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Catholics to host AIDS conference

The Vatican will host an international conference in May on preventing AIDS and caring for those afflicted with it, amid continued confusion over its position concerning condoms as a way to prevent spreading the deadly disease.

The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers also said Thursday it is working on a set of guidelines for Catholic doctors, nurses and others who care for people with AIDS.

Pope Benedict XVI made headlines late last year when he said in an interview that someone, such as a male prostitute, who uses a condom might be showing a sign of a more moral sexuality because he is looking out for the welfare of another person.

The comments raised questions about whether the pope was justifying condom use in a break with church doctrine. The Vatican insisted he was not.

ITALY

Parliament backs Berlusconi in sex scandal

ROME | The Italian parliament Thursday rebuffed prosecutors’ request to search some of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s properties as part of a prostitution probe.

Milan authorities claim Mr. Berlusconi paid for sex with a minor and then used his office to cover it up. They wanted to search the offices of a Berlusconi accountant suspected of handling payments on behalf of the prime minister to the minor and to other young women who attended parties at his villas. Mr. Berlusconi has denied wrongdoing.

From wire dispatches and staff reports