But the Vatican's controversial policy on condoms continues to be tested on a continent where AIDS has killed more than 25 million people since the 1980s.
While medical workers advocate the use of condoms to help prevent the spread of AIDS, the Church insists on fidelity within heterosexual marriage, chastity and abstinence.
"The problem cannot be overcome by distributing condoms. It only increases the problem," the pontiff told reporters on board the plane headed for Africa.
Then again, this is the same guy from the Hitler youth (a youthful indiscretion, surely) who said Queen, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, and The Beatles make "the Devil's music," so I can't say I'm shocked.
*By Jess, who was raised as a relatively non-practicing (read: hypocritical) Catholic.