Vatican decries `pansexual culture' causes AIDS

The Vatican decried Tuesday a pansexual culture it says is fueling the AIDS crisis and said that keeping sex within marriage was the best way to prevent the virus from spreading. The Vatican's Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care issued a message for World AIDS Day, which is marked every Dec. 1. In it, the Vatican said sexual transmission remains the most important pathway of infection, more so than mother-to-child infection and infection by blood transfusions.

"This is greatly fostered by a kind of pansexual culture that devalues sexuality, reducing it to mere pleasure without any further meaning," it said.

"Radical prevention in this field must come from a correct conception and practice of sexuality, where sexual activity is understood in its deep meaning as a total and absolute expression of the fecund giving of love."

It said that can be found by keeping sex exclusive to marriage and in intensifying the strength of the family. The Vatican's opposition to condoms has been criticized by those who advocate condom use as a way to help combat the spread of the HIV virus. However, several prelates have suggested that using condoms that could prevent a death may be the lesser of evils.

Last week organizers of the annual Christmas concert at the Vatican said that a Brazilian singer who promoted the use of condoms in an anti-AIDS campaign had been dropped from the lineup. Officials said Daniela Mercury's appearance was canceled for fear that she would publicly promote condom use while at the Vatican, reports the AP. I.L.

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