Francis was speaking Monday at the Vatican to bishops from Tanzania.
Many non-Catholic health care workers advocate condoms as an important weapon to fight the spread of the HIV virus that causes AIDS. The Vatican opposes condom use because church teaching forbids contraception.
Francis praised church health care workers in Africa who care for those with HIV/AIDS and “all who strive diligently to educate people in the area of sexual responsibility and chastity.”
In 2010, Pope Benedict XVI said male prostitutes who intend to use condoms might be taking a step toward greater responsibility. The Vatican insisted Benedict wasn’t justifying condom usage to prevent HIV’s spread.
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