Belgium in formal protest against Pope's statement on condoms
April 03, 2009
Vatican officials say they are "astonished" by a vote in the Belgian parliament instructing that country's government to "condemn the unacceptable affirmations of the Pope during his trip to Africa and to protest officially to the Holy See." The Belgian complaint relates to the Pope's statement that condom distribution is not the best answer to the AIDS epidemic. Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, questioned whether the lawmakers who approved the resolution had actually read and comprehended the Pope's remarks. He rejected the notion that such statements should prompt a formal complaint. "It would appear to be obvious to any democratic country that the Holy Father and the Catholic Church are free to express their own positions,'' said the papal spokesman.
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