Mixed Emotions Around Condoms and Catholics

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Pope Benedict XVI in his new book to be released Tuesday states that a male prostitute may use a condom when he knows he is HIV-positive. Emotions are mixed with the Catholic Church with the Popes statement.

C.J. Doyle, executive director of the conservative Catholic Action League, was in shock over Benedict’s reported statements and said he’ll seek a clarification. “The Catholic Church has always and everywhere opposed every form of contraception and continues to do so and there is no evidence that has changed,” Doyle said. “It’s not a change in Church doctrine.”

The Vatican believes the Catholic Church is getting more opened now that the Pope has stated male prostitute may use a condom where he knows he is HIV. ''This is the way the church changes its teaching,'' said Peter Norden, a former priest and vice-chancellor's fellow at the University of Melbourne. ''It puts its toe in the water.''

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In the book, “Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times, Benedict said condoms were not “a real or moral solution” to the AIDS epidemic, adding, “that can really lie only in a humanization of sexuality.” But he also said 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.”

The reactions across the world appear to be very different. Joan Caron, 86, of Oldtown, Maine, who attended Mass said, "I was shocked. Why even mention that?' It was unnecessary. I was just shocked that he'd even bring the word up."

71-year-old Idalina Fernandes from Brazil, which has more Roman Catholics than any other country said she thought it was strange when she first heard the news. Meanwhile "That's a theological mind trap," said Wendy Lasekan, a 47-year-old stay-at-home mom. "In some cases, it would be justifiable — or acceptable — to use a condom," she said after Sunday morning Mass. "If your goal would be to prevent the spread of AIDS, that would be a charitable act." She stated.

The pope has suddenly created an exception,’’ said Peter Borre, 72, a Boston Catholic activist. “So the question is going to come up: What about an exception for abortion, an exception on homosexuality?’’

However, there are some people who are very excited about this life saving news from the Pope. “This is a significant and positive step forward taken by the Vatican. This move recognizes that responsible sexual behavior and the use of condoms have important roles in HIV prevention. This will help accelerate the HIV prevention revolution,” said Michel Sidibé, executive director of UNAids.

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