoing Us On Condoms"


by Michelle Faul (Associated Press)

JOHANNESBURG (AP)

"...But parish priest Rev. Didier Lemaire showed no embarrassment when asked about the stash of 600 condoms, set conveniently on an examination couch so one could grab a few on the way out the door. Lemaire said Pope Benedict XVI's groundbreaking statement about the selective use of condoms only cements what Catholic AIDS workers have said for years."

"What the pope is saying, many priests have been saying for a long time," said Lemaire. He said eschewing condoms when people have AIDS goes against the commandment "Thou shalt not kill."

"Pope Benedict's comments have far-reaching implications for Africa, the continent with the highest numbers of AIDS victims — and the fastest-growing number of Catholic converts. But it is more important because the Catholic Church is the biggest private provider of AIDS care in the world, providing antiretroviral treatment, home-care visits and counseling to one in four of the world's 33.3 million AIDS patients, according to the Catholic charity Caritas International. In 2008, members of the Catholic HIV and AIDS network spent 180 million euros (about $235 million) on assistance, it said. "


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