Pope Benedict To Speak at World Youth Day in Germany; Advocates To Protest Stance Against Condom Distribution
Pope Benedict XVI is scheduled to speak on Thursday at World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany -- a weeklong Catholic festival that is expected to attract hundreds of thousands of followers, as well as some protest groups, London's Independent reports. In an interview with Vatican Radio on Monday, the pope said he hopes his appearance at the event will "spark a wave of new faith among young people" (Paterson, Independent, 8/16). However, he likely will be met with opposition by some advocates urging the Vatican to change its stance against condom distribution. Youth advocates associated with the abortion-rights organization Catholics for a Free Choice have insisted that the Vatican's "hardened" stance against condoms is contributing to the spread of HIV/AIDS, according to the AP/Long Island Newsday (Eddy, AP/Long Island Newsday, 8/15). The pope has been inflexible in his opposition to the use of condoms, even in African countries, where HIV/AIDS prevalence rates are the highest in the world, AFP/Khaleej Times reports. The pope is expected to conclude his visit to Germany on Sunday with an open-air mass, which is expected to attract 800,000 people. About 100,000 youth are expected to travel from Italy, 50,000 from Spain and 20,000 from Poland (AFP/Khaleej Times, 8/16).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.