London: French First Lady Carla Bruni lauded Pope Benedict XVI on World AIDS Day after the pontiff said the use of condoms could be justified to prevent the dreadful disease.
Bruni, a global AIDS ambassador whose own brother died of the virus, said in an interview that she was ‘astonished, surprised and grateful’ for the Pope`s remark.
“I think this is quite an enormous step towards something very new,” the BBC quoted her as saying.
President Nicolas Sarkozy`s wife had strongly criticised the Pope last year, saying the Roman Catholic Church`s disapproval of condoms ‘damaged’ countries in Africa, and left her feeling ‘profoundly secular’.
She was responding to a comment from the Pope who said, while on a trip to Africa, that condoms were not a solution to the continent`s HIV/AIDS crisis.
In a book released last month, the Pope said that condom could be used in ‘certain’ circumstances.
“I have been touched by the very recent declaration by Pope Benedict XVI and am grateful. A number of African countries are Christian and take great heed of what the Pope says,” Bruni told France`s RTL radio station.