“Holy Father among the many evils that affect Africa there is also the particular problem of the the spread of AIDS. The position of the Catholic Church for fighting this evil is frequently considered unrealistic and ineffective.
“Will you address this issue during your trip? Holy Father, could you please respond in French to this question?” he asked.
Although the Pope responded to a previous question from the French newspaper La Croix in French, he gave this in-depth answer in Italian.
“I would say the opposite.”
"It is my belief that the most effective presence on the front in the battle against HIV/AIDS is precisely the Catholic Church and her institutions. I think of the Community of Sant’ Egidio, which does so much, visibly and invisibly to fight AIDS, of the Camillians, of all the nuns that are at the service of the sick.
“I would say that this problem of AIDS cannot be overcome with advertising slogans. If the soul is lacking, if Africans do not help one another, the scourge cannot be resolved by distributing condoms; quite the contrary, we risk worsening the problem. The solution can only come through a twofold commitment: firstly, the humanization of sexuality, in other words a spiritual and human renewal bringing a new way of behaving towards one another; and secondly, true friendship, above all with those who are suffering, a readiness - even through personal sacrifice - to be present with those who suffer. And these are the factors that help and bring visible progress.