El Shaddai leader Mike Velarde opposes Pope’s stance on condoms, says it "could mean the Pope is allowing prostitution"

Bro. Mike Velarde, leader of the Catholic group El Shaddai, has opposed Pope Benedict XVI’s stand allowing the use of condoms to prevent HIV transmission, reports ABS-CBNNews.com. "It could mean that the Pope is allowing prostitution; just protect yourself with condoms," the influential religious leader said during a visit to El Shaddai members in Europe.

Velarde added, "We cannot allow our faith to be carried away by what is happening in the world. If the church buckles down on this, we will not."

According to ABS-CBNNews.com, Velarde said he hasn’t read the book that contains the Pope’s comment on condoms, and needs to read it to understand the context. He added that the Pope’s opinion is different from the Vatican’s order and Canon Law, which are laid down by papal pronouncements.

The Vatican has previously clarified the Pope’s comment, which initially implied that condom use is only allowed for male prostitutes, to mean that everybody can use the contraceptive to prevent the spreading of HIV.

For more on this story, log on to ABS-CBNNews.com.

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