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Vatican plans conference on AIDS: another 'clarification' of Pope's statement on condoms?

February 03, 2011

The Vatican has announced plans for an international conference on AIDS, to be held on May 28. Later in 2011, the Pontifical Council on Health Care is expected to produce pastoral guidelines for AIDS efforts.

Following the February 3 announcement of the Vatican conference, media coverage focused almost exclusively on the Church’s teaching regarding condom use. An AP story, for example, referred to “continued confusion over its position concerning condoms as a way to prevent HIV transmission.”

At a press conference announcing plans for the conference, Msgr. Jean-Marie Mpendawatu, undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry, said that the event would provide an opportunity to explain what Pope Benedict XVI said in an interview published last November as Light of the World. "There is a problem of comprehension, of explaining things well,” said Msgr. Mpendawatu. “What did the Pope really say?” Last November the Vatican press office released a statement designed to clarify the Pope’s statement about condom use. That was followed in December by another clarifying statement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Evidently yet another clarification is pending.


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