AIDS Support Group In Paris Protests Against Pope's Visit

by VR Sreeraman on Sep 15 2008 11:22 AM

A militant group combatting the spread of AIDS hung a banner across the facade of one of Paris's most famous churches Saturday in a protest against Pope Benedict XVI's visit to France.

The banner on the Sacre Coeur basilica read "the condom is life," in a reference to the Roman Catholic Church's objections to the contraceptive device which also blocks the transmission of the AIDS virus.

Activists of the Act-Up association also rolled a hug black carpet edged in pink down the steps leading up to the Sacre Coeur, one of Paris's leading tourist attractions which stands on the Montmartre hill overlooking the capital.

The pope, who was not scheduled to visit Sacre Coeur, arrived in Paris on Friday and was leaving Saturday for the southern pilgrimage city of Lourdes.