After decades of fierce opposition to the use of all contraception, the Pontiff has ended the Church’s absolute ban on the use of condoms.
He said it was acceptable to use a prophylactic when the sole intention was to “reduce the risk of infection” from Aids.
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.
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