Monday, 22 November 2010

Condoms and the Pope

Apparently Pope Benedict XVI has suggested that condoms may be justified in some situations to prevent the infection of HIV/AIDS. A new book, Light of the World, features excerpts of an interview with journalist Peter Seewald in which the Pope cites the example of a male prostitute and suggests that it would be acceptable for him to wear a condom.

The Pope says: “There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralisation, 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.

"But it is not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection. That can really lie only in a humanisation of sexuality.”

The Pope indicates in the interview that the Catholic Church remains opposed to the use of condoms as a means of addressing the global HIV/AIDS pandemic.

He says that the use of condoms are not in themselves a “real or moral” solution to HIV/AIDS but adds that the intention of reducing the risk of infection could be regarded as a “first step” towards a “more human way, of living sexuality”.

In response to media headlines reporting that the Pope had given the green light to condoms, the Catholic Church in England and Wales insisted that the Pope had not wanted to express a position on the problem of condoms in general but had rather wanted to "affirm strongly that the problem of AIDS cannot be resolved solely with the distribution of condoms".

Comment: Condoms may not be the way to deal with the problem of AIDS but in the light of the failure of people to understand the teachings of the Church/Christian Faith we must surely make allowances for people's sin, weakness and blindness to the truth. We surely have to agree with the use of something that can protect them and others from the spread of HIV/AIDS. I suppose the problem is that by saying condoms are okay we appear to be saying that sex outside marriage and/or with no sense of responsibility is okay when clearly it is not.

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