Reversing centuries of church policy, Pope Benedict XVI said, in an interview, that condom use to prevent AIDS is OK.
For male prostitutes.
Way to miss the point entirely, Joey Ratz. If men are having sex with other men for money, it is extremely unlikely that they are listening to you to begin with. They're already racking up the sins pretty good there with the whole "sex for money" thing, not to mention the church as an institution is not exactly loving and supportive of those who have sex with men.
And, betraying the church's historical disregard for women, he didn't address female prostitutes at all ... they can go right on ahead getting AIDS, I guess. Somehow I don't think Jesus would think that was cool.
In all seriousness, the Pope may have mentioned women: English, German, and French translations of the interview in which he said this refers to male prostitutes, the Italian one uses the word for female prostitute. I should hope that the church will clarify that this statement applies to women as well. After all, protecting a mother from disease means protecting her future children; the justification that allowing condom use can save a life applies even more, because it would potentially save two.
Many Catholic-watchers are speculating whether or not this adds up to a historic shift in the way the church has dealt with the use of condoms to prevent STDs. I'm saying don't hold your breath. Pope Benedict XVI is quite conservative on church doctrine and the church establishment in general is showing an ever-increasing pull to the right. And of course, nobody's talking about maybe using condoms as birth control, just as a way to save (male) lives.
What did you think of the Pope's pronouncement?
Image via Robert Elyov/Flickr