When the Pope recently decided that condom use was okay when preventing the spread of AIDS, many people were suspicious of the example he used – gay prostitutes. Did that mean it was only okay when there was already zero possibility of pregnancy? Was this the Catholic Church snubbing women yet again?
The Vatican has released a clarification today that condoms can be used to prevent AIDS by all genders and sexual orientations:
The pope’s comments in the book implied that he was referring primarily to homosexual sex, when condoms aren’t being used as a form of contraception. Questions arose immediately about the pope’s intent, though, because the Italian translation of the book used the feminine for prostitute, whereas the original German used the masculine.
Lombardi told reporters Tuesday that he asked the pope whether he intended to refer only to male prostitutes. Benedict replied that it really didn’t matter, the important thing was the person in question took into consideration the life of the other, Lombardi said.
“I personally asked the pope if there was a serious, important problem in the choice of the masculine over the feminine,” Lombardi said. “He told me ‘no.’ The problem is this … 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 man, a woman, or a transsexual. We’re at the same point. The point is it’s a first step of taking responsibility, of avoiding passing a grave risk onto another,” Lombardi said.
[...]In the book, the pope was not justifying or condoning gay sex, condoms as a means of artificial contraception or heterosexual sex outside of a marriage. He reaffirms the Vatican opposition to homosexual acts and artificial contraception and reaffirms the inviolability of marriage between man and woman.
But by broadening the condom comments to also apply to women, the pope is saying that condom use is a lesser evil than passing HIV onto a partner even when pregnancy is possible.
“We’re not just talking about an encounter between two men, which has little to do with procreation. We’re now introducing relationships that could lead to childbirth,” Martin said.
The Catholic Church hasn’t quite joined us in the 21st century, but making it to the 20th century is a good first step. This decision will save countless of lives, even if it is just a publicity ploy to distract people from their child molestation scandal.
…Sooooo, can someone explain to me how the concepts of the “infallibility of the Church” and “papal infallibility” meshes with “changing your mind”?