.- Following his general audience today, Pope Benedict offered his own support, and the Churchâs, in dealing with the worldwide scourge of AIDS, as tomorrow marks the annual United Nations sponsored World AIDS Day.
The Pope explained that World AIDS Day "is an initiativeâ¦that aims to draw attention to the scourge of AIDS,â and he urged the international community âto a renewed commitment to prevent the disease and to assist those who suffer from it.â
âThe statisticsâ of sufferers and those who have been killed by the disease âare truly alarming,â he stressed.
"Closely following Christ's example,â the Pope went on, âthe Church has always considered the cure of the sick as an integral part of her mission. Therefore I encourage the many initiatives promoted, especially by ecclesial communities, to eradicate this sickness.â
He added his feelings of closeness âto AIDS sufferers and their families, invoking upon them the help and comfort of the Lord."