Vatican will host AIDS conference to clarify condom stand

The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry announced today that it will be hosting a one-day international conference on the care of AIDS patients May 28. It will also publish a handbook of pastoral guidelines for Catholic health care workers on AIDS care and prevention, an official of the council said.

Msgr. Jean-Marie Mpendawatu, the council’s undersecretary, said that the decision had come in response to the confusion created by the international press coverage of Pope Benedict’s comments on condoms for AIDS prevention.

An international media feeding frenzy was touched off in November when L’Osservatore Romano published selected excerpts from the new interview book with the pope by German journalist Peter Seewald.

“There is a problem of comprehension, of explaining things well and what the pope really said,” Msgr. Mpendawatu said. “What did the pope say, really, authentically? What is the thinking of the pope?”

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Con Yap