Caritas Internationalis Secretary General, Lesley-Anne Knight
Caritas Internationalis has welcomed Pope Benedict's reported comments on the importance of responding to the HIV pandemic. The charity says they are an affirmation of the importance of pastoral sensitivity and compassion in HIV and AIDS prevention.
Pope Benedict's comments are reported in the book 'The Light of the World' due to be published on Tuesday, 23 November.
In the book, the Pope is quoted as saying that for some individuals - for instance, a male prostitute - the use of a condom to prevent HIV infection can be a first step towards assuming moral responsibility and adopting a more human way of living sexuality.
He goes on to say that while condoms may reduce the risk of infection, the Church does not regard them as a real or moral solution.
Caritas Internationalis works in the prevention of HIV infection and in the treatment and care of those living with HIV and AIDS.
Caritas Internationalis Secretary General, Lesley-Anne Knight, said: "The Pope's reported comments in this book illustrate the importance of compassion and sensitivity in dealing with the complexities of HIV/ AIDS prevention. Caritas delivers its HIV/AIDS programmes in line with Church Teaching and we will consider, in close consultation with the Holy See, whether there are implications for our work in these reported comments of Pope Benedict."
Caritas Internationalis is a confederation of 165 national Catholic aid agencies. Its members provide HIV programming in more than 100 countries.