RELIGION
04/07/2014 12:22 pm ET Updated Apr 07, 2014

Pope Francis Praises Chastity As A Strategy To Prevent The Spread Of HIV In Africa

ROME, ITALY - APRIL 06:  Pope Francis waves during a visit to the Roman parish of San Gregorio Magno in the popular area of '
ROME, ITALY - APRIL 06: Pope Francis waves during a visit to the Roman parish of San Gregorio Magno in the popular area of 'La Magliana' on April 6, 2014 in Rome, Italy. Pope Francis prayed for the two Italian priests and for the Canadian sister kidnapped in Cameroon. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Francis has praised church workers in Africa who promote chastity as a key way to prevent the spread of HIV.

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.

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

PHOTO GALLERY
25 Countries with Most Catholics in 2010
CONVERSATIONS