Pope Reverses Course, Condones Condoms in Specific Circumstances

On Saturday, Pope Benedict XVI diverged from the Roman Catholic Church’s traditional stance against condoms and indicated to a German journalist that condom use might be acceptable in certain circumstances. Pope Benedict stated that although he still opposes condoms as form of contraception, he acknowledged their importance in disease prevention. The example he gave was ironically a male prostitute. Pope Benedict told the National Catholic Reporter that when used to prevent diseases like AIDS, condoms “can be a first step in the direction of moralization, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants.” Pope Benedict’s recent comments differ from his earlier statements on condoms. For instance in March 2009, Pope Benedict claimed during his trip to Cameroon that condoms “increase the problem” of AIDS. While visiting the country, Pope Benedict reportedly said “You can’t overcome this problem of AIDS with just money. It helps, but if there is no soul, the money cannot help. You cannot overcome it just by distributing condoms. You will increase it.”


National Catholic Reporter 11/21/10; New York Times 11/20/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 3/18/09

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