Skip Nav
The 1 Simple Reason I Decided Not to Have Kids
18 of the Sexiest Movies You Can Watch on Netflix in July
Tech Tips
Creating Your Own Snapchat Wedding Filter Is So Much Easier and Cheaper Than You Think

Pope Says You Can Use Condoms to Prevent HIV

The Pope Finally Takes Reasonable Stance on Condoms — Sort Of

Pope Benedict XVI has finally joined the 21st century and come out in favor of using condoms to prevent HIV, suggesting that in fact, hell may have frozen over. The Pope thinks that using a condom is a lesser evil than transmitting HIV, even if that means preventing pregnancy. Why it took the Church so long to discover it's better to prevent a pregnancy than potentially pass on HIV to a mother and a child is beyond me, but the new interpretation does dramatically depart from the Church's total opposition to contraception. The Pope now joins the side of UN HIV/AIDS officials, who announced this week that the number of new HIV infections fell, thanks partly to condoms.

In his book released today, the Pope cited male prostitutes as an example, explaining that it was more moral and responsible for them to use condoms to protect their partners from HIV, and today the Vatican clarified that this also applies to "a woman, a man, or a transsexual."

The Catholic Church's new position will surely boost condom promotion in Africa and other places with an at-risk population. And since the Church provides tons of social services in developing countries, maybe this means it will soon help make condoms available. Yet, the Pope still opposes contraception simply to prevent pregnancy. The new statement might signal more change to come, but it doesn't really matter, at least in America — Catholic women are more likely to use the pill than the general population anyway.

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
katialoves katialoves 6 years
LOL #10 its not just you ;) what a way to skirt around the issue. he can only say it *indirectly* and in the context of *male prostitutes* i should give him points for being concerned with male prostitutes,, i never see anyone else worried about them or see charities trying to help them or whatever...
dexaholic dexaholic 6 years
Is it just me or the Pope doing a pretty good Dr. Evil impersonation here?
imLissy imLissy 6 years
You should care because there are some places in the world that take the pope very seriously and let what the catholic church says dictate their laws. This is a step forward in preventing HIV. The whole point of the pope is to keep the religion changing with the times. Works so well doesn't it? This only took, what, 30 years? spacekatgal, the priest usually talks like 10 or 15 minutes during the service. I had one priest go on and on about The Da Vinci Code and another that made jokes about Polish people for 15 minutes. I'm not Catholic anymore, no matter how much my father insists I am.
starbucks2 starbucks2 6 years
I really couldn't care less about what the Pope has to say...the Catholic church disgusts me...
GTCB GTCB 6 years
After JPII died, I had kinda hoped they'd pick a new guy to lead the Catholic Church into the modern age. Alas, was I ever wrong to think that! Benedict is just a transition guy, a placeholder for the good old boys until someone better comes along.
xxstardust xxstardust 6 years
As a note, of course, I belong to a quite liberal leaning Catholic Campus ministry parish, so my experience may be on the outlier!
xxstardust xxstardust 6 years
Kimmie, I think the difference (in the Pope's eyes, anyway; this isn't necessarily how I see it or evaluate it) is that the condoms are being used for different reasons and it's the reason you're using it that makes it right or wrong. Transmission of a deadly disease is undeniably a bad thing, using condoms to prevent the spread of HIV is permissible. This doesn't make the act of premarital sex any less of a sin, it simply makes the use of a condom itself a sin. Using a condom to prevent conception would still be a sin because the act of preventing new human life is a sin. I'm not necessarily sure how to address your question about premarital sex because I'm not sure from a Catholic standpoint that premarital sex and condom use are connected. Premarital sex is always a sin, whether you wrap it up or not; using a condom is always a sin IF you're doing so to prevent pregnancy because preventing a human life is a sin - and even condoms within a marriage are technically considered sinful because if you're married, you should be making babies. Using a condom to prevent disease transmission, however, is not a sin, because knowing you have a disease and can thus spread it to a partner as well as any child you might conceive, which the Church has deemed to be a greater evil. So prostitutes who use condoms would previously been committing two separate sins: 1) premarital sex and 2) using a condom; now it's the single sin of premarital sex. Now, I know attempting to separate the motivation for using a condom into distinct categories of disease transmission and Again ... this is definitely not my personal opinion, I'm just trying to clarify what I believe the Church is attempting to convey with this statement. Although I will give full disclosure and mention that I AM Catholic, I am a Catholic woman who happily and actively disagrees with established Church teaching on contraception. I am very glad to see that the highest levels of the Church have finally reversed the official position on condom use; honestly, in the middle/lower levels of the clergy it's something that has been encouraged and promoted by many for a very long time. There are so many community level priests who are actively opposed to the former policy of standing against condoms for HIV/AIDS transmission, and still are opposed to a blanket policy against contraception, and I really hope that this gives rise to a discourse among the clergy and the Church community in which that stance can be discussed and evaluated.
kimmieb124 kimmieb124 6 years
I'm not taking a stance either and I'm not Catholic, but I find it interesting that like anon says the church is clear on premarital sex and yet the Pope is acknowledging prostitution for males, females, and transsexuals. If the church thinks all of that is wrong, then why take a stand on condoms at all? And if the response is because the Pope is acknowledging that the prostitution is happening not condoning it, then why not acknowledge that premarital sex is also happening? If saying it's OK for prostitutes to use condoms does not condone prostitution then saying it's OK for other people to use condoms would not necessarily condone premarital sex by the Pope's logic. Anyway, I think this statement does open up the door for a change in the church's stance on contraception, even though, as you noted, many American Catholics ignore the decree against contraception anyway.
My Boyfriend's Mom Hates Me
Meet Transgender Activist Abby Stein
What to Wear on 4th of July
Megan Couto Becomes First Woman to Captain the Queen's Guard
From Our Partners
Latest Love
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds