Skip to content
Guest Thinkers

Pope Approves of Condom Use

In a seemingly dramatic change of opinion, Pope Benedict XVI says in a new book that condoms can be justified for male prostitutes seeking to the stop the spread of H.I.V.

Vatican officials insist it’s nothing “revolutionary,” but to many other people Pope Benedict XVI’s recent comments regarding condom use mark an important moment in the battle against AIDS and an effort by the pontiff to burnish his image and legacy. Just a year after he said condoms could be making the AIDS crisis worse, Benedict said that for some people, such as male prostitutes, using them could represent a first step in assuming moral responsibility “in the intention of reducing the risk of infection.” The Vatican’s ban on contraception remains, but Alberto Melloni, an Italian church historian, said Benedict “opened without a doubt a crack that cannot help but have consequences.”


Up Next