Belgian political Parties angry with the Pope

27th March 2009, Comments 0 comments

Six parties have called on the federal government to lodge an official protest with the Vatican.

The Flemish and Francophone Liberals, Socialists and Greens are angry with Pope Benedict XVI’s recent assertion that the spread of HIV and Aids in Africa could not be tackled by the use of condoms.

The Pontiff made his comments during his recent visit to Africa.

Pope Benedict claimed that condoms offer no solution to the problem of HIV and Aids and that they in fact only make it worse.

Many African countries suffer high levels of HIV infection.

The church plays an important role in influencing public opinion in large parts of the continent.

The Flemish Liberals, Socialists and Greens and their Francophone counterparts have tabled a motion condemning the Pope's comments.

The motion will be discussed and voted on in the federal parliament.

The Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht (Flemish Liberal) has said that if the motion receives the backing of the majority of federal MPs, he will lodge an official complaint with the Papal Nuntius, the Vatican’s representative in Brussels.

De Gucht added that he personally found the Pope's comments inappropriate.

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