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Church stands by teaching re condom use and AIDS, says cardinal

.- The Catholic Church stands by its teaching that the best way to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS is abstinence and not condom use, said Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor in a BBC interview Sunday.

The cardinal’s comment came in response to a remark made by British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Friday that it was time churches and religious organizations “faced reality” and lifted the ban on condom use in order to help end the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Blair made his statement in a message that appeared on MTV to mark World AIDS Day. Blair added that his government will spend £1.5 billion over the next few years to fight AIDS by increasing the number of condoms being distributed to developing nations.

But in an interview with Andrew Marr on “BBC Sunday AM,” the Archbishop of Westminster said that money would be better spent on providing “more anti-retroviral drugs, medicines, for the millions of children and women who are affected.”

He underlined that the primary way to combat AIDS is through “behavioral change, monogamous partnerships between a man and a woman.”

The cardinal said he has spoken with African bishops who have told him that their dioceses are flooded with condoms and that it has led to more promiscuity and to more AIDS. “I think you've got to look at this …within the whole context of the African culture,” he told Marr.

Cardinal O’Connor pointed out that the Catholic Church and its agencies provide more than one-quarter of the healthcare to AIDS victims worldwide.

He also note that the Pope did call for a report to be prepared on AIDS and condom use.

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