Francis critiques question about condoms in Africa

Pope Francis has told a journalist asking about condom use to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa that the question posed is too small.

The Pope answered the question during a session with reporters on his plane flying back from the Central African Republic on November 30.

The journalist asked if the Church should consider changing its stance on artificial contraception – particularly on the use of condoms – given the continuing spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa.

“The question seems too small to me,” the Pontiff responded.

“It seems to me also like a partial question.”

“The morality of the Church is found on this point, I think, in front of a perplexity,” he said.

“Fifth or Sixth commandment? Defend life, or that sexual relations be open to life? This is not the problem. The problem is bigger.”

“This question makes me think of what they asked Jesus one time: ‘Tell me, master, is it licit to heal on the Sabbath?'” Francis continued.

“Malnutrition, exploitation of persons, slave work, lack of drinking water,” he said.

“These are the problems.”

“I do not like to descend into reflections that are so casuistic when people are dying,” he continued.

“I would say to not think if it is licit or not licit to heal on the Sabbath. I say to humanity: Make justice, and when all are healed, when there is not injustice in this world, we can speak of the Sabbath.”

During his three-nation African visit, Pope Francis visited HIV-infected children at a Uganda hospital and kissed each one.

He also listened to moving testimony from a girl born with the virus and thanked the Church’s healthcare workers for caring for those infected.

During the session with reporters, Francis also spoke out strongly again against religious fundamentalism.

He said that fundamentalism exists in all religions and should be combated with efforts at friendship.

He said he prefers not to speak of having tolerance for other religious, but “living together, friendship”.


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News category: World.

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