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Vatican slams UN refugee sex manual

The Vatican harshly criticized a UN manual for handling sexual issues in refugee camps, saying that it raised "serious and numerous concerns" for the Church.

The manual promotes "without reserve" the so-called morning-after pill for contraception, presents sterilisation as "simple birth control" and takes a "nonjudgmental" attitude on extramarital relations and homosexual relations, the Vatican asserted on Thursday.

The Vatican's criticism came in a document prepared in September by Holy See offices dealing with issues regarding immigrants, families and health.

In it, the Vatican said the Inter-Agency Field Manual on Reproductive Health in Refugee Situations promoted individual freedom while "neglecting the corresponding duties, both individual and social."

The Vatican also decried what it said was young men and women "being introduced to the world of individualistic and irresponsible sexual pleasures which increases the risk for expanding the HIV/AIDs epidemic."

Reproductive Health in Refugee Situations: An Inter-agency Field Manual