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It would appear that the catholic church has at last approved the use of condoms for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and infections such as HIV. There has been some controversy and confusion over Pope Benedict’s comments in a new book of interviews given by the Pope. During one interview the Pope appeared to agree that the use of condoms by male prostitutes was a lesser evil.
Previously the Pope and the Catholic church had taught that condom use for any purpose was intrinsically evil and a sin. The Pope during a recent visit to Africa had even suggested that condom use was of little effect in preventing the spread of HIV. These comments had caused out rage around the world. The Pope has now made it clear that condom use by all prostitutes, not just male prostitutes is a lesser evil.
The catholic church however maintains its official teaching that condom use within heterosexual families for the purpose of birth control is always sinful and against the teachings of the church. The Popes comments however will make such distinctions between disease prevention and birth control harder to define. Hopefully it will allow health agencies to now work with the church especially in Africa and the Phillipines where the Catholic church is very powerful to encourage condom use to prevent the spread of HIV which has devastated families and communities.
This article in the “Guardian” explains.