25 November 2010
Pope Benedict XVI has suggested that condoms may be used by both men and women, as it is lesser evil than transmitting HIV to partner. It was earlier thought that he was referring only to Condom use by HIV–positive male prostitutes. But Vatican spokesman Reverend Federico Lombardi told reporters he asked the Pope whether he intended his comments to apply only to male prostitutes.
The issue follows a series of interviews the Pope has given to a German journalist, Peter Seewald, for a book published, Light of the World.
In translations of the released passages, Benedict XVI told Seewald, "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... on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants." He said condoms were not "a real or moral solution" but could be justified in certain cases.
It is understood that confusion arose because the Italian translation of the book used the feminine form of the word for prostitute, while the German used the masculine.
"I personally asked the Pope if there was a serious, important problem in the choice of the masculine over the feminine," the Daily Mail quoted Lombardi as saying.
"He told me no. The problem is this . . . It’s the first step of taking responsibility, of taking into consideration the risk of the life of another with whom you have a relationship. This is if you’re a woman, a man, or a transsexual. We're at the same point," Lombardi added.
Elsewhere in the book, Benedict XVI reaffirms the Vatican opposition to homosexual acts and ‘artificial’ contraception and reaffirms the inviolability of marriage between man and woman.