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Congolese Bishops Say Condoms Breed Selfishness. Affirm Benedict XVI's Support in Fight Against AIDS
KINSHASA, Congo, MAY 5, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The Congolese bishops are noting the hope Benedict XVI brought on his visit to Africa, and are supporting his stance on condom use as an ineffective means to fight AIDS.A statement from the Congolese bishops' conference affirmed, "In all truth, the pope's message which we received with joy has confirmed us in our fight against HIV/AIDS," Catholic Information Service for Africa reported today.

The statement, signed by the conference president, Bishop Nicolas Djomo Lola of Tshumbe, added, "We say no to condoms!"

The prelates noted that condom use is "not only an ethical disorder but above all the proof of the trivialization of sexuality in our society."

They affirmed, "Instead of preventing the spread of the disease, and without even guaranteeing complete security, [the condom] heightens human selfishness, worsens the problem, and encourages people to let themselves be driven by their sexual instincts and divests sexuality of its religious and symbolic functions."

The statement expressed regret about the controversy stemming from "some mass media sources who have voluntarily created confusion," by taking the Pope's words on AIDS "out of context," although he merely underlined "the consistent teaching of the Catholic Church."

It added, "Only freedom that does not give in before the fleeting passion of desire, the blindness of one's own selfishness, and the tyranny of the convenience of the moment, can contribute to making man more noble and more responsible in his acts, in the prospect of a better future."

The conference affirmed that the Holy Father's visit confirmed their "faith in Jesus Christ, the Light of the World," and brought hope for the future back to Africa.

The statement concluded, "This is how we understand the Pope's insistence on respect for life, the preservation of our African identity which is seriously threatened by a vigorous and aggressive globalization, the fight against corruption and the unjust exploitation of man by other men, and an appeal to African governments regarding their responsibilities in regards to their people and other nations."