Moscow Patriarchate Backs Pope's Stance on Condoms

Says They Can't Be Considered Remedy Against AIDS

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MOSCOW, MARCH 20, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The Russian Orthodox Church is supporting Benedict XVI's position that condoms are not an acceptable solution to AIDS.



A message on the French official Web site of the Church stated, "The Patriarchate of Moscow is in solidarity with Pope Benedict XVI's position on the means in the fight against AIDS, and on the fact that condoms cannot be considered as a remedy against this sickness."

This statement came as a response to the Pope's words to journalists on his flight to Africa, in which he affirmed: "This problem of AIDS cannot be overcome only with publicity slogans.

"If there is not the soul, if the Africans are not helped, the scourge cannot be resolved with the distribution of condoms: on the contrary, there is a risk of increasing the problem."
 
Today the deputy chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, said "It is incorrect to see condoms as a panacea for AIDS."
 
He noted that AIDS can be prevented not by contraceptives but by education and a righteous life, as the Orthodox Church also teaches.
 
"The spread of AIDS will only be halted with the ethical education of the affected peoples, and not with recourse to condoms," states the Church's communiqué.
 
The Russian agency Interfax reported Friday that Father Tchapline took part in a round table in Moscow on the subject. He pointed out that at present certain organizations attempt to simultaneously emphasize the idea of sexual freedom and the fight against AIDS, but that it is impossible to reconcile both of these.