Pope Benedict says condom use is OK for male prostitutes

Pope Condoms

Here's one I never saw coming: Pope Benedict, who wants to roll civilization back to the Dark Ages (and possibly beyond), has just given condom use among gay men the thumbs up.

Well, perhaps I should clarify that a bit: the Pope says in a new book that he's still against condoms... unless they're used to prevent infectious diseases. Huh?

NPR has the full explanation:

Pope Benedict XVI says in a new book that the use of condoms can be justified in some cases, such as for male prostitutes seeking to prevent the spread of HIV.

The pontiff made the comments in a book-length interview with a German journalist, Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times.

Benedict said that for male prostitutes — for whom contraception isn't a central issue — condoms are not a moral solution. But he said they could be justified "in the intention of reducing the risk of infection.'' [NPR]

Just come out and say it, Benedict: condoms are necessary in this day and age.

Commentarium (13 Comments)

Nov 20 10 - 3:58pm
Giulia

Is it me or this just sounds like another backhanded swipe at gay people?

Nov 20 10 - 5:08pm
Stan

Oh gee, how progressive.

Nov 20 10 - 5:11pm
Wyn Williams

Errr, WTF ? seriously, what if I am a gay man having butt sex with a woman for money, is that OK then ? we need more moral guidelines from this guy, would not want to burn in hell or anything...

Nov 20 10 - 5:12pm
jimbo

i thought gay prostitution was a sin? silly me.

Nov 20 10 - 5:17pm
Twolane

You're all missing the obvious. It's to keep the priests from leaving DNA behind, so to speak.

Nov 20 10 - 5:41pm
Drew

It is just the whole butt sex thing white these people. Probably OK also for Priests to use condoms when raping young boys.

Nov 21 10 - 2:19am
meridia

What part of "male prostitute" immediately means "gay"?

Some women want a piece of ass too you know...

Nov 21 10 - 3:26am
Dopey

Hmm, meridia, probably the part that says "Benedict said that for male prostitutes — for whom contraception isn't a central issue".

Nov 21 10 - 8:18am
weim123

Ok, let me get this straight, male prostitutes can use condoms - doesn't this suggest that male prostitution is ok? how interesting. I wonder if gay male prostitution is ok? or perhaps it is just straight male prostitution is ok? boy this changes how I view the church (from just a minor irritant to completely absurd).

Nov 21 10 - 3:15pm
...

so male prostitutes can burn in hell for having butt sex, but their innocent male customers deserve to be protected from diseases. i see.

Nov 21 10 - 9:30pm
dru

The press are taking the philosophical point out of context. This isn't a shift at all. It looks like he was asked about married couples with one HIV+ spouse wherein the Church does not sanction condom use because it prevents conception.

The gay hooker was just a contrasting point where condoms as contraception has no role, only as disease prevention. He was clear that it's still immoral, if justifiable. He called it a step of accepting responsibility and towards a moral and more humane sexuality.

This was NOT a change in his view or that of the Church.

Nov 22 10 - 6:49pm
moderation

The problem with the reporting on this issue is that it takes his words completely out of context. The Pope has merely said that if you're going to have sex in a immoral context (hence the male prostitution example) anyway, you might as well use a condom. I suggest that everyone calm down and actually read the words in their proper context before blowing this out of proportion. It's not a step backwards or forwards, because he hasn't gone back on the doctrine that has prompted all his comments on condom use: that sex is only moral when within a marriage and for the purposes of procreation. Regardless of whether you agree, it doesn't help to be casting wild aspersions instead of cultivating understanding on both sides.

Nov 30 10 - 6:17am
OKWARA UCHE

FROM WHAT I UNDERSTAND THE POPE IS SAYING IS THAT " HE NEVER SUPPORTS PROSTITUTION, HE WANTED PEOPLE TO COME OUT OF IT. BUT FOR THOSE WHO ARE BENT IN REMAINING A PROSTITUTE AND ARE HIV POSITIVE, IT WILL BE BETTER THEY USE CONDOM THAN SPREAD THE DISEASE TO UNCOUNTABLE NUMBERS OF PEOPLE THEREBY DESTROYING LIFES.

WHAT HE IS TRYING TO CONVEY BY THIS IS THAT HE IS PREVENTING THE DESTRUCTION OF LIFE BY THIS HIV POSITIVE PROSTITUTES WHO NEVER WANT TO REPENT. THAT HAS NEVER MADE HIM SUPPORT PROSTITUTION OR THE USE OF CONDOM FOR ANY OTHER REASON THAN THIS. WE CAN ALSO SAY HERE THAT THOSE WHO ARE ALREADY INFECTED AND ARE LIKELY TO PROSTITUTE THOUGH SIN, SHOULD HELP THE WORLD BY NOT INFECTING OTHERS BY THE USE OF CONDOM