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Feminist News


November-24-10

Pope Condones Condoms in Certain Circumstances for Women Too

Pope Benedict XVI clarified today that his comment that condom use might be acceptable in certain circumstances was applicable to women as well as men. On Saturday, Pope Benedict indicated that when used to prevent diseases like AIDS, condoms "can be a first step in the direction of moralization, a first assumption of responsibility." However, the example he gave was ironically a male prostitute.

Pope Benedict stated that although he still opposes condoms as form of contraception, he acknowledged their importance in disease prevention for both men and women. The Pope remarked to Vatican Spokesman, Federico Lombardi, "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." Pope Benedict's revised position on condoms might give impetus to the necessary reconsideration of PEPFAR's bias for abstinence-only, be faithful, then condom programs in fighting AIDS.

Pope Benedict's recent comments differ from his earlier statements on condoms. For instance in March 2009, Pope Benedict claimed during his trip to Cameroon that condoms "increase the problem" of AIDS. While visiting the country, Pope Benedict reportedly said "You can't overcome this problem of AIDS with just money. It helps, but if there is no soul, the money cannot help. You cannot overcome it just by distributing condoms. You will increase it."

Media Resources: Catholics for Choice Press Release 11/23/10; NPR 11/23/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 11/22/10, 3/18/09