Education Needed in AIDS Fight, Says Pope

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 23, 2005 ( John Paul II asserts that the struggle against AIDS calls for education about the sacred value of life, as well as about chastity and faithfulness.

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The Pope emphasized the need to combat poverty and AIDS, especially in Africa, when receiving the new ambassador from the Netherlands, Monique Patricia Antoinette Frank, on Saturday.

The Holy Father explained that to “combat this sickness in a responsible way” it is necessary “to promote prevention, in particular through respect for the sacred value of life and formation in the correct experience of sexuality, which implies chastity and faithfulness.”

“At my request, the Church has mobilized in favor of the victims, so that they will be assured, in particular, access to the necessary treatments and medicines, through numerous centers,” he said. About one-quarter of the world’s AIDS-care centers are Catholic.

The Pope invited Dutch Catholics, whose country has legalized euthanasia, to witness “ever more their absolute respect for the human person from natural conception.”

He also encouraged the authorities and health personnel, as well as all persons involved in education, to “build a society that is increasingly attentive to persons and their dignity.”

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