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Pope Says It’s OK to Use Condoms to Reduce Risk of HIV/AIDS, Even Outside of Marriage

Pope Says It’s OK to Use Condoms to Reduce Risk of HIV/AIDS, Even Outside of Marriage

The issue of contraception has always been a heavily contested issue in the Catholic Church. That’s why a headline in this morning’s Telegraph “The Pope drops Catholic ban on condoms in historic shift” stopped me in my tracks.

I thought I had misread the headline, but as I read on I quickly came to see that this “historic shift” was just one step in the right direction.

Turns out the church now believes that it is acceptable to use condoms only if is to reduce the risk of spreading HIV/AIDS. In fact, according to the Pope it could be a responsible choice to use contraception as long as it is intended to preserve life and avoid possible death. If used in this manner, using a condom could even be acceptable when having sex outside of marriage.

For an institution that has long opposed the use of contraception by Catholic couples because it interferes with the creation of life, this is a notable shift. Using condoms to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS – and protect people from any sexually transmitted infections – is a message that everyone should hear so I’m happy to see this change in attitude form the Pope.

Such information was gathered in a personal interview with the Pope –  the first time such an interview has occurred in the Church’s history. The Pope’s comments will be published in the book Light of the World which touches on his views on other issues such as the sex abuse scandal, drug trafficking, and sex tourism.

What do you think about the Pope’s new views on contraception? Do you think his announcement will help reduce the risk of HIV/AIDS?

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Photo credit: Photo by trec_lit used under a Creative Commons license.

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190 comments

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3:58AM PDT on Sep 23, 2012

The Pope is out of his mind.First he baned the use of condoms, now he says its OK. I advice him to deal with the catholic church only and never put his nise in health problems.

1:05PM PDT on Sep 22, 2012

Carl - wouldn't get too excited - this is poor journalism on a book that came out a year ago and was hashed out at that time - the Pope merely said that a male prostitute who tries to prevent the spread of AIDS by using a condom may be taking the first step toward sexual responsibility. That's it. No change in the proscription against artificial contraception… which means the last line of defense to protect the dignity of the human being from the utilitarian attitude toward sex so prevalent today remains in place.

8:47PM PDT on Sep 21, 2012

This is a really great move with high impact on many millions of Catholics, think about them whatever you enjoy:
However until now the strict position of the church which anyway DID intervene in such health matters very authoritatively, certainly has caused crucial damage, affecting human health just as well as overpopulation.
Therefore my sincere cheers to our present Holy Father who had the courage to deviate from that unholy pace ! While this is almost more than he is able to do at all, since his ill-fated predecessor had cemented his indiscriminate ban of any contraceptives by invocation of his alleged papal infallibility ! Thus a more radical change might easily cause a kind of schism which probably would only irritate and split the pious herd to whatever outcome ...

8:47PM PDT on Sep 21, 2012

This is a really great move with high impact on many millions of Catholics, think about them whatever you enjoy:
However until now the strict position of the church which anyway DID intervene in such health matters very authoritatively, certainly has caused crucial damage, affecting human health just as well as overpopulation.
Therefore my sincere cheers to our present Holy Father who had the courage to deviate from that unholy pace ! While this is almost more than he is able to do at all, since his ill-fated predecessor had cemented his indiscriminate ban of any contraceptives by invocation of his alleged papal infallibility ! Thus a more radical change might easily cause a kind of schism which probably would only irritate and split the pious herd to whatever outcome ...

2:34AM PDT on Sep 6, 2012

I wonder what has the catholic church to do with health problems. It is up to the church to decide the use of condoms. The catholic church is living in midleages.

2:25AM PDT on Sep 6, 2012

I wonder if THAT ruling applies to Altar Boys as well?

P.S. Sorry for the typo.

2:21AM PDT on Sep 6, 2012

I wonder if they ruling applies to Altar Boys as well?

12:59AM PDT on Sep 6, 2012

Not that his authority impacts me at all, but I know a lot of people need the pope's blessing for anything they do .... so I'm glad if the use of condoms helps stem the spread of HIV/AIDS, ....... BUT.... we're still forbidden to have sex for a good feeling, only for procreation. The message is still the same -- SEX in itself is bad, unless that bad old sex act produces a child. Then it has a redeeming quality because god has formed a child in you. And then in the end, the stork brings you the baby. Have I forgotten one of the steps?

The hypocrisy of this virgin old man governing the lives of millions the world over, makes me want to puke.

2:22PM PDT on Aug 19, 2012

I personally don't think Catholics pay much attention to the Pope when it comes to their sex life. Then again, as a non Catholic, I could be wrong. I'm just going by my Catholic friends who seem to think you can do anything as long as you confess. Maybe that's just American Catholics and it might be a good thing for non-American Catholics who view the church differently.

11:33AM PDT on Aug 17, 2012

How odd: Men can use condoms to "protect them" and others from harm, BUT a woman, under NO circumstance, can use ANY form of contraception even if it is to save her life. WHAT??????
To hell with men. To hell with the religious wrong. LONG LIVE WOMEN.

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