Pope Francis dismissed a question about condoms and preventing the spread of HIV on the eve of World AIDS Day, saying the the world has bigger problems.
The pontiff was visibly annoyed Monday (30 November) when asked by a reporter whether the Catholic church would change its anti-condom stance while returning from a trip to sub-Saharan Africa – where an estimated 22 million people are living with the virus.
Pope Francis said condoms and HIV were ‘morally complicated for the Church,’ and the German journalist’s question ‘seems too small, partial’ when there were bigger issues confronting humanity, such as malnutrition, environmental exploitation and a lack of safe drinking water.
‘I don’t like getting into questions or reflections that are so technical when people die because they don’t have water or food or housing,’ he said.
Pope Francis said once those problems had been dealt with, questions about condoms and AIDS could be addressed.
He did, however, admit that condoms were ‘one of the methods’ that could prevent the spread of the HIV – which is better than his predecessor.
Pope Benedict XVI, drew the wrath of healthcare professionals, LGBTI rights activists and the UN by saying condoms could make Africa’s HIV epidemic worse.