In response to Belgium’s diplomatic protest against Pope Benedict’s comments that condoms could potentially "increase the problem" of AIDS being spread in Africa, Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See newsroom questioned whether the lawmakers had considered the Popes words and scientific research, or whether they received their information "through the non-objective, imbalanced filter of the echoes in the western media."
According to Reuters, the Belgium House of Deputies called the Pope’s comments "unacceptable" and instructed their government to "react strongly against any state or organization that in the future brings into doubt the benefit of using condoms to prevent transmission of the AIDS virus."
The measure approved with a strong majority, 95-18, and asks the government to "condemn the Pope’s unacceptable position statement and to lodge a formal protest at the Holy See." Premier Herman Van Rompuy said he will support the motion saying, "it is not the Pope’s job to shed doubts on public health policies which are unanimously supported and save lives ever day."
Father Lombardi, expressed "amazement" at the resolution, reported the Italian news service, SIR.
He questioned how a democratic country could limit the "freedom of the Holy Father and the Catholic Church to express their own positions" which are "clearly relevant to the view of the human person."
As Belgium reacted to the Pope’s comments, Lombardi pointed to "the great tradition" of the Catholic Church in "education and health-care, especially in the poorer countries" that needs no "evidence or comments."
Lombardi also questioned whether Belgium lawmakers had considered the "Pope’s arguments" and scientific research, or whether they received their information "through the non-objective, imbalanced filter of the echoes in the western media."