We all knew he was thinking it, and now he's said it – on his first visit to Africa, Pope Benedict XVI has told journalists that Aids "is a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, and that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems".
And some people say Africa needs more religion. The Pope's comments require worldwide condemnation. The Vatican is clearly a malign force in the fight against the Aids epidemic. If his words are heeded (and there are over 135 million Catholics in Africa), then they will contribute to the deaths of literally millions of people, as well as the continued uncontrollable spread of HIV. We will watch with interest to see if world leaders, and indeed any other religious leaders, speak out to condemn the Pope.
This serves to demonstrate what secular organisations are up against in Africa. It shows why secular projects, such as the Mustard Seed Secular School in rural Uganda, which readers of New Humanist have been supporting since 2006, are so crucial. You can learn more about Mustard Seed on the New Humanist website.