The Vatican backs rubbers as disease deterrent
By Dahlia Belinsky
Pope Benedict XVI has changed his stance on birth control in his new book, Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times, stating that condom usage is justified in certain circumstances.
The Pope admitted that condoms could be used to aid in the prevention of HIV/AIDS. He used the example of male prostitutes using condoms. It is “a first step towards moralization,” the Pope said. However condoms are, “not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection”.
“She [the church] of course does not regard [condoms] as a real or moral solution, but, in this or that case, there can be nonetheless in the intention of reducing the risk of infection, a first step in a movement toward a different way, a more human way, of living sexuality,” the Pope said in his interview, according to BBC News.
A more humane attitude to sexuality, and not condom use, [is] the proper way to combat HIV infection, the Pope added.
The interview has received a lot of positive commentary from the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
“This move recognizes that responsible sexual behavior and the use of condoms have important roles in HIV prevention,” Michel Sidibe, the executive director for UNAIDS, said in a statement to CNN. “This will help accelerate the HIV prevention revolution.”
“I think the point he was trying to make, when somebody is using a condom, not so much to prevent new life, which has always been the Catholic Church’s big concern, but to prevent the transmission of disease then it would be OK,” John Allen, CNN Senior Vatican Analyst, told CNN.
These comments have instigated a change within the Church when it comes to condom usage in order to prevent disease, but no change has been made on the usage with the intention of preventing pregnancy.
“What makes this newsworthy is that he’s talking about an exception, where there were no exceptions whatsoever before,” James Martin, a New York Jesuit priest and author, said.
The book is a compilation of interviews with the Pope written by German journalist, Peter Seewald. It was published in English Nov. 23.