Pope Benedict vows his support for AIDS sufferers

Following his general audience today, Pope Benedict offered his own support, and the Church’s, 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 initiative…that aims to draw attention to the scourge of AIDS,” and he urged the international community “to a renewed commitment to prevent the disease and to assist those who suffer from it.”

“The statistics” of sufferers and those who have been killed by the disease “are truly alarming,” he stressed.

"Closely following Christ's example,” the Pope went on, “the 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.”

He added his feelings of closeness “to AIDS sufferers and their families, invoking upon them the help and comfort of the Lord."

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