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Monday, November 22, 2010

Vatican does NOT change tune on condom use for HIV

So AFP reports that the Pope now allows condom use to reduce risk of HIV (reported here at TheAustralian.com.au), but in fact, he did not say that:
 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 moralization, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants. But it is not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection. That can really lie only in a humanization of sexuality.
 When asked, "Are you saying, then, that the Catholic Church is actually not opposed in principle to the use of condoms?" he replied:

She of course does not regard it as a real or moral solution, but, in this or that case, there can be nonetheless, in the intention of reducing the risk of infection, a first step in a movement toward a different way, a more human way, of living sexuality.
[Italics are quoted from what Pope Benedict XVI said in the interview, emphasis is mine, however]
Apart from the link to Dr. Janet Smith's clarification of this above, Jimmy Akin provides more insights in the National Catholic Register.
The Pope says that condoms are not regarded as a real or moral solution, and if it is not moral, then it is immoral, and is therefore wrong. However, he speculates what is actually a valuable insight: it does demonstrate a growing awareness of responsibility or some moral consideration involved for one who would use condoms with the HIV risk in mind. This simply supports the point that the Holy Father is making: that not everything is simply permitted, and there ought to be a more human view of sexuality.

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