A statement issued from the Vatican Tuesday clarifies Pope Benedict XVI’s position on the use of condoms. In an interview published last month, the pontiff said the use of condoms by male prostitutes to prevent the spread of HIV was permissible, and morally right, within the overarching evil of prostitution. The comments stirred controversy among conservative theologians, for whom they marked a departure from the Church’s position on the use of contraception. In Tuesday’s statement the Vatican reiterated that, while condom use between males to prevent the transmission of HIV was acceptable, even if the act in which they are engaged is a sin, the use of condoms to prevent pregnancy, by female prostitutes, for example, is unacceptable, falling under the Church’s historical position condemning the use of all forms of contraception.
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