The weeklong trip to Cameroon and Angola is the pope's first to the continent since he began his reign four years ago, The Telegraph reported. It comes at a time when Africans are an increasingly important part of the Roman Catholic Church.
During his flight, Benedict said that the church is helping in the fight against AIDS by teaching the importance of abstinence and fidelity.
AIDS, he said, "is a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, and that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems."
The trip comes at a time when the pope has been under fire for lifting the excommunication of an English-born traditionalist bishop who has publicly said that only 300,000 Jews were killed during World War II.