Léonard: "I was misunderstood"

The Belgian Archbishop, André Léonard, has given a press conference to comment on his controversial statement that "AIDS is a kind of justice", which caused a storm of protests. The Archbishop told reporters that he was misunderstood.

The Archbishop said that he only voiced his opinion on promiscuous sexual behaviour leading to AIDS.

"AIDS is not a punishment by God, but a logical consequence of changing sexual contacts", André Léonard explains. "I was not talking about AIDS caused by blood transfusions or as an illness that you are born with."

The Archbishop made a comparison with smoking to explain his words: "If someone gets lung cancer through smoking, the cancer is a kind of immanent justice. The person in question was aware of what he did, and his choices have a consequence."

The Archbishop added that he feels a lot of sympathy for AIDS patients and that he does not want to make a judgement. He refers to another statement in his book, where he says that these people should not be discriminated.