Pope Ends Absolute Ban on Condom Use


I am honestly completely shocked.


…While he restated the Catholic Church’s staunch objections to contraception because it believes that it interferes with the creation of life, he argued that using a condom to preserve life and avoid death could be a responsible act – even outside marriage.

Asked whether “the Catholic Church is not fundamentally against the use of condoms,” he replied: “It of course does not see it as a real and moral solution. In certain cases, where the intention is to reduce the risk of infection, it can nevertheless be a first step on the way to another, more humane sexuality.”

He stressed that abstinence was the best policy in fighting the disease but in some circumstances it was better for a condom to be used if it protected human life.

“There may be justified individual cases, for example when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be … a first bit of responsibility, to redevelop the understanding that not everything is permitted and that one may not do everything one wishes.

“But it is not the proper way to deal with the horror of HIV infection.”

First reactions:

  1. Are people done complaining about how liberal Pope John Paul II is now?

  2. I am stunned and confused because this seems to be a HUGE shift away from Natural Law theology.

According to the natural law as defined by Aquinas the ends do NOT justify the means.

Pope Benedict is saying that condom usage is acceptable in certain individual situations, even if they are very rare. But according to natural law theology, this CAN’T be true. A sin is ALWAYS a sin, no matter what; according to the natural law, even LYING is always wrong in every circumstance.

This seems to indicate a major shift from natural law theology.

If this is true I’ll have to seriously reconsider my faith, because I’m a Catholic because of Thomas Aquinas and his natural law theology.

Does somebody have an explanation here? Am I missing something?

This “just happened” more than two years ago (look at the date of the article). It’s old news, and not a change in theology whatsoever, although the original statement was extremely misconstrued and confusing at best. There are many backthreads on the topic that explain it well.

Using a condom in itself is not necessarily a mortal sin (the Church does teach that condoms can be used to collect semen for fertility tests as long as the condom does not contain any spermicides and there are some holes punctured in the condom so the semen can seep out).

This is what the Pope means when he said that in some rare cases, one may use a condom. The Holy Father said that male prostitutes may use a condom. This is assuming that the male prostitute will make sure that the sexual act does not end in procreation (i.e the semen will not reach the vagina). This is an attempt to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases that can be gained from either from contact or from pre-ejaculatory fluids.

Oh, geez! I looked at the date in the top right corner of the website, not under the article! :blush:

Now I feel like a dope. :doh2:

That awkard moment when you find old news and are shocked. :wink: it happens

Haha, the Pope doesn’t just causally change ancient church discipline in a few sentences during a private interview (which is what the book was written about).

If anything, the London Telegraph is the dope here for not understanding this subtly!

The Pope didn’t say that a male prostitute may use a condom–this would require him to first condone male prostitution. What he said was that if a male prostitute is using a condom to prevent the spread of disease, this is a first sort of glimmer of morality, a first step toward conversion away from a sinful lifestyle. The awareness that one has a moral duty even in a very small degree (i.e. the person is still sinning by being a prostitute but is attempting to be aware of at least the physical well-being of another person in some small way) is a very, very, very minuscule step in the right direction. As others have said, this news story is over two years old, and it was taken grossly out of context and misquoted all over the place.


The good news is that I was able to find a lot of very rational responses very quickly. Some of the best being in the comments section of the article. :slight_smile: So everything works out, with the possibility of perhaps clearing up some confusions other people have on this topic. :smiley:

OMG I was scared when I read that online then realised it was old news. Telegraph headline is misleading

Here is more info:



I would have posted Jimmy Akin’s link since it was the most helpful article I found when this story first broke, but someone bear me to it. So I’ll just add this: liberal media outlets are notorious for exaggerating, distorting, and misleading - especially when it comes to anything regarding Christianity in general and the Catholic Church in particular. So when you see something like that again (and you will), simply remain calm and confident that the Church and the foundation of rock upon which the Church is built will remain secure.

The Telegraph and the creepy picture should have been more of a tipoff than the date. The Holy Father does not address the faithful through rag sheets.

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