Vatican Confirms, Clarifies Pope Remarks on Condom Use for HIV: ‘Whether it’s a man or woman or a transsexual’


The Vatican on Tuesday confirmed and clarified remarks from a new book by Pope Benedict in which he suggested there was an appropriate use for condoms in curbing the spread of HIV and AIDS, specifically in the instance of prostitution.

The NYT reports:

The Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican’s spokesman, said that for Benedict, the use of condoms by people infected with H.I.V. could be “the first step of responsibility, of taking into consideration the risk to the life of the person with whom there are relations.”

“Whether it’s a man or woman or a transsexual,” he added.

Though Benedict did not endorse the general use of condoms or change official church teaching — which still strongly opposes contraceptives — his words ricocheted around the globe, greeted with anger from some conservative Catholics and enthusiasm from clerics and health workers in Africa, where the AIDS problem is worst. The pope also considers the continent to be a major area of growth for the church.

The shift is being described as "seismic":

The Vatican still holds that condom use is immoral and that church doctrine forbidding artificial birth control remains unchanged. Still, the reassessment on condom use to help prevent disease carries profound significance, particularly in Africa where AIDS is rampant.

"By acknowledging that condoms help prevent the spread of HIV between people in sexual relationships, the pope has completely changed the Catholic discussion on condoms," said Martin, a liberal-leaning author of several books about spirituality and Catholic teaching.

The development came on a day when U.N. AIDS officials announced that the number of new HIV cases has fallen significantly – thanks to condom use – and a U.S. medical journal published a study showing that a daily pill could help prevent spread of the virus among gay men.

"This is a great day in the fight against AIDS … a major milestone," said Mitchell Warren, head of the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition,


  1. Joe says

    Well, even priests have to be careful nowadays with all the advances in criminal forensics.

    Pope Nazi is probably just ensuring that no more of his flock get caught balls-deep in choir boys!

  2. ratbastard says

    The HIV+, HEP C infected druggie pros, hustlers, trannies, and Johns are breathing a sigh of relief…the Pope says it’s OK to use condoms and contraception.

  3. Jerome says

    The Catholic church is steeped in tradition, as well as the blood of it’s followers and anyone in it’s way. The Pope knows nothing of life as we know it. How can he be expected to speak for the masses? He’s too far removed from them, and the harsh realities they face daily. These illogical spewings are testimony to that fact.

  4. Steve says

    This does nothing to clarify the church’s position – it’s completely confusing and contradictory. It just shows how much in the dark ages these old men in dresses are….really pathetic.

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