Pope Says Condoms Are Okay For Male Prostitutes, But Not Women

In a bizarre (and totally maddening) move, Pope Benedict XVI announced in a book-length interview with a German journalist that condom use, which has been long condemned by the Catholic Church, is permissible for male prostitutes seeking to stop the spread of HIV.  Benedict, who has been criticized for making breathtakingly offensive comments about the AIDS crisis (in spring 2009, for example, he told audiences in Cameroon that condoms actually make the crisis worse), tried to fit his claim into Church teachings by saying that although condom use is not a “moral” choice, it can be acceptable if the intent is to “reduce the risk of infection.”

Benedict went on to say that this signals “a first step in a movement toward a different way, a more human way of living sexuality.”  However, women are still not permitted to use condoms during heterosexual sex, because the purpose of heterosexual sex is procreation – therefore even if the intent is to stop infection, the result is still a destruction of the sacred nature of sex.  Which is of course a huge problem for couples where one spouse is infected, not to mention a hugely sexist policy.

He made it clear that he still doesn’t think condoms are a solution to the AIDS crisis, and that contraception continues to destroy the intrinsic beauty of sex, explaining that “becoming simply fixated on the issue of condoms makes sexuality more banal and exactly this is the reason why so many people no longer find sexuality to be an expression of their love, but a type of self-administered drug.”

The Church’s views on contraception are problematic because of their role as healthcare providers in the developing world – by refusing to provide contraceptives or abortion, they make it far more difficult for their patients to assume reproductive freedom or make healthy sexual decisions.  So if this means Catholic hospitals will start giving male prostitutes (who I assume are having sex with men…?  The pope doesn’t make it clear) condoms, that’s a tiny, tiny step in the right direction.

The rest of the pope’s comments will be available in “Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times,” a book due out on Tuesday.  The Vatican released excerpts today.  Needless to say, I can’t imagine what will be in the rest of the book.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

356 comments

Ameer T.
Ameer T.5 years ago

sexist Pope i must say. He belongs with some of the Mullahs and Talibans who have exactly the same views on sexuality and women.

So let me get this right, prostitution is ok with the church? and therefore the MEN prostitutes have more rights of protection while WOMEN prostitutes do not.

And why is the Pope such an authority over sex and sexual matters? The man is commited to celebacy. Thats the last person one would want to ask about something he has decided never to do.

When he speaks of intimacy, Does he speak from personal experience?

i think what he is really saying is that the priests who F**k the choir boys should wear some protection so no one would be able to bring evidence of rape against the church.

Michele G.
Past Member 5 years ago

"We are the Catholic Church. We can do anything" - Jeremy Irons as the Bishop Pucci in the film "Casanova".
Noone's listening anymore. Fortunately.

Pinke A.
Pinke A.5 years ago

Oh boy! The Pope was missing the important point :) female (prostitute or not) are not using the condom =D their partners (the male ones) are. Should someone help pure Pope to get the point! He should stay out of issues like sex! In a world like this,with problems like wars,violence,hunger..and what is he talking about???SEX!

Charles B.
Charles B.5 years ago

Thanks be to God that the issue of male prostitution has at last tacitly been accepted by the Church. Perhaps this signals a less benighted position on gay rights generally.

Arthur O.
Arthur O.5 years ago

I don't see how the pope can be so insightful on something like global warming but can't see that contraception is needed to protect against STD's and unwanted pregnancies

Rani Lyons
Rani Lyons5 years ago

i agree Melena R!
I'd like to add that the very foundation of the church is to ignore reality!
the pope is profoundly unbuhlievable!

Robert B.
Robert B.5 years ago

To quote Raymonds father, "Holy Crap!"
Religious leaders seem to have Sh*t for brains.

colleen prinssen
colleen p.5 years ago

why are these people lead leaders? and important in the world? if people can be heros her for suggesting to murder hunters, me saying "kewl. le'ts conqure Vatican, the art there belongs to "us" anyway" is not off?

so the religion still bashes women? if so then it is not mean to bash it's good name/nature. I have learned and now assume, as long as something causes no harm. it is untouchable.

if it causes any harm then it is "fair game"

Fa'izah J. A.
Jauharah Andrews5 years ago

I'm not Catholic but this current Pope looks like he's possessed by Satan and every time he opens his mouth to speak, nothing but pure venom spews from his lips.

I guess he's suggesting that priests should use condoms when they violate young boys rather than condemning the act outright.

Elgrit B.

What makes the Catholics think they should control birth control. The only people who should decide that is the two participants. The church is responsible for enough problems in the world, i.e. turning away when by a few words they could make strides in erasing cruelty. Also, look at the days of the Inquisition. You can have them.