London, May 19 (ANI): French First Lady Carla Bruni has launched a scathing attack on Pope Benedict XVI accusing him of 'damaging' Africa with his approach to contraception.
The 41-year-old singer and supermodel said that the Church's teachings had left her feeling "profoundly secular".
Bruni said she was so upset by Benedict XVI's views that she was no longer a practising Roman Catholic, reports The Telegraph.
Her outburst risked angering believers in France, who said she had 'shamed' her husband, Nicolas Sarkozy's, presidency.
In March, while on an Africa tour the Pope sparked controversy by saying that the Aids pandemic which has crippled the continent "can't be resolved with the distribution of condoms; on the contrary, there is the risk of increasing the problem".
While commenting on the subject, Bruni-Sarkozy said: "I was born Catholic, I was baptised, but in my life I feel profoundly secular.
"I find that the controversy coming from the Pope's message - albeit distorted by the media - is very damaging.
"In Africa it's often Church people who look after sick people. It's astonishing to see the difference between the theory and the reality."
"I think the Church should evolve on this issue. It presents the condom as a contraceptive which, incidentally, it forbids, although it is the only existing protection," she told Femme Actuelle, the women's magazine. (ANI)