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March 18, 2013

Pope Francis on Contraception and Combating HIV/AIDS

The election of Pope Francis (a.k.a. Jorge Bergoglio, the former cardinal of Buenos Aires, Argentina) has raised the question of whether the Roman Catholic Church may alter its stance on contraception, especially condoms, to combat HIV/AIDS, ABC News reports. Church doctrine bans the use of contraceptives. Some sources claim the new pontiff may take a more practical view, perhaps allowing condoms to prevent the spread of disease. Other sources disagree. There would be precedent, since his predecessor the former Pope Benedict XVI said in 2010 that condoms might be morally acceptable in some cases to prevent the spread of the virus, but not to prevent pregnancy. Prior to his election as pope, Francis was on the record opposing contraception, abortion and same-sex marriage. Despite his orthodox views on sexuality, Francis visited a hospice in 2001 to kiss and wash the feet of 12 people with AIDS, according to the National Catholic Reporter. Francis is considered as a champion of the poor. He is the first Jesuit pope, the first from the Americas and the Southern Hemisphere, and the first non-European in more than a millennium.

To read the ABC News article, click here.

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