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Pope Benedict XVI plans AIDS conference

May 28, 2011 - VATICAN

Pope Benedict XVI condom statement

A conference on AIDS at the Vatican on May 28 is expected to produce clarification on a controversial earlier statement by Pope Benedict XVI on condom use. It won't be the first attempt by the Church to explain a pontifical statement appearing to justify condom use in a break with church doctrine.And the Pontifical Council on Health Care plans to produce pastoral guidelines on condoms for Catholic doctors, nurses and other individuals who care for people with HIV and AIDS. Pope Benedict XVI made headlines in Nov 2010 in an interview about a new book when he said the use of condoms to stop the spread of AIDS may be justified in certain cases. The book, "Light of the World," is made up of Benedict's responses to questions by a journalist. The pope explained that a male prostitute who uses a condom to prevent HIV transmission might be showing a first sign of a more moral sexuality because he is looking out for the welfare of another person. The comment represented a sharp turn in the pope's and Vatican's attitudes to condoms. In 2010 he caused an international uproar when he told journalists taking him to Africa that condoms should not be used because they could worsen the spread of AIDS. The Vatican press office released a statement in November designed to clarify the pope's statements and the church's official position. That was followed in December by another clarifying statement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. (WRITTEN Feb 2011)

Pope says condoms sometimes permissible to stop AIDS (Reuters 20 Nov 2010)

Date written/update: 2011-05-28