Article published on the 2009-03-19 Latest update 2009-03-20 09:55 TU
Speaking on Wednesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Eric Chevallier said, "We're extremely worried, of course, because we feel that this kind of talk can be a threat to public health objectives. We consider [...] that prevention is an extremely important part of the fight against this epidemic."
More criticism from the eldest daughter of the church followed with the head of France's Communist Party, Marie-George Buffet, describing Benedicts remarks as "criminal" and the European deputy Daniel Cohn-Bendit saying they were "close to premeditated murder".
Former French Prime Minister Alain Juppé said the Pope was a "problem" and was living in a "situation of total autism".
Chevallier said France was "extremely attached to the fight against the disease, particularly in Africa where the situation is extremely worrying".
The Pope's comments were defended by his representative to Angola, Dom Angelo Becciu, who said he thought "It's true what he said". He added that the Catholic church in Angola worked with Aids patients in the country.