Pope promotes morality not contraception in Africa Aids fight

|PIC1|The Pope has reaffirmed the Vatican’s ban on the use of contraception in the fight against Aids. Pope Benedict XVI was speaking ahead of his visit to Africa, the continent most blighted by Aids.

He described Aids as “a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, and that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems”.

Instead, the Pope said the disease could be defeated by keeping to the teachings of the Church on marriage and faithfulness. In the past, the Catholic Church has said that HIV and Aids can pass through condoms.

This week, Pope Benedict is visiting Cameroon and Angola on his first trip to Africa as Pope. There are around 33 million people across the world suffering from Aids, of these 27 million live in Africa. Since the 1980s around 25 million Africans have died from the disease.

The Pope’s comments have drawn some criticism from leftist and gay groups.

Aurelio Mancuso of Italian gay rights group Archigay said, “This view simply contributes to the spread of the disease and especially in Africa where there are not enough medical resources to treat patients,” reports the Daily Mail.

During his visit the Pope is also expected to raise the issue of human rights in Africa and will be previewing a synod for African bishops entitled "reconciliation, justice and peace".

Paul Biya, who has been President of Cameroon for almost 27 years has been criticised by Amnesty International for leading a government which represses political opposition through killings and torture.

In 2002 Angloa emerged from a civil war lasting over a quarter of a century. The war began in 1975 almost immediately after Angola received independence from Portugal.