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Pope says groups "promoting" abortion in Africa
VATICAN CITY |
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict accused international agencies on Monday of promoting abortion in Africa and partly blamed the spread of diseases like AIDS on "disordered notions" of marriage and the family.
"The globalized secular culture is exerting an increasing influence on local communities as a result of campaigns by agencies promoting abortion," the Pontiff said in an address to bishops from Kenya.
"This direct destruction of an innocent human life can never be justified, no matter how difficult the circumstances," he said.
The Pontiff did not say which groups the Vatican believed were promoting abortion in Africa.
But the Vatican has previously criticized Amnesty International for backing a woman's right to an abortion in the event of rape or if her life was in danger. Amnesty's decision was inspired by rapes in war zones like Darfur.
The Church teaches that life begins at the moment of conception and that abortion is killing.
The Pontiff said deviations from traditional family values were partly to blame for many of Africa's problems.
He pointed to sexually transmitted diseases, in a clear reference to the AIDS pandemic ravaging the continent.
"All too often, the ills besetting some parts of African society, such as promiscuity, polygamy and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, can be directly related to disordered notions of marriage and family life," he said.
Almost 40 million people now live with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. More than 25 million people around the world have died of AIDS.
The Pontiff urged Kenya's bishops to help parents teach their children how to live a traditional Christian vision of marriage "conceived as an indissoluble union between one man and one woman"
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