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Pope a disaster: Vatican insiders

world Updated: Mar 21, 2009 00:01 IST

Two days after Germany and France condemned Pope Benedict's controversial remarks on condoms in Africa, Vatican insiders have claimed that the pontiff's four- year-old papacy is proving to be “a disaster”.

Pope Benedict's repeated gaffes and the Vatican City's inability to manage his message in the web era are threatening to undermine his papacy, leading British newspaper The Daily Telegraph quoted the unnamed insiders as saying.

The pontiff on Tuesday said the use of condoms was complicating the fight against AIDS in Africa, while touring the continent. Prior to this, he landed into another row over his lifting of the 20-year excommunication of a British bishop who has questioned the Holocaust.

A Vatican insider has described Pope Benedict's four-year-old papacy as "a disaster".

"He's out of touch with the real world. On the condom issue, there are priests and bishops in Africa who accept that condoms are a key part of the fight against Aids. "And, yet the pope adheres to this very conservative line they encourage promiscuity. The Vatican is far removed from the reality on the ground,” the insider said.