French first lady 'grateful' to pope for condom comment
French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, a global AIDS ambassador whose own brother died of the virus, said Wednesday she was grateful to the pope for easing the Catholic church's condom ban.
"I think it is a fairly enormous step towards something new. I was surprised, touched, and grateful," said the former model and singer who is a goodwill ambassador for a campaign against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
"A certain number of African countries are Christian and they listen a lot to the words of the pope," President Nicolas Sarkozy's wife told RTL radio in an interview to mark World AIDS Day.
In a just published book of interviews, Pope Benedict XVI said that condom use was acceptable "in certain cases", notably to reduce the risk of HIV infection, apparently softening his once hardline view.
Bruni-Sarkozy, who lost her brother Virginio to AIDS in 2006, in 2008 became an ambassador for the Geneva-based Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
© 2010 AFP