2010-11-25 13:31:31

Caritas Welcomes Papal Words on AIDS Prevention

(November 25, 2010) Caritas Internationalis is welcoming the comments of Pope Benedict XVI on the importance of preventing AIDS as published in a new book. The book, "Light of the World: The Pope, The Church and The Signs of the Times," released Tuesday by Ignatius Press, features an interview with the Pontiff by Peter Seewald. Caritas affirmed that the Holy Father's comments in this book "are an affirmation of the importance of pastoral sensitivity and compassion in HIV and AIDS prevention." It noted in particular Pope Benedict XVI's statement that condom use "is not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection" as it is not a "real or moral solution." The Pope said: "Much more needs to be done. We must stand close to the people, we must guide and help them; and we must do this both before and after they contract the disease." Lesley-Anne Knight, secretary general of the aid agency, stated, "The Pope's reported comments in this book illustrate the importance of compassion and sensitivity in dealing with the complexities of HIV/AIDS prevention." She affirmed, "Caritas delivers its HIV/AIDS programs in line with Church teaching and we will consider, in close consultation with the Holy See, whether there are implications for our work in these reported comments of Pope Benedict." Caritas, which is the confederation of 165 national Catholic aid agencies, provides HIV/AIDS programs for more than 100 countries. In India Father Babu Joseph, spokesperson of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, said, the Indian Church “endorse the statement because it asks the people to live sexuality in a more human way.”

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