The French foreign ministry has voiced "sharp concern" following the Pope's rejection of condom use to fight Aids.
Benedict XVI, who is on a tour of Africa, said handing out condoms only increased the problem of HIV/Aids.
The Roman Catholic Church says marital fidelity and sexual abstinence are the best way to prevent the spread of HIV.
But France, echoing the reaction of some aid agencies, said it "voices extremely sharp concern over the consequences of [the Pope's comments]".
"While it is not up to us to pass judgment on Church doctrine, we consider that such comments are a threat to public health policies and the duty to protect human life," foreign ministry spokesman Eric Chevallier said.
It's about time someone called the Pope down on the carpet for this. The Catholic Church's stance on birth control generally, and condoms specifically, is very nearly the most single most shameful, willfully negligent, and destructive policy of this body claiming to be a voice of morality and reason and peace (it is second only to the Church's duplicity in the priest pedophilia scandals).
I don't think I'll ever cease being dumbfounded by people who insist, with no hint of irony, that everyone who isn't married and/or intending to have children should stop having sex, and would rather see lots of people die than make sex less scary.