2 French Deputies Defend Pope

Say Press Manipulated Comments on Condoms

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VIENNE, France, MARCH 20, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Two French deputies publicly supported Benedict XVI’s position on condoms as an insufficient means to fight against AIDS, noting that his words were “deformed” and “exaggerated” by the media.
Christian Vanneste, deputy of Nord, and Jacques Remiller, deputy-mayor of Vienne, each used their blogs to defend the Pope’s position.
Remiller stated that the Holy Father’s words had been manipulated, especially by “the French political class,” which has carried out a veritable “witch hunt” against the Pontiff.
He noted that what Benedict XVI asked for, just before requesting “free care for AIDS patients” in Cameroon, was that the world “stop considering the condom as the only solution to the problem of AIDS in Africa.”

The policy to combat AIDS “must not be limited, in fact, to advertising for condoms,” noted the French politician, who added that “it is certainly an effective means when used correctly, but its widespread distribution will not impede grave behavioral problems such as rape and incest.”

Farsighted and effective
He added, “What the Pope reminded [us] above all, is that the best, the most farsighted and effective way to combat the plague of AIDS and to protect human life resides in a real education to responsibility, in medical research, the diffusion of therapies, and care of the sick.”
Vanneste said that the Pope “is not a demagogic politician, but a bearer of hope — others would say that he gives an ideal — and it is from the this that his words should be understood and judged.”
He continued: “Surely the popular pack of hounds of materialists and hedonists is very far from being able to understand this message. The more concrete mass of faithful gathered at this moment around the Holy Father is contributing a better answer.”
Vanneste asserted that there were no discrepancies on this subject between John Paul II and Benedict XVI, as both “always desired Christian unity, the union of believers, and always mentioned the moral exigencies that cannot be disassociated from Catholicism.”
“John Paul II would not have said anything different, because no Pope could prefer a mechanical answer — that, moreover, is imperfect — to a moral and spiritual practice that, in itself, is really liberating,” he added.
Vanneste stated that those who “detested John Paul II and his principles” did not dare to attack him because “he was the symbol of a country that was victim of Communist oppression” and “a man of communication.”

He explained that Benedict XVI is not this, and now “the time has come for revenge” against him “whose least acts and words are picked up to be criticized, not without first deforming and exaggerating them.” He pointed out, “There was Regensburg, Williamson and now condoms and Africa.”

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